Martin Cross, The Blogging Oarsman, Breaks Down Day Five in Chungju
The further we get into the 2013 World Rowing Championships, the more it feels like there is already a 'great wave' (with apologies to Katsushika Hokusai, of course) of momentum building on the road to Rio. The racing has been, in a word, outstanding. In the video above, GB commentator Martin Cross breaks down Day Five at worlds, which featured several crackers, including the A/B semis for the the men's lightweight single and the men's four. As Cross mentioned in his race commentary (catch up on the semis here), the men's four event appears to be wide open, with our top picks the U.S., Australia, and Italy looking very solid, as well as a sprinting Dutch crew and a surprising British boat that has bounced back from a B Final performance in Lucerne to crack the A final in Chungju. (While Cross mentioned that he'll have his eye on Italy to top the podium, we're backing our top pick, USA, to take the title.) The race of the day, however, may well have been the first of the two A/B semis for the lightweight men's single, which pit Danish phenom Henrik Stephansen against Jérémie Azou of France in an all-out race for the line (and likely a preview of the battle for gold in that event come finals time). If you haven't seen it yet, it's well worth a look.
So far, our picks and predictions are in good shape, with the exception of defending Olympic champion Mahé Drysdale having to withdraw due to a rib injury—very unfortunate, but Drysdale further confirmed that he is a class-act earlier, apologizing to his competitors for not being able to race in his C/D semifinal. All best to Mahé for a speedy recovery, and here's to more fantastic racing in South Korea, as soon as the weather clears up!