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U23 Men’s Four into A-Final after setting new U23 World Championship best time

Antill books semi-final berth; Semi-Finals and A-Finals to be live-streamed on World Rowing’s website

Day three of the 2017 World Rowing U23 Championships proved to once again be a hot one, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees. Three Australian crews were in action, the U23 Men’s Four, U23 Women’s Four and the U23 Men’s Single Scull.

The Men’s Four won their semi-final in a blistering time of 5 minutes 44 seconds to not only secure themselves a place in the A-Final but also a new World Rowing U23 Championships record for that boat class. Caleb Antill finished second in the quarter-final of in the U23 Men’s Single Scull to reserve a spot for himself in tomorrow’s (Saturday) semi-finals, while the U23 Women’s Four raced a tough semi-final finishing in sixth place, which means they will contest the B-Final of their boat class tomorrow.

Deputy Performance Director, Jaime Fernandez said: “It is very pleasing that we have so far qualified five boats for A-Finals, with the potential for one more. The opportunity now exists for some really positive outcomes from the crews who have worked hard in the lead up to this regatta.

“It was fantastic to see the Men’s Four do such a good job in their semi-final and set a new World Championship best time, which is hopefully something they can replicate once again in tomorrow’s A-Final.”

The U23 Men’s Four of Adam Bakker, Liam Donald, Harley Moore and Robert Black had another great race in Plovdiv today (Friday). The crew, coached by Antonio Maurogiovanni, won their heat to progress straight to today’s semi-finals and they meant business as soon as they left the start.

Facing strong competition from Great Britain, who won the other heat in this boat class and were drawn in the lane next to them, the crew set off at a blistering pace in hot conditions. While the other crews duked it out for the lower ranked positions, Australia and Great Britain yo-yoed the lead of the race, with Australia holding the upper hand for the majority of it.

As the two crews crossed the 1500m marker, the Australians upped their rating again to surge ahead of the British and, in doing so, crossed the line not only to secure themselves first place and a berth in the A-Final but also a place in the record books. Their time of 5 minutes 44 seconds was a new World Rowing U23 Championships record.

Antill’s quarter-final saw him taken on crews from Austria, Germany Poland, Sweden and The Bahamas. There was some excitement as the race got underway with the Bahamas sculler capsizing just a few hundred metres into the race.

Needing a top three finish to make tomorrow’s semi-finals, the Canberra-born sculler sat back in third for the first half of the race, with Sweden and Poland battling it out for first and second.

Upping his rating in the third five hundred, Antill pushed past the Swedish sculler to take second place, chasing down Poland who was still in the lead. As they were approaching the final 250 metres, Germany overtook Sweden to snap up third, while Antill maintained second place finishing in a time of 6 minutes 51 seconds, 1.35 seconds behind the victorious Polish sculler – with all three progressing to the semi-finals.

The U23 Women’s Four of Rafaela Stalph, Elise Franetic, India Dempsey and Amanda Bateman took on their semi-final in the late afternoon sunshine in a bid to join the other Australian crews that had made A-Finals at this regatta.

The crew, who won their repechage yesterday, were facing stiff competition from Italy, Germany and Denmark who had all qualified for the semi-final automatically earlier in the week.

In fast conditions, the Italians were quick off the mark leaving the rest of the field in their wake. The Australian crew started well but were pushed down the pack as Italy, Germany and Denmark showed their prowess. As the crews crossed the line, Australia found itself in sixth place and into tomorrow’s B-Final.

Race schedule for Saturday 22 July at World Rowing U23 Championships


All A-Finals and semi-finals live-streamed on World Rowing’s website


U23 Men’s Single Scull (Antill) – Semi-Final, 12:52 local time (19:52 AEST) – top three to A-Final

U23 Women’s Four (Stalph, Franetic, Dempsey and Bateman) – B-Final, 15:55 local time (22:55 AEST)

U23 Men’s Coxed Four (Youl, Hardy, Judge, Marsh and Litt) – A-Final, 16:48 local time (23:48 AEST)

U23 Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Scull (Russell, Zilm, Masters and Williams) – A-Final, 17:03 local time (00:03 AEST)

U23 Women’s Pair (McIntyre and Cox) – A-Final, 17:33 local time (00:33 AEST)

U23 Women’s Quadruple Scull (Cronin, Meredith, Horton and Hudson) – A-Final, 18:03 local time (01:03 AEST)

U23 Men’s Four (Bakker, Donald, Moore and Black) – A-Final, 18:18 local time (01:18 AEST)