The light rain clears and after a dramatic lightning flash, the sun comes out again for the Lightweight Mens double sculls. The course commentator says “it’s definitely tank top and bikini weather at the start”!
Heat 1: Canada, Italy, Portugal, India, Egypt. Portugal move ahead at 500m and lead Italy and Canada and by half way Portugal had a length lead (they took 1.45 lengths in 500 meters) with Italy half a length ahead of Canada and the others trailing. Veteran Italian athlete Elia Luini trying to add an Olympic medal to his collection. Italians starting to close back on Portugal and the Canadians coming with them 2.3 length behind. Last 500m and the Italians close hard on the Portugese – down to a third of a length, now they’re level with 200 m to go. Pressing on as Portugal fade and the Italians have a win by a length with Portugal second and Canada third.
Heat 2: Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Great Britain, China. This could be half of the finalists all drawn in one heat. Rod Chisholm of Australia former Captain of @TidewayScullers School. Great Britain lead out with New Zealand and Australian hard on their heels. At 500m the Brits keep the crowd happy by leading with 2/3 a length. Moving towards half way NZ half a length behind Britain’s Purchase and Hunter. Australians drop back to a length and third place. 1000m Britain now 3/4 length ahead of New Zealand who have clear water of the rest of the field. This is becoming two races in one. New Zealand press back to nearly half a length behind. The crowds are loving this race – last 500 and GB maintain half a length on NZ. Both crews sprint as the rates come up to 38/39. NZ close the gap to a canvas on the line.
Wind turning to a cross headwind from a tail earlier.
Heat 3: Denmark, Hungary, Greece, Cuba, Norway. Greeks have a slender lead but from the new overhead camera on a wire the lens gives the impression they are on converging courses! After 500m the Hungarians take the lead and the Nowegians are just third behind Greece. Denmark and Hungary are working hard together having dropped Greece and on the far side, Norway are sculling really well – boat running well. Watch out for Norway in last 300 m there is a wind shadow. Denmark lead, Norway second, Hungary fighting and Cuba coming up as well to press the Hungarians. Looks like Denmark has the win but Norway just behind half a length.
Heat 4: Japan, France, Hong Kong China, Uruguay, Germany. Germany lead off the start – bow man has aggressive catches they have half a length at 500m over France with HongKong third. Half way and they are 3/4 length ahead and well in front of the rest of the field. France push back and these have about 5 lengths clear water behind them. Down to a canvas lead for Germany – overhead camera shows the wind has dropped off and the French are just in the lead at 1500 m. Wow The French have moved to clear water ahead of Germany wo are clearly dropping their rate and settle for second while France sprints in lengths clear of everyone else.