Originally two boats would qualify for this event. A qualification ruling meant a further one boat would be added making the top three the magic positions. This event started off with the biggest number of entries, 17 countries. Six boats remained. Three spots were available.
After their Lucerne Rowing World Cup second place at the start of this month New Zealand looked to be the crew to beat. The New Zealanders confirmed this by winning their heat three days ago and the semifinal yesterday. Storm Uru and Peter Taylor of New Zealand are both former Under 23 Champions. Uru is 23 years old, Taylor 24.
Following closely behind New Zealand, Douglas Vandor and Cameron Sylvester of Canada appeared to be the closest real challengers to the New Zealanders. The Czech Republic was not far back in third. As the last 500m came into view Uru and Taylor continued to look long in the water with power left in the tank. Vandor and Sylvester looked exhausted and appeared to just be hanging in there. Then seemingly from out of nowhere, from the back of the field, the Portuguese came flying. Pedro Fraga and Nuno Mendes must have been boosted by the football results of their nation and rating 44 they overtook Slovakia, then Spain, then the Czech Republic. Fraga and Mendes were moving on Canada.
At the line New Zealand remained in the lead, Portugal had literally flown through to second and Canada must thank their lucky stars that three boats qualify. New Zealand looked like Olympic qualification had not sunk in. It had for the Portuguese.
Results: NZL, POR, CAN
1st: Uru STORM (NZL)
“It feels good to qualify. That’s been our focus for the last year. We are elated and relieved.”
1st: Peter TAYLOR (NZL)
“We haven’t thought about anything but this race.”
3rd: Cameron SYLVESTER (CAN)
“Overall it was a good race and we qualified. The theme has been not to take any other crews lightly and it paid dividends today and we kept on pushing through and it was close at the end.”