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Rowers begin their London campaign

28 July 2012

ROWING: Australia’s defending double sculls gold medallists David Crawshay and Scott Brennan had a disappointing start to the rowing competition at Eton Dorney today.

The duo will have to advance through a repechage event tomorrow if they are to remain in contention to defend the gold they won in Beijing after finishing fourth to Germany in their heat.

But they are confident they can improve after battling injuries in the lead-up.

The Aussies are also keen to improve their start after being slow out of the blocks today.

Germany registered a time of 6min.17.74sec. for the 2000m compared with the Australians’ time of 6:21.25.

But more bad news for the Aussies was that four other teams registered quicker times than Germany.

New Zealand won the third heat in 6:11.30 from Great Britain (6:11.94) and Argentina (6:13.68), and Norway won the second heat in 6:16.31.

 In the women’s pairs, Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait registered a respectable time of 7min.1.60sec. in winning the second heat from New Zealand.

But Great Britain’s duo Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are the team to beat for the gold medal after recording a fast 6:57.29 in the first heat.

Hornsey said she was confident of a good showing in the final, and welcomed not having to contest a repechage heat.

“We know we didn’t show all our cards in this race and have another gear to go up in the final,” she said.

In the men’s lightweight fours, Australia’s combination of Todd Skipworth, Anthony Edwards, Samuel Beltz and Benjamin Cureton finished second in their heat to Great Britain in a time of 5min.51.18sec. with the Brits registering 5:49.29.

Skipworth said it was always good to get the first race out of the way to test the conditions.

“Eton was a an unknown in terms of the conditions, so our first 1000m is always going to be important, and now we know how we want to set it up,” he said.

In the women’s single scull, Canberra’s Kim Crow showcased her credentials for a medal with a time of 7:41.18 in easily winning her heat.

Crow’s time was the slowest of the five heat winners, but she said she was saving herself for the double sculls event on Monday.

“I’m racing in the double on Monday so conserving (energy) is a high priority for me,” she said.

Ahead of Crow in the pecking order are China’s Xiuyan Zhang (7:21.49), Czech Miroslava Knapkova (7:24.17), Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus (7:30.31) and New Zealand’s Emma twigg (7:40.24).

Michael Stevens in London
Olympics.com.au 

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