The New Zealand Junior Rowing Team is coming home with one silver medal and some valuable racing experience from the World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania.
The junior champions for 2017 were decided today on the waters of Lake Galve, including three New Zealand crews facing A finals and three facing B finals.
The junior men’s four asserted themselves as the second-fastest in the world with a confident silver-medal performance.
Daniel Williamson, Thomas Russel, Matthew Macdonald and Ben Taylor were strong contenders after a solid performance in yesterday’s semi-final.
Today Great Britain dominated the race to take gold, but New Zealand stayed calm and collected to maintain their silver medal position down the course.
New Zealand stayed hot on the heels of the British, winding the pace up in the last 250 metres and leaving Romania and Croatia tussling for bronze. Romania eventually managed to get one up on Croatia to round out the podium.
“We just said go in the last 500 metres. They (Great Britain) are a class crew, and this is a really special environment.” said crew member Matthew Macdonald, who is competing at the championships for the first time.
The nerves were high in the men’s pair A final, with a false start from Sardor Tulkinkhujaev and Alisher Turdiev of Uzbekistan forcing a restart.
New Zealand’s Sam Jones and James Hall finished fifth in the hotly-contested event.
Jones and Hall started conservatively while Stefan Constantin-Berariu and Florin-Sorin Lehaci of Romania, brothers Patrik and Anton Loncaric of Croatia and Turkey’s Ayden Sahin and Ismail Ali Bekiroglu made a breakaway.
Unable to bridge the gap, Jones and Hall were fourth equal with Uzbekistan at the 1500 metre mark but were beaten to the line by less than a second. Croatia took gold, Romania silver and Turkey claimed bronze.
Grace Loveridge, Kate Haines, Grace Watson and Kate Littlejohn finished the regatta as the sixth fastest junior women’s four in the world.
The four couldn’t quite match the absolutely rocketing pace in the A final, hanging on gallantly but unable to move up through the field despite best efforts.
Croatia won gold with a commanding lead while Romania held second for silver and USA took bronze.
Single sculler Bradley Leydon finished his world championship campaign with a sixth place in the B final
Leydon charged out of the blocks, leading in the first half of the race before running out of gas and dropping back through the field.
Janis Timbors of Latvia claimed the victory with Jonas Juel of Norway in second and Fabian Baranski of Poland in third.
Grace Holland and Rosie Ireland put in a powerful sprint finish to claim fifth in the women’s pair B final.
Rachel Heap and Celia Matthews of Great Britain took a convincing win, followed by Belarus and the USA.
Holland and Ireland dug deep at the 1000 metre mark to move from sixth to fifth and put in an impressive sprint on the line, finishing in a time of 8:08.50.
Finn Jenkins, Mark Taylor, Luke Brady and Sam Monkley took sixth place in the men’s quadruple sculls B final.
The New Zealanders were sitting in fourth place at the 500 metre mark but by the mid way point all crews were within a length and a half of each other and the fight to the line was on.
It looked to be anyone’s race with crews ramping up the ratings in a final bid for victory however USA snatched the win in 6:17.89 with the Czech Republic taking second and Australia third.
The regatta concludes the season for the New Zealand Junior Rowing Team, who will now return to New Zealand before the domestic season begins later in the year.
Full results are available at worldrowing.com
Three New Zealand crews will race for world championship honours at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Lithuania.
The final line ups were confirmed after a thrilling day of semi-final racing on Lake Galve in Trakai.
With crews needing a top-three finish to secure a berth in the medal race the pressure was on and the pace was high.
Sam Jones and James Hall fought their way into the A final after a very tight men's pair semi-final which saw less than a second separating second and fourth.
Romania took a comfortable win while New Zealand, Uzbekistan and Italy were all bowball to bowball coming in to the finish.
Jones and Hall managed to nudge ahead to take second while Uzbekistan forced Italy into the B final by claiming third.
The women's four will also race for a medal in tomorrow’s A final following a third place finish in their semi-final.
Grace Loveridge, Kate Haines, Grace Watson and Kate Littlejohn crossed the line just behind China and the USA in a sensational race.
The New Zealanders held off a flying charge for the line from Great Britain to retain third place, with just 0.6 seconds separating the two boats.
The men's four of Daniel Williamson, Thomas Russel, Matthew Macdonald and Ben Taylor will also face an A final after a comfortable and confident second place in their semi-final.
For the length of the course the four put pressure on leaders Great Britain with a clear water advantage ahead of third place Germany. Britain claimed the win a canvas ahead of New Zealand and Germany retained third.
Bradley Leydon will line up in the men's single sculls B final after finishing sixth in his semi-final.
Moritz Wolff of Germany shot into the lead and left the rest of the field scrambling to chase down the course. Leydon started conservatively in fourth place but couldn't hold the pace and dropped behind the field to cross the line in sixth.
Grace Holland and Rosie Ireland faced a tough women's pair semi-final, also finishing in sixth place.
The Greek pair of Margarita Geogoudi and Christina Boumpou were untouchable, powering down the course to take a convincing win with Germany and Lithuania taking the other A final berths.
Holland and Ireland will contend tomorrow's B final.
It was a fast and furious race in the men's quad semi-final.
Finn Jenkins, Mark Taylor, Luke Brady and Sam Monkley slipped from fourth to fifth as frontrunners Switzerland unleashed a blistering performance. Italy and Denmark rounded out the top three.
The fifth place finish means the New Zealanders will contest the B final tomorrow.
Gus Olifiers and Manawa McLaughlin concluded their world championship campaign with a sixth place finish in the men's double sculls C final.
The duo were the fastest crew in the C/D semi-final earlier in the day but couldn't find the same speed in the flying final won by local favourites Titas Masanauskas and Paulius Cernevicius.
Olifiers and McLaughlin crossed the line in a time of 6:53.180.
Veronica Wall and Sydney Johnson finished a very tight women's double sculls C final in sixth place with a time of 7:31.82.
Wall and Johnson held a strong mid-field position down the course but a late dash for the finish line saw them overtaken by the USA and Denmark. Skyla Froebel and Taylor McCarthy-Smith of Australia claimed the win in a time of 7:24.250.
Racing concludes tomorrow with A and B finals.
Full results, schedule and live commentary at worldrowing.com
The New Zealand Junior Rowing Team will compete at the Junior World Rowing Championships, beginning tonight (NZT) in Trakai, Lithuania.The team includes 21 athletes in eight crews. Six of these athletes are returning rowers from the 2016 Junior Team who bring valuable experience to their crews.
The regatta runs from 2 - 6 August on Lake Galve, Trakai. Lake Galve was the host of the 2013 Junior World Rowing Championships, and the 2012 Under 23 World Rowing Championships.
New Zealand Junior Rowing Team 2017, to attend the World Junior Rowing Championships
Lake Galve, Trakai, Lithuania 2 - 6 August 2017
Junior Women's Coxless Four
Nick Barton (coach)
Junior Women's Double Scull
Bruce Jones (coach)
Reserve Junior Women's Coxless Pair
Nick Barton (coach)
Junior Men's Quadruple Scull
Ian Bright (coach)
Junior Men's Coxless Four
Tony O'Connor (coach)
Junior Men's Coxless Pair
Tony O'Connor (coach)
Men's Single Scull
Bruce Jones (coach)
Reserve Junior Men's Double Scull
Ian Bright (coach)
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