Toowoomba double leads Australia into semi-finals
Sunday 23 August 2009
All three Australian crews in action have won through to the semi-finals on the opening morning of the 2009 FISA World Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland.
The first day of the championships was greeted with sunny skies, with a light wind that moved between a cross and cross-tail.
Pippa Savage (QLD) and Sally Kehoe (QLD), competing in their first international race together, were impressive in winning their heat of the women’s double scull.
Savage and Kehoe have combined well since coming together in June and sat behind the United States crew over the first 1500m before surging to the front over the closing stages of the race.
They won in a time of 7:04.71, a full boat length clear of USA, while Germany also progressed to the semi-finals.
After the race Kehoe said their first race had gone to plan.
“We have only been rowing together for eight weeks now and it was good to get the first one out of the way,” Kehoe said. “We knew the Americans would be fast starters so we just wanted to use them as the benchmark.”
The Australian men’s four of Francis Hegerty (NSW), Cameron McKenzie-McHarg (VIC), James Marburg (VIC) and Matt Ryan (NSW) showed they will be one of the crews to beat in 2009 as they won their heat.
The silver medallists from Beijing in 2008 have remained together this year and were in second place behind the Germans with 500m remaining, before rowing through to take the race in 5:57.83.
Hegerty said the crew was pleased to be racing again.
“It was good to get back out on the world circuit and get the first race under the belt,” Hegerty said. “It’s a really strong field again this year and we can’t take anyone for granted.”
Sarah Cook (ACT) and Kim Crow (VIC) finished third in their heat of the women’s pair to qualify for the semi-finals.
Cook and Crow were second through 1000m behind the USA, before being passed by the Great Britain crew in the last 750m to cross the line in a time of 7:26.94. USA won the heat in a time of 7:20.21.
Six Australian crews will race on the second day of the regatta.
For full race reports and schedule please visit www.rowingaustralia.com.au
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