Photo from the awards ceremony of the Men's Eight yesterday! #ChungjuWRC @TomPeszek pic.twitter.com/KqyCGZUO3H
— OKCNHPC Rowing (@RowOKC_HP) September 2, 2013
Before the slew of hotly contested finals, however, we did it again—what can we say? Shooting our mouths off about sports just comes naturally, and what you might call the 'RR ethos' is built on picks and predictions. So, now's the time when we reflect on the best of the racing, and see how our picks fared over the course of the week in South Korea.
It was a tight race, and while the U.S. crew was uncharacteristically slow off the line, they put themselves right in the mix by the 1000m mark, just back of Australia. However, nobody sprints like the Dutch, and they unleashed a masterful sprint that carried them from fourth at halfway to a gold medal in Chungju. Our pick for third, Italy, placed fourth overall. Some thoughts on the race from U.S. M4- athletes Grant James and Mike Gennaro:
Nailed it. If you look at the way GB Rowing head coach Jürgen Grobler's crews perform at Lucerne World Rowing Cups prior to championships, they always seem to find more speed in the final weeks of training, and come to worlds prepared precisely for that moment. This year's men's eight final was a further example of just that, bouncing back from a fourth-place finish in Lucerne to topple the Olympic champs in Chungju. It was a very solid result for the U.S. crew, which lost one of it's biggest guns in Glenn Ochal, but which battled hard and made Luke McGee's first year with the national team truly one to remember. Here's what some of the guys in the eight thought about it:
|Ondrej Synek||Ondrej Synek|
|Aleksandar Aleksandrov||Angel Fournier-Rodriguez|
|Mahé Drysdale||Marcel Hacker|
|Angel Fournier-Rodriguez||Alan Campbell|
|Alan Campbell||Roel Braas|
|Luka Spik||Mindaugas Griskonis|
|Kim Crow||Kim Crow|
|Mirka Knapkova||Emma Twigg|
|Elle Logan||Mirka Knapkova|
|Emma Twigg||Magdalena Lobnig|
|Julia Levina||Elle Logan|
|Magdalena Lobnig||Inge Janssen|
This was a coming out party for the Norwegian double of Kjetil Borch and Nils Jakob Hoff, who led form wire to wire, realizing the promise that they showed in last year's World Rowing Cup season, and following a seventh place finish in London. Rather unexpectedly, the Kiwi double, who were World Cup champions, found themselves at the back of the pack in the final.
Lightweight Men's Four
Lightweight Men's Double
Lightweight Women's Double
And so, the sun has risen over the beginning of a new quadrennium. Who'll emerge as the dominant force in international rowing on the road to Rio? How many new stars will light up the rowing world along the way? We can hardly wait to find out.
Sunrise over Seoul. Last morning in Korea. pic.twitter.com/GfWAcJvUXR-RR
— Meghan O'Leary (@MeghanOLeary1) September 1, 2013