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Semi-finals booked for Australian crews in Lithuania

Junior Men’s Double and Quadruple Sculls into Saturday’s semi-finals

Australia’s Junior Men’s Quadruple Scull and Junior Men’s Double Scull have both secured places in tomorrow’s A/B semi-finals at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships currently taking place in Trakai, Lithuania.

Meanwhile, the Junior Women’s Double Scull just missed out on a semi-final berth, after finishing in fourth in their quarter-final. The Junior Women’s Eight finished in fifth place in their repechage and will now contest Sunday’s B-Final.

Australia’s Men’s Quadruple Scull of Daniel Samus, Jackson Kench, Harry Crouch and Lachlan Stevenson had a battle on their hands in another thrilling race in Trakai, with the crew winning their repechage to secure a place in tomorrow’s semi-finals. The all New South Wales crew didn’t have a strong start and were fifth at the 500 metre marker, while New Zealand took the lead, with only the top three crews qualifying for the semi-finals.

As the crews pushed into the middle thousand, Australia upped its stroke rate to push past its competitors and sat in second at the 1500m line, a mere 0.48 of a second behind race-leaders New Zealand. However, the Czech Republic were also pushing for one of the top three places and as the three crews surged forward in the last 250 metres, there were mere fractions of seconds between Australia, New Zealand and the Czech Republic, with Australia crossing the line first, just 0.19 of a second ahead of its closest rival.

In the first quarter-final of the day, Fergus Hamilton and Cormac Kennedy-Leverett were hoping to back up their Junior Men’s Double Scull heat win with another strong performance in order to secure a place in Saturday’s semi-finals. In beautiful conditions, the Victoria-Queensland combination were in third at the 500m mark, with Greece leading the way in fast conditions.

As the crew reached the halfway mark, they pulled into second place and were about half a length behind the Greeks who began to pull further into the lead, while the Netherlands were frantically trying to stave off a challenge for third place by Austria. As the crews crossed the line, Australia took second, a length behind winners Greece, and booked themselves a place in Saturday’s semi-finals in Trakai.

The Junior Women’s Double Scull of Taylor McCarthy-Smith and Skyla Froebel, were the third Australian crew to race today in Lithuania. Needing a top three finish in their quarter-final, the duo faced stiff competition from Germany, Chile and Japan in their race.

The crew started strongly and were in third as they crossed the 500m line, with Germany and Chile in the lead. As the Australians began to build in the middle thousand, the Japanese made their move and upped their rating to pass McCarthy-Smith and Froebel and nip into third at the halfway mark.

As the crews approached the final quarter, the Australians upped their rating to 36 and began to sprint for the line in a bid to chase down the Japanese for the third semi-final spot, however the young crew ran out of water and finished in fourth place. They will now contest tomorrow’s C/D semi-final.

The Junior Women’s Eight faced a tough repechage, taking on an inform Belarus as well as the likes of USA and Russia. Needing a top two finish to secure a place in Sunday’s A-Finals, the Australians were quick out the start but favourites Russia and the USA were the early race leaders.

The crew of Jessica Thompson, Georgia Thomson, Mimi Tuddenham, Emmie Frederico, Brigid McKeagney-Douglas, Ruby Gioulekas, Sophie Balson, Jane Perrignon and coxswain Phoebe Georgakas were still amongst the competition as they approached the halfway mark, with two-thirds of a length separating all five crews.

However, as the Eight moved into the second half of the race, they dropped back to fifth place, while Russia surged further into the lead, and the USA were overtaken by Italy who picked up the second A-Final berth. Australia finished in fifth and will race the B-Final on Sunday against USA and Belarus.

Race times for Australian crews on Saturday 5 August 4, 2017
Junior Women’s Double Scull – C/D Semi-final – 10:09 local time (17:09 AEST)
Junior Men’s Quadruple Scull – A/B Semi-final – 12:03 local time (19:03 AEST)
Junior Men’s Double Scull – A/B Semi-final – 12:26 local time (19:26 AEST)