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Silver and bronze for Australia at World Rowing Cup 3

Para-rowing crews claim medals; Six more boats progress to A-Finals

Australia’s para-rowers claimed the country’s first medals of World Rowing Cup 3 today. In fast and furious rowing conditions, Erik Horrie won bronze in the Arms Shoulders Men’s Single Sculls, while Kathryn Ross and Gavin Bellis took home silver in the Trunk and Arms Mixed Double Sculls.

In the Arms and Shoulders Men’s Single Sculls, Horrie was drawn in Lane 2 and took on Igor Bondar and Roman Polianskyi of Ukraine, Tom Aggar of Great Britain, Rene Pereira of Brazil and Fabrizio Caselli of Italy. In extremely fast conditions in Poland, Ukraine’s Bondar shot out the start with team-mate Polianskyi and Australia’s Horrie hot on his heels.

However, Bondar’s fast start meant Horrie was chasing him for the majority of the race and the battle ultimately became between the Penrith-local and Polianskyi for second and third. As they came to the line, it was Bondar who took the win, and a new world record, Polianskyi in second and reigning World Champion, Horrie in third.

Post-race, Horrie said: “I am really happy with this result because the Ukrainians raced really well. Ultimately, everyone is now focussing on is the Paralympic Games, which is the title everyone really wants.”

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Erik Horrie, right, won bronze in the ASM1x

Meanwhile, World Champions in the TAMix2x, Bellis and Ross were fast out of the start in their A-Final, but faced some stiff competition from France, Netherlands, Brazil, Poland and Ukraine. The Australians were in the lead at the half-way mark, but France and the Netherlands were chasing the Canberra-based crew and margins were close.

As they approached the 750 metre mark the race remained tight and just two and a half lengths separated the field, no matter what, the finish would involve a big sprint. As they approached the line, the French crew of Perle Bouge and Stephane Tardieu made a surge and pulled ahead of the Australians and took the win by just a half-second, while the Netherlands finished in third.

Post-race, Bellis said: “The plan was to go out hard because we haven’t done any races yet this season. We are brushing off the cobwebs. It was a perfect test case before we go back to the cold Australian winter to train ahead of Paralympic selections being announced.”

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Gavin Bellis and Kathryn Ross with their silver medals

In the Men’s Pair semi-finals, first up was Spencer Turrin and Alexander Lloyd, who along with Serbia and Great Britain were the favourites to book the top three places and a spot in the A-Final. Turrin and Lloyd got away quickly with Serbia and Great Britain in hot pursuit and as they approached the halfway mark only a second separated the top three crews.

Great Britain’s Alan Sinclair and Stewart Innes then made a big push to go ahead of Australia and Serbia to take the win, while Australia hung on for second and a place in the A-Finals.

Australia’s second crew in the Men’s Pair event, James Medway and Joshua Hicks, were drawn in the second semi-final, against World Champions New Zealand. The pair, who are the men’s sweep reserves, finished sixth overall, with New Zealand, Great Britain and Italy taking the A-Final positions.

David Watts and Chris Morgan took to the water in the Men’s Double Sculls semi-finals and at the halfway mark were in fourth, with New Zealand, France and Great Britain in the top three positions. As they approached the final 500 metres, the Australians challenged, along with Cuba, but the Kiwis had sewn up the win, with France and Britain second and third. The crew will contest the B-Final tomorrow.

The Men’s Four of Alex Hill, Joshua Booth, Joshua Dunkley-Smith and William Lockwood had finished second to Great Britain in the heat and therefore needed a top four finish to make the A-Finals. The crew led their race from start to finish with a smooth and composed race to book a spot in the A-Final.

Kim Brennan reserved a place for herself in the A-Finals of the Women’s Single Sculls after she led her race from start to finish. The reigning World Champion was the early leader in the race, leaving the rest of the field to battle it out for the remaining two spots that would secure a place in the A-Final on Sunday. As Brennan crossed the line in first, it was Magdalena Lobnig of Austria in second and Lisa Scheenaard of the Netherlands in third; joining the three of them in the A-Final tomorrow will be New Zealand’s Emma Twigg, Fie Udby Erichsen of Denmark and Switzerland’s Jeannine Gmelin.

The Women’s Quadruple Sculls of Jessica Hall, Jennifer Cleary, Kerry Hore and Madeleine Edmunds had a preliminary race today, ahead of their A-Final tomorrow. The crew finished third and will tomorrow race against crews from Germany, Poland and The Netherlands.

In the C-Final of the Women’s Single Sculls, Olympia Aldersey led for the majority of her race, but was just pipped in the final 250 metres by Sweden who took first, Netherlands second and Aldersey third. Just two seconds separated the three crews at the finish line.

Tomorrow’s race times are listed below for Australia’s crews.

Time AEST (Local Time in Brackets) Boat Class  Crew Lane Competition in race Type of Race
17:35 AEST (09:35 CEST) Men’s Pair Medway and Hicks Two GER 1, NZL 2, GER 2, ROU 2, HUN B-Final
17:55 AEST (09:55 CEST) Men’s Double Sculls Morgan and Watts One CUB, CHN and NED B-Final
18:48 AEST (10:48 CEST) Men’s Pair Turrin and Lloyd Five ITA 1, GBR 1 & 2, NZL 1 and SRB A-Final
19:33 AEST (11:33 CEST) Men’s Four Lockwood, Dunkley-Smith, Booth and Hill Two GER, ITA, GBR, BLR 1 and ROU A-Final
19:48 AEST (11:48 CEST) Women’s Quad Sculls Hall, Hore, Cleary and Edmunds One POL, GER and NED A-Final
20:03 AEST (12:03 CEST) Men’s Quad Sculls Forsterling, Belonogoff, Girdlestone and McRae Four SUI, POL, GER, ITA and GBR A-Final
20:48 AEST (12:48 CEST) Women’s Double Sculls Kehoe and Horton Four FRA, NZL, POL, BLR1 and GBR A-Final
21:33 AEST (13:33 CEST) Women’s Single Sculls Brennan Four NED 1, AUT 1, NZL 1, SUI and DEN A-Final