Sunday, June 22, 2014

Video Of The Week: World Rowing Cup II Takes over Aiguebelette, France



This week's Sunday-edition video comes to us from the idyllic setting for the second World Rowing Cup stop of the 2014 season, Lake Aiguebelette. While it's the picture of natural splendor (and where Jamie Koven won his world title in 1997), it's not the easiest name to pronounce, or spell. Fortunately, Nathaniel Reilly-O'Donnell has you covered.


The racing has just wrapped up in France, and the results were nothing short of excellent for the U.S. national team. While it was Great Britain who topped the medal table with a total of 13 (six gold, four silver, three bronze), the U.S. will take home no less than seven medals, including gold medals in the men's and women's eights. This, despite having had Mike Gennaro as a last-minute sub into the men's eight crew, and doubling up in the men's four. (Watch the final of the men's eight here.)

It wasn't the dominant performance that we and the rest of the world have grown accustomed to for the women's eight, but it was every bit as gritty and hard fought a race as you might expect from the two-time defending Olympic champion squad (albeit with yet another new lineup, this one including new sweep rower extraordinaire, Megan Kalmoe, who scored both silver and gold in Aiguebelette). Or rather, it was a different kind of dominance.


Not only did Kalmoe double up, but the entire U.S. women's eight raced the final of the pair earlier this morning, only to race to victory in the eight, coming from a length down with 500m to go to take the gold by roughly one seat over Canada. (Watch the women's eight final here.)

In the small boats, it was another very successful regatta for New Zealand—Olympic champion Mahé Drysdale looks to be back on form after a bit of a slow start to the quadrennium last year, edging 2013 world champion Ondrej Synek, with Angel Fournier-Rodriguez taking the bronze. In the women's single, Emma Twigg edged China's Jingli Duan and Magdalena Lobnig of Austria, with Olympic champion Mirka Knapkova taking the fourth. The Kiwis also took the gold in the women's lightweight single and men's lightweight four—and of course, the men's pair.


The GB squad had a very strong showing, as the medal table proves, and the women's pair combination of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning (reunited and it's still so fast) had a great race to take an open-water victory, much like their counterparts in the men's four—evidently, it's not all just banter with that crew.

Now it's time to refuel and get ready for World Cup III...


For complete results from Aiguebelette, as well as race videos by event, please visit the official website of World Rowing.


-RR

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