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Rowing best just misses podium - Day 6

3 August 2012

ROWING: Australia have missed out on the medals in the lightweight men’s four and women’s eight on the second day of finals at Eton Dorney.

The lightweight men’s four – Todd Skipworth (stroke), Benjamin Cureton, Samuel Beltz, Anthony Edwards - gave it a great crack with the current world champions, rowing hard from lane 6 to be second to Denmark after 500m and again at the 1000m and 1500m marks. They looked comfortable and when they made their move looked like they would catch the Danes over the final 500 metres.

But the challenges came hard and fast. First Great Britain and then the flying South Africans, who upstaged everyone to take the gold on the line in 6:02.84. The British got the silver and Denmark the bronze with the Australian challenge fading over the final 150 metres. Only 0.32 seconds separated gold from bronze and Australia was less than a second off bronze with 6:04.05.

Edwards who was rowing in the bow seat was disappointed but knew the crew had put themselves in the right spot to medal.

“We couldn’t have done anything more,” Edwards said. “It was a great start today, and a great middle 1000. We just didn’t have anything left in the last 200.”

The Australian women’s eight were the slowest of the six crews at the start before pushing hard to stay in touch with the leaders and sit fourth after 500m. Halfway down the course the Australians were fifth with the United States, Canada and Netherlands clearing out from Romania, Australia and Great Britain.

The Australian crew of Phoebe Stanley (stroke), Sally Kehoe, Alexandra Hagan, Tess Gerrand, Sarah Cook, Robyn Selby Smith, Renee Chatterton, Hannah Vermeersch and Elizabeth Patrick (cox) had  slipped to fifth at the halfway mark before eventually being pipped on the line by the British to place sixth, in 6:18.86sec.
The USA took the gold in 6:10.59, ahead of Canada and The Netherlands.

In semi-final racing Australia qualified for the final both the women’s single sculls and lightweight double sculls on Day 6 at the Eton Dorney rowing site.
Kim Crow finished second in her single sculls semi-final, in 7min 44.69sec. Czechoslovakia’s Miroslava Knapkova was first, in 7:42.57.

Bronwen Watson and Hannah Every-Hall were third in their lightweight double sculls semi, in 7:12.35. China’s Dongxiang Xu and Wenyi Huang won the heat in 7:10.39, from Denmark’s Anne Lolk Thomsen and Juliane Rasmussen, in 7:10.93.

The finals of the two events will be held on Day 8.

Greg Prichard

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