New Zealand crews continue chase for Rowing medals
Four more New Zealand crews will race for medals after securing A final starts at the World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, USA.
It was a critical day on the water for the New Zealand Elite Rowing Team with five semi finals and one repechage scheduled.
Lightweight single sculler Matt Dunham, the men's pair, lightweight women's double sculls and the men's eight all progressed to the A final while the men's four and men's quad will contest the B final.
Matt Dunham secured his A final start with a second place finish in the lightweight men's single sculls semi final.
Dunham paced himself beautifully, confidently rowing from third to second place.
CREDIT: STEVE MCARTHUR/ROWING NZ
Lars Babac of Slovakia charged out of the start and looked set to take the win before dramatically dropping from first to fifth in the last 500 metres. Olympic medallist Kristoffer Brun of Norway, who came second to Dunham in the earlier heat hung on to nab the win, with Dunham taking second and Lars Wichert of Germany third.
The men's pair of Tom Murray and Jamie Hunter will race for a medal after claiming second place in their semi final.
The duo made a quick getaway out of the start leading a breakaway with Milos Vacic and Nenad Bedik of Serbia and Italy's Matteo Lodo and Guiseppe Vicino.
While the A final berth was already in the bag Italy laid down a blistering sprint finish, overtaking Murray and Hunter who took a comfortable second while Serbia claimed third.
Lightweight women's double scullers Jackie Kiddle and Zoe McBride will also be racing for a medal after a sensational win in their semi final.
In a class row Kiddle and McBride took the lead at the 500 metre mark and used the rest of the course to extend it, crossing the line in a time of 7:00.83 with a clear water advantage.
Weronika Deresz and Joanna Dorociak of Poland took second and Denmark's Aja Runge Holmegaard and Juliane Rasmussen third.
The men's eight booked a ticket to the A final with a second place finish in their repechage.
Only two A final positions were available and New Zealand, coxed by Caleb Shepherd moved into the lead with home favourite USA early in the race.
The USA, who were out to prove a point after narrowly missing out on an earlier A final berth looked composed as they held off the kiwis to take the win to the delight of the crowd.
New Zealand took a comfortable second, shutting Poland out of contention.
They will now have a chance at the world championship title in Sunday's A final.
The men's four of Alex Kennedy, Cameron Webster, Charlie Rogerson and Anthony Allen will contest the B final after finishing in fifth place in their semi final.
The New Zealanders couldn't recover after a slow start and trailed the field down the course. A final sprint saw them recover one place, nudging ahead of Austria to finish in a time of 6:04.00. Australia, Denmark and Germany progressed to the A final.
The men's quad Giacomo Thomas, Nathan Flannery, Cameron Crampton and Lewis Hollows missed out on an A final race by just one place after finishing fourth in the semi final.
The quad made a fantastic comeback rowing through the field from sixth to fourth but ran out of room to move into the top three needed to progress to the A final.
A formidable Lithuanian boat took first with Estonia and Norway rounding out the top three.
The men's quadruple sculls will contest Saturday's B final.
Racing continues tomorrow with further semi final racing as well as the lightweight men's single sculls A final.
Schedule, entries and results online at worldrowing.com