By Rupert Guinness with the Australian Rowing Team in Belgrade
The passion and drive of Annabelle McIntyre OAM and Jessica Morrison OAM for their Olympic Games campaign in the Women’s Pair will ramp up after they won Silver at the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, on Saturday.
Their medal Australia’s second of the World Championships and the high point of a frustrating day for the Australian Rowing Team. The Championships end on Sunday when Australia will have four boats vying for medals in the A Finals; Erik Horrie in the PR1 Men’s Single Scull, Tara Rigney in the Women’s Single Scull and then in the Men’s and Women’s Eights.
The Pair’s form leading into the world titles had them billed as favourites. They had been undefeated in every race in Europe this season and won Gold at World Cup II in Varese in June and World Cup III in Lucerne in July.
But in the A Final, McIntyre and Morrison were beaten by the Ymkje Clevering and Veronique Meester of The Netherlands.
The Dutch employed the same tactics they used against the Australians in the Semi Final, blasting away from the start and take an early lead. The only difference this time was that they held their lead all the way to the finish to spring the upset and take Gold.
Quote of the Day
“We couldn’t believe when we got over the finish – I looked left. I looked right, and it was ‘what? we are first?’” – Benthe Boonstra of the Dutch Women’s Four on their victory.
Fun Fact of the Day
A lot of dirty laundry builds up over a World Championships regatta, especially in the heat and humidity of Belgrade. Since the Australian Rowing Team of 61 athletes and 23 staff arrived last Tuesday week, five loads of dirty clothes weighing up to 183kgs each have gone out for washing.
The Dutch victory came in 7:20.52. Australia was second in 7:22.90; Romania third in 7:24.33; followed by Ireland in 7:28.99; Chile in 7:34.39; and the United States in 7:34.43.
“They got the jump on us. Whenever we moved, they moved and sat in front of us the whole way,” McIntyre said after the race.
McIntyre said her and Morrison will use the setback as a platform to learn from for the 2024 Olympic Games, for which they had already qualified the boat for by making the A Final. Crew qualification takes place early next year.
“We didn’t come away with what we wanted; but that shows how strong the field is,” McIntyre said “It makes us really excited, really hungry for [next] season.
“We will step away, dissect the race and commit to some things we want to build on for next season. The elements are there. We just need to really refine them.”
McIntyre credited the Dutch for their hunger on the water.
“This is a really good example of what can happen when someone just really, really wants something,” McIntyre said.
“That’s kind of what every crew is up against; and it’s going to be showing even more next year. So, it’s really just about taking all those sorts of bits of knowledge that you gained from a regatta like this and putting them into play next year.”
On Saturday, Australia qualified one more boat for the Olympics – the Men’s Pair that placed second in the B Final. Australia now has six boats qualified for the Olympics and three for the Paralympics with one more day of racing to go.
Australia had four other boats racing A Finals on Saturday, but none were able to add further to Australia’s medal tally.
In the Men’s Four, Olympic champions Alex Hill OAM, Jack Hargreaves OAM, Spencer Turrin OAM, Alex Purnell OAM placed fifth. Great Britain won in 6:04.35, from the United States in 6:06.37, New Zealand in 6:08.44, The Netherlands in 6:12.38; Australia in 6:20.09 and then France in 6:24.94.
The Women’s Four of Giorgia Patten, Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe, Lucy Stephen OAM were also fifth. The Netherlands won in 6:41.82 from Romania in 6:43.29; Great Britain in 6:44.31; the United States in 6:47.39; Australia in 6:48.23 and China in 6:49.81.
The Women’s Quad Scull of Rowena Meridith, Caitlin Cronin, Harriet Hudson, Kate Rowan continued that theme with a fifth-placing. Great Britain won in 6:29.70; from The Netherlands in 6:30.37; China in 6:35.05; Switzerland in 6:38.49; Australia in 6:40.06; and Romania in 6:42.69
In the PR3 Mixed Coxed Four the crew of Tom Birtwhistle, Harrison Nichols, Jessica Gallagher, Susannah Lutze, and cox Teesan Koo finished fourth. Great Britain won in 7:22.20 from the United States in 7:25.01; Germany in 7:29.74, Australia in 7:32.83, France in 7:35.21 and China in 7:58.62.
The Men’s Pair of Fergus Hamilton and Simon Keenan threw everything into their bid to win, and they came so close. But they still qualified the boat for the Olympics. With 11 spots up for grabs in the boat they needed a top-five finish.
Hamilton and Keenan led out of the start and for most of the race until Spain passed them in the last 250m to win in 6:35.76. Australia was second in 6:36.15, followed by New Zealand in 6:37.28; Italy in 6:37.45; Croatia in 6:38.27 and Denmark, the last to finish and miss qualification, in 6:38.43.
The Men’s Quad Scull of Caleb Antill, Jack Cleary, Dave Bartholot, Henry Youl finished fifth. But they needed to win to qualify the boat for Paris. Romania was first in 5:49.89 followed by Estonia in 5:53.44, the USA in 5:54.78; Norway in 5:54.87; Australia in 5:54.87 and then Ukraine in 5:58.49.
The Women’s Lightweight Double Scull of Anneka Reardon, Lucy Coleman had an excellent race to win in 6:57.16. Second was Austria in 7:00.49; then Denmark in 7:01.96; Germany in 7:04.85; Spain in 7:06.80 and Tunisia in 7:11.27.
Finally, the Men’s Lightweight Double Scull of Oscar McGuinness, Sean Murphy placed fourth. Greece won in 6:17.79 from Turkey 6:19.74, Uruguay in 6:20.38, Australia in 6:20.79, Portugal in 6:21.21 and finally Estonia in 6:33.05
Day 7: Full Australian Results
Crew: Alex Hill OAM, Jack Hargreaves OAM, Spencer Turrin OAM, Alex Purnell OAM (Coach: Rhett Ayliffe)
Result (A Final): 1. GBR 6:04.35; 2 USA 6:06.37; 3. NZL 6:08.44; 4. NED 6:12.38; 5. AUS 6:20.09; 6. FRA 6:24.92
Men’s Lightweight Double Scull
Crew: Oscar McGuinness, Sean Murphy (Coach: Larrissa Biesenthal/Lyall McCarthy)
Result (C Final): 1. GRE 6:17.79; 2. TUR 6:19.74; 3. URU 6:20.38; 4. AUS 6:20.79; 5. POR 6:21.21; 6. EST 6:33.05
Crew: Fergus Hamilton, Simon Keenan (Coach: Laryssa Biesenthal)
Result (B Final): 1. ESP 6:35.76; 2. AUS 6:36.15; 3. NZL 6:37.28; 4. ITA 6:37.45; 5. CRO 6:38.27; 6. DEN 6:38.43
Men’s Quad Scull
Crew: Caleb Antill, Jack Cleary, Dave Bartholot, Henry Youl (Coach: Don McLachlan)
Result (B Final): 1. ROU 5:49.89; 2. EST 5:53.44; 3. USA 5:54.78; 4. 5:54.87; 5. AUS 5:54.87; 6. UKR 5:58.49
Crew: Jessica Morrison OAM, Annabelle McIntyre OAM (Coach: John Keogh)
Result (A Final): 1. NED 7:20.52; 2. AUS 7:22.90; 3. ROU 7:24.33; 4. IRL 7:28.99; 5. CHI 7:34.39; 6. USA 7:34.43
Crew: Giorgia Patten, Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe, Lucy Stephen OAM (Coach: Tom Westgarth)
Result (A Final): 1. NED 6:41.82; 2. ROU 6:43.29; 3. GBR 6:44.31; 4. USA 6:47.39; 5. AUS 6:48.23; 6. CHN 6:49.81
Women’s Quad Scull
Crew: Rowena Meridith, Caitlin Cronin, Harriet Hudson, Kathryn Rowan (Coach: Tom Westgarth)
Result (A Final): 1. GBR 6:29.70; 2. NED 6:30.37; 3 CHN 6:35.05; 4. 6:38.49; 5. 6:40.06; 6. ROU 6:42.69
Women’s Lightweight Double Scull
Crew: Anneka Reardon, Lucy Coleman (Coach: Ellen Randell)
Result (C Final): 1. AUS 6:57.16; 2. AURT 7:00.49; 3. DEN 7:01.96; 4. GER 7:04.85; 5. ESP 7:06.80; 6. TUN 7:11.27
PR3 Mixed Coxed Four
Crew: Tom Birtwhistle, Harrison Nichols, Jessica Gallagher, Susannah Lutze, (cox) Teesan Koo (Coach: James Loveday)
Result (A Final): 1. GBR 7:22.20; 2. USA 7:25.01; 3. GER 7:29.74; 4. AUS 7:32.83; 5. FRA 7 :35.21;6. CHN 7 :58.62