Four topple Britain in Olympic preview
17 June 2012
The men’s four has led Australia’s charge on the final day of World Cup 3 with an excellent gold medal as Australian crews won five medals in OLympic events Sunday in Munich, Germany.
Adding to the gold medal won by the men’s four, in cool light head wind conditions, were silver medals to the women’s double scull, lightweight men’s four, men’s pair and men’s eight as Australia’s build-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games continued to gather pace.
The Australian men’s four of Joshua Dunkley-Smith (VIC), Drew Ginn (VIC), James Chapman (NSW) and Will Lockwood (VIC) won silver behind Great Britain at World Cup 2 but reversed that result in the semi-final to row from a middle lane in today’s final.
The Australian quartet chased another quick start and by the 1000m mark had edged into a 0.16 second lead over the equally fast starting British crew.
The margin had pushed out to over a second through 1500m as Australia prepared for the customary British sprint to the line, but responded to the challenge and held their form to win the gold medal in a time of 6:10.28.
Kim Crow (VIC) and Brooke Pratley (NSW) showed their class in the women’s double scull to win the silver medal behind Great Britain.
Pratley only returned to full training after World Cup 2 three weeks ago, with her absence at that regatta allowing Crow to win silver in the women’s single scull.
Great Britain jumped to almost a boat length lead by the 500m mark today, but Crow and Pratley responded well to reduce the margin to under half a length heading into the final quarter of the race.
Australia’s stroke rate was under that of Great Britain for the majority of the 2000m, and despite Great Britain pulling away over the closing stages, Australia comfortably won silver in a time of 7:11.92.
Brodie Buckland (NSW) and James Marburg (VIC) showed their growing confidence as a men’s pair by also winning silver behind current world champions New Zealand.
Buckland and Marburg were in fourth place behind New Zealand, France and Italy at the 1500m mark but produced a superb finish to surge past the two European crews.
The Australian pair crossed the line in a time of 6:47.72, just under five seconds shy of New Zealand and a second clear of France in third place.
The lightweight men’s four crew of Todd Skipworth (WA), Ben Cureton (WA), Sam Beltz (TAS) and Anthony Edwards (TAS) were the third Australian crew on Sunday to win silver as they came steaming home in the last 1000m.
Australia was fifth through 1000m but passed Denmark, France and Switzerland in the third quarter of the race.
The Skipworth stroked crew was unable to catch Great Britain in the race to the line and recorded a time of 6:18.81 to seal the silver medal.
In the final race of the regatta Australia’s men’s eight produced their best row of the international season to date to win silver behind Poland.
Coxed by Toby Lister (NSW), the crew also featuring Bryn Coudraye (SA), Matt Ryan (NSW), Nicholas Purnell (NSW), Tom Swann (VIC), Josh Booth (VIC), Cameron McKenzie-McHarg (VIC), Francis Hegerty (NSW) and Sam Loch (NSW) held the lead after 500m before Poland took command of the race.
Despite being challenged by Great Britain, Australia was too strong in the closing strokes to win the silver medal in a time of 5:41.40, half a length behind Poland.
In other racing on the final competition day before the 2012 London Olympic Games, the women’s quad scull finished fourth, while the men’s quad and women’s eight were both fifth.
The Australian Rowing Team will now return to the Australian Institute of Sport’s European Training Centre and complete a five-week training block.
Rowing Australia will nominate athletes to the Australian Olympic Committee later this week ahead of the naming of the rowing section of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team.