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More positive progression in Rio de Janeiro

The second day of the 2015 World Rowing Junior Championships Rio de Janerio saw all six Australian crews competing on the waters of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. With adverse weather predicted to hit on Sunday in Brazil, a number of races have been brought forward with crews racing twice on Thursday dependent on if they had to compete in a repechage or not.

First up for Australia was the Junior Women’s Double Scull of Bridget Badenoch and Georgia Wheeler. The crew, coached by SASI’s Jarrad Schar, required a top two finish to automatically make the semi-finals and avoid the afternoon’s repechage. Competing in a heat that featured reigning Junior World Champions, Romania, it was going to be a tough race and that it was with Romania, Italy and Australia all battling until the 1500m mark. It was then in the final 500m that the Romanians and Italians put their foot down to sprint for the line with the Romanians’ taking the win by 0.29 seconds over the Italians and putting Badenoch and Wheeler in the repechage that afternoon.

Having finished the morning’s heat in a time of 7:19:74, Badenoch and Wheeler took to the water in their repechage needing a top three finish to make the semi-finals. The weather conditions changed but the athletes’ determination to qualify had not and the duo won the repechage in a time of 7:36:95 and booked a place in Friday’s semi-finals.

Next up were the Junior Women’s Coxless Four of Charlotte Medway, Madeleine Southall, Lily Alton-Triggs and Josephine Theile who required a top two finish to make their A-Final and avoid the afternoon’s repechage. Unfortunately, strong performances from Italy and China saw the Australians finish fifth and book a place in the repechage. In tough conditions that afternoon, the crew coached by Ned Draydon, missed out on a spot in the A-Final finishing third, just behind New Zealand and Great Britain who took the A-Final spots.

In the Junior Men’s Coxed Four heats, only the winner would automatically qualify for the A-Final and the crew of Toby Starkey, Thomas Barnes, Hamish McDonald, Henry Kamp and Benjamin Doyle were up against stiff competition from Germany, Turkey and New Zealand. Ultimately it was Germany who snapped up first place with the Australians taking second and heading into the repechage. Needing a top four finish in the repechage that afternoon, the crew finished second in a time of 6:33:25, just behind Turkey and will head into the A-Final with them, USA, New Zealand, Italy and Germany.

The Junior Men’s Coxless Four required a top two finish to automatically make their semi-finals, however the crew of Thomas Franey, Callum Chisholm, Angus Morrison and Thomas Davidson missed out on a top two place in their heat, finishing third behind Romania and Switzerland. In Thursday afternoon’s repechage, the Queenslanders needed a top three finish to book a place in the semi-finals and the crew picked up some speed to finish third behind Spain and Austria and secure a place in today’s semi-finals.

In the last of the heats for the Australians, the Junior Women’s Coxed Eight, needed to win their heat to automatically book a place in the A-Final. It was the USA that snapped up the automatic qualificiation, while the Australians finished fourth and took a berth in the repechage. The Victorian crew faced tough conditions and some tight racing in their repechage but took the bull by the horns and claimed third in the race to book a place in the A-Finals.

The only Quarter-Final of the day for Australia featured Adam Bakker in the Junior Men’s Single Scull. The Queensland-born sculler was looking for a top three finish in his race to secure his place in the semi-finals. The in-form sculler did just that, finishing second in the race in a time of 7:32:39 and booking his place in Friday’s semi-finals.

Race times for Australian Crews for Friday 7 August.

Junior Men’s Single Scull – Adam Bakker, Semi-Final A/B, Lane 2 – 22:19 AEST (09:19 Local Time)

Junior Women’s Double Scull – Bridget Badenoch and Georgia Wheeler, Semi-Final A/B, Lane 2 – 23:15 AEST (10:15 Local Time)

Junior Men’s Coxless Four – Thomas Franey, Callum Chisholm, Angus Morrison and Thomas Davidson, Semi-Final A/B, Lane 1 – 23:22 AEST (10:22 Local Time)

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