Crews progress at championships



Day three at the World Rowing Championships in Trakai, Lithuania was a mixed bag for the New Zealand Junior Rowing Team with three crews progressing to A/B semi-finals and two crews knocked out of medal contention.

The junior men's single sculls, women's four and men's quadruple sculls have all secured berths in A/B semi-finals, joining the men's four, women's pair and men's pair.

Single sculler Bradley Leydon snatched third place in today's quarterfinal and a ticket to the A/B semi-final.

Leydon took third comfortably behind Denmark's Bastian Secher and Naim Talha Gunes of Turkey.

Leydon held his own against his experienced competitors, sitting in second for the first 1500 metres before moving back into third. The position earns him a place in tomorrow's A/B semi-final.

The women's four of Grace Loveridge, Kate Haines, Grace Watson and Kate Littlejohn kept their medal hopes alive with a third place finish in an exciting repechage.

The four flew out of the start, putting in the fastest first 1000 metres, before succumbing to an attack from Germany and Greece.

The three crews battled each other down the course, leaving Switzerland, Ukraine and India trailling.

With three semi-final positions up for grabs it was a tight race for line honours, eventually won by Germany with Greece and New Zealand both crossing the line within two seconds of the victors.

The men's quadruple sculls of Finn Jenkins, Mark Taylor, Luke Brady and Sam Monkley also claimed third place and a ticket to the A/B semi-final in another close repechage.

The kiwi quad looked confident for the win after holding the lead for 1500 metres, but were nudged back into third by Australia and the Czech Republic. The photo finish saw just 1.2 seconds separating the top three.

The quad will contest the A/B semi-final tomorrow.

The men's double scull of Gus Olifiers and Manawa Mclaughlin couldn't match yesterday's win in their heat, claiming fourth place in their quarter-final behind the blistering Belarussian duo of Artsem Laputsin and Yauheni Zalaty.

Despite moving up from fifth to fourth Olifiers and Mclaughlin were unable to match the flying pace of frontrunners Belarus, Italy and France. They will race the C/D semi-final tomorrow.

Veronica Wall and Sydney Johnson had to settle for fifth place in their quarter-final.

Wall and Johnson made a promising start, sitting in second place at the 500 metre mark, just behind the powerful Canadian duo of Grace Vandenbroek and Kieanna Stephens.

The New Zealanders slipped back into fifth after an attack from Ireland and Austria, while Canada continued to dominate the field.

Wall and Johnson will now contest tomorrow's C/D semi-final.

Racing continues tomorrow with further semi-finals and minor finals.