Australia’s golden girl reclaims World Championship crown
7 September 2015
ROWING: Kim Crow has been crowned World Champion in the women’s single scull on the final day of the 2015 World Rowing Championships.
The Victorian-born single sculler replicated the winning form she has displayed throughout the regatta in Aiguebelette, France to reclaim the title she won in 2013 in Chungju, South Korea.
Crow faced off to a strong field featuring China, Canada, Switzerland, USA and 2012 Olympic Champion, Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic. However, the sculler who is coached by Lyall McCarthy at the National Training Centre in Canberra dominated her race to lead from start to finish in blustery conditions. Crossing the line in 7 minutes 38 seconds, Crow was followed by Knapkova and Jingli Duan of China.
“This feels really special. It’s been a really fun year, I’ve got a great training group around me in Canberra, I’ve just got engaged, I’m getting married later in the year [to Olympic gold medalist Scott Brennan] and to round it off with a World Championship title is just fantastic.
“I think I’ve been around long enough to know that in the pre-Olympic year, and in the Olympic year, a lot of people really step up and it’s always a mistake to use past form to suggest as to how a result is going to pan out so for me today was about staying calm and executing my race and I think it paid off.”
In the other Australian A-Final of the day it was the men’s double scull of Alexander Belonogoff and James McRae in action. The crew coached by Rhett Ayliffe were drawn in a tough A-Final up against reigning World Champions the Sinkovic brothers as well as Lithuania, Germany, New Zealand and France.
Predictably the Sinkovic brothers went out hard and led the race from start to finish and the battle ensued for the remaining podium places. The Australians were out of luck today though with Lithuania and New Zealand take silver and bronze while the Australians finished in fifth.
In the B-Final of the women’s double scull Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey were up against crews from Czech Republic, USA, China, Belarus and France. Needing a top five finish to book a place for the boat in Rio de Janeiro, coached by Jason Lane, the Australians powered out the start and took the lead.
At the halfway mark the Australians were still leading but the Chinese crew of Weiwei Zhu and Yuwei Wang began to make their move and by the 1500 metre mark they had moved past the Australians and then the French and Belarussians dug into their reserves to push past the Australians to snap silver and bronze. By virtue of finishing top 11, the Australians qualified their boat for Rio de Janeiro next year.
The B-Final of the women’s eight saw Australia face off Germany, China and Romania. The young crew coached by Andrew Randell leapt out of the start and were leading through the middle kilometre but the Romanians were fast chasing them. As the crews closed in on the final 500 metres, the Romanians upped their stroke rate and passed Sarah Banting’s crew to finish in first, while the Australians claimed second and are now ranked eighth in the world.
The B-Final of the men’s eight featured Spain, USA, Poland, France and China. The USA and Poland powered out the starts and it was those two who maintained the lead for the majority of the race. The Australians, coxed by David Webster, were fourth at the 500 metre mark but pushed their way through to take third and sat there till the conclusion of the race. The Australian crew concluded the regatta ranked ninth overall.
The World Rowing Championships concluded on Sunday with Australia having qualified and seven Olympic boats (W1x, M2x, W2x, M4x, W4x, M2- and M4-) and two Paralympic boats (ASM1x and TAMix2x) for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.