Saturday 30 August
Bronze for Australia's Men's Four at 2014 World Rowing Championships
ARTeam set to contest four A-Finals tomorrow; Live broadcast on Fox Sports Australia
Australia's Men's Coxless Four walked away with a bronze medal today in the final of the 2014 World Rowing Championships in what was a hard fought race on the Bosbaan in The Netherlands.
The dominant crew in this boat class in the 2014 season has been Great Britain, and they quickly proved themselves to be the team to beat once again in racing conditions. They flew out of the start very quickly, pursued by the USA, 2013 World Champions The Netherlands as well as Australia's crew of Fergus Pragnell, Joshua Dunkley-Smith, Spencer Turrin and Alexander Lloyd.
Australia sat back in fourth for the first 1000 metres of the race before making its move on the Dutch crew, who were third at that same point, much to the chagrin of the home supporters. It was going to be a tough call for the Australian crew to chase down both the USA and Great Britain, but Lloyd upped the stroke rate to 38 and the crew pushed on, hot on the heels of the USA.
As they approached the line, the Australians were closing in on the USA but missed out on taking the silver off the Americans by just 0.57 seconds, as Great Britain took the gold in a time of 5:40:24, a time that was 3.34 seconds quicker than Australia.
Post-race, Dunkley-Smith said the variable weather conditions had perhaps not helped the crew's race: "To be honest, today was a little bit of a relief, we didn't quite have the race we wanted to, we came out quite well for the first hundred and unfortunately under conditions like this you're moving quite quickly and really sweetly and in a very quick instant it can turn quite bad.
"We clipped a bit of water and caught a bit of a crab and lost a fair bit of momentum through there but managed to get back on it and keep trying to work through and we thought we might have been able to get second there but we're happy with the third regardless."
Talking about the conditions on De Bosbaan, the Victorian athlete commented: "Rowing here is a bit like sitting on a knife edge, as you're trying to sit on that edge and the slightest bit either way and you drop off.
"I really enjoy rowing here, the water is similar to my home in Melbourne where it's quite cool and you can get a good lock on but at the same time it's quite unstable at times. We've had a bit of a mix, we've had a bit of a head breeze, a couple of days a tail and in the tail it's really quick but you've just got to stay on it, think really quickly and keep it together."
In the other three A-Finals of the day, Australia's Women's Quadruple Scull finished in fourth, the Lightweight Women's Double Scull in fifth and the Women's Coxless Pair also in fifth.
The Women's Quadruple Scull had a last minute lane 're-draw' due to the variable weather conditions to greet them as they headed to the start in Amsterdam.
The Australian crew, stroked by Jennifer Cleary, took on the current World Champions, Germany, as well as an inform Chinese crew who were competing for the first time as a crew at this event.
Placed in Lane 3, the Australians pushed their way from fourth to third by the first 1000 metres and were looking to chase down the USA but the challenge proved an unsurmountable one as the USA surged forward to take bronze behind China and ultimately Germany who finished first.
In the Lightweight Women's Double Scull it was a tough race for Alice McNamara and Ella Flecker as they missed out on a medal in the A-Final. The crew, coached by Mark Fangan-Hall, sat in third for the majority of the race, chasing down the middle lane pack of New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, but come the halfway mark, the crew had dropped to fourth.
By the final 500 metres, it was becoming clear that it wasn't to be the Australia's day as the Kiwis took the gold medal, and a new World Best Time, with Canada in second and China in third.
Victorian duo, Lucy Stephan and Charlotte Sutherland competed in the final of the Women's Coxless Pair in windy and wet conditions in Amsterdam. The crew had a tough race, up against reigning Olympic and World Champions, Great Britain, as well as an inform United States.
The battling pair came out fighting and were sitting in fourth at the 500m mark, but spent much of the race trying to chase down the leading pack of Great Britain, USA, New Zealand and Romania. In the end, they had to settle with fifth place as Great Britain once again took gold and a new World Best Time to boot.
Earlier in the day, Australia's Nick Purnell competed in the C-Final of the Men's Single Scull where he had a great race which saw him take the lead from the 1000m mark, usurping Finland's Robert Ven and two-time Olympic champion Olaf Tufte. The New South Welshman went on to win the race in a time of 6:47:86.
Tomorrow is the concluding day of the 2014 World Rowing Championships and a total of six crews racing for Australia, including the four Australian crews contesting A-Finals. The races are as follows (local Amsterdam time):
- 11:03, B-Final - Women's Coxed Eight (Vermeersch, Chatterton, Bateman, Hagan, Frasca, Goodman, Yann, Hornsey and Patrick ©)
- 11:33, B-Final - Men's Coxed Eight (Larkins, Crawshay, Moore, Hill, Lockwood, Laidler, Chapman, Hicks and D. Webster ©)
- 13:03, FINAL - Men's Double Scull (Belonogoff and McRae)
- 13:18, FINAL - Women's Double Scull (Kehoe and Aldersey)
- 13:33, FINAL - Lightweight Men's Coxless Four (Silcox, Beltz, Tunevitsch and Gibson)
- 14:18, FINAL - Women's Single Scull (Crow)
Notes on following racing and communicating with the ARTeam
Media looking for images of the team in action or for interviews should contact Lucy Benjamin on firstname.lastname@example.org
To keep up to date with how the ARTeam is doing at the event, visit www.worldrowing.com for their live-tracker application. While Fox Sports Australia will be broadcasting the event, please check local guides for details in due course.
Live video coverage will be available on the World Rowing website beginning 28 August at 14:15 CET. Video coverage will include all A-finals, B-finals in most boat classes and semi-finals in Olympic boat classes and men's and women's lightweight single sculls. For the complete schedule, click here.
Should you wish to tweet @RowingAust during the event, please use the official Australian Rowing Team hashtag #ARTeam. The event hashtag is #WRChamps.
Check out the Rowing Australia YouTube Channel for videos and interviews from the athletes and coaches during the event by clicking here.
We will also be putting up images, when available, on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/RowingAustralia
For more information, please contact:
Rowing Australia – Media and Communications Manager
Mob: +61 457 744 434