Kiwi's Rowing Finals line up confirmed



Three New Zealand crews will race for world championship honours at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Lithuania.

The final line ups were confirmed after a thrilling day of semi-final racing on Lake Galve in Trakai.

With crews needing a top-three finish to secure a berth in the medal race the pressure was on and the pace was high.

Sam Jones and James Hall fought their way into the A final after a very tight men's pair semi-final which saw less than a second separating second and fourth.

Romania took a comfortable win while New Zealand, Uzbekistan and Italy were all bowball to bowball coming in to the finish.

Jones and Hall managed to nudge ahead to take second while Uzbekistan forced Italy into the B final by claiming third.

The women's four will also race for a medal in tomorrow’s A final following a third place finish in their semi-final.

Grace Loveridge, Kate Haines, Grace Watson and Kate Littlejohn crossed the line just behind China and the USA in a sensational race.

The New Zealanders held off a flying charge for the line from Great Britain to retain third place, with just 0.6 seconds separating the two boats.

The men's four of Daniel Williamson, Thomas Russel, Matthew Macdonald and Ben Taylor will also face an A final after a comfortable and confident second place in their semi-final.

For the length of the course the four put pressure on leaders Great Britain with a clear water advantage ahead of third place Germany. Britain claimed the win a canvas ahead of New Zealand and Germany retained third.

Bradley Leydon will line up in the men's single sculls B final after finishing sixth in his semi-final.

Moritz Wolff of Germany shot into the lead and left the rest of the field scrambling to chase down the course. Leydon started conservatively in fourth place but couldn't hold the pace and dropped behind the field to cross the line in sixth.

Grace Holland and Rosie Ireland faced a tough women's pair semi-final, also finishing in sixth place.

The Greek pair of Margarita Geogoudi and Christina Boumpou were untouchable, powering down the course to take a convincing win with Germany and Lithuania taking the other A final berths.

Holland and Ireland will contend tomorrow's B final.

It was a fast and furious race in the men's quad semi-final.

Finn Jenkins, Mark Taylor, Luke Brady and Sam Monkley slipped from fourth to fifth as frontrunners Switzerland unleashed a blistering performance. Italy and Denmark rounded out the top three.

The fifth place finish means the New Zealanders will contest the B final tomorrow.

Gus Olifiers and Manawa McLaughlin concluded their world championship campaign with a sixth place finish in the men's double sculls C final.

The duo were the fastest crew in the C/D semi-final earlier in the day but couldn't find the same speed in the flying final won by local favourites Titas Masanauskas and Paulius Cernevicius.

Olifiers and McLaughlin crossed the line in a time of 6:53.180.

Veronica Wall and Sydney Johnson finished a very tight women's double sculls C final in sixth place with a time of 7:31.82.

Wall and Johnson held a strong mid-field position down the course but a late dash for the finish line saw them overtaken by the USA and Denmark. Skyla Froebel and Taylor McCarthy-Smith of Australia claimed the win in a time of 7:24.250.

Racing concludes tomorrow with A and B finals.