Silver linings at rowing World Cup
28 May 2012
Australia’s new look men’s coxless four have thrown the challenge down to Great Britain in a thrilling final at World Cup 2 in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Joshua Dunkley-Smith (VIC), Drew Ginn (VIC), James Chapman (NSW) and Will Lockwood (VIC), who only formed as a combination in late March, took the race to their British rivals before winning the silver medal in their first regatta together.
The Australian quartet came out strongly in the opening strokes and raced to a quarter of a boat length lead through 500m, before doubling the gap by the halfway mark.
With the other four crews in the field well out of contention, Australia fended off the challenge of Great Britain until the closing 200m, before crossing the line in a time of 5:51.98, just 1.14 seconds behind the gold medallists.
Australia and Great Britain have shared the last five Olympic gold medals between them in the men’s coxless fours, with Australia triumphing in 1992 and 1996, before Great Britain rowed to gold in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
Dunkley-Smith and Ginn were part of the Australian four that won bronze at the 2011 world championships, but have been joined by Chapman and Lockwood this year.
Following their silver medal, further silver medals were won by Kim Crow (VIC) in the women’s single scull and the men’s double scull of David Crawshay (VIC) and Scott Brennan (TAS).
After the first two days of the regatta provided fast tail wind conditions, the water was flatter on the concluding day but Crow once again adapted.
The dual world championship silver medallist from 2010 and 2011 in the women’s double scull once again enjoyed a fast start and by the 1000m mark held close to a two boat length lead over the chasing pack.
The Victorian, who is still scheduled to row the women’s double scull with Brooke Pratley (NSW) later this year in London, fought desperately to hold onto her lead in the race to the line but was unable to prevent China’s Xiuyun Zhang from winning the gold medal.
The silver medal, in a time of 7:26.42, was still an excellent feat for Crow, who was able to add to the World Cup bronze medal she won in the women’s single scull in 2010.
Crow said it was a satisfying end to a busy week that had seen her race six times in eight days.
“I am absolutely stuffed but it was a great week and I am really happy with my performances,” Crow said. “It’s been an incredible week and to win the silver medal today was a nice way to cap it off.”
Olympic champions Crawshay and Brennan stormed home in the men’s double scull to win an excellent silver medal.
Sitting in third place through the 1500m mark, Crawshay and Brennan’s surge to the line saw them overhaul France in the last stroke to record a time of 6:15.66 and finish less than a second behind Germany.
In other finals results on Sunday the women’s eight crew, who qualified the boat for the London Games earlier in the week, finished fourth, a result that was matched by the women’s pair of Sarah Tait (VIC) and Kate Hornsey (TAS).
The women’s quad scull of Kerry Hore (TAS), Dana Faletic (TAS), Pauline Frasca (VIC) and Amy Clay (NSW) finished sixth, while the men’s eight also recorded a sixth place result in their final.
The Australian Rowing Team will now travel to the Australian Institute of Sport’s European Training Centre in Varese, Italy where it will complete a two-week training camp ahead of World Cup 3.
World Cup 3 will be staged in Munich, Germany between June 15-17 and serves as the last regatta ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games.