Dorney has very light winds today – cross headwind drifting to side. First three qualify to Semi Finals A/B from each race. We learnt today that eth flags over the spectator stands are in alphabetic order from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe…. that’s an identification test.
Quarter Final 1: Lithuania, Croatia, New Zealand, Belgium, Poland, Chile
Early leader is Poland and Lithuania but star performaers solidly half a length behind Drysdale inches closer to the leaders. By half way Drysdale leading with Lithuania overlapping and Belgium. Behind them the other three athletes drop back. Maeyens of Belgium broke the Olympic record in the earlier rounds. 1500m Drysdale 2/3 length ahead of Belgium and Lithuania side by side. Belgium now has half a length on Lithuania. sprint starts early Maeyens pushing all the way to the line, reluctantly Drysdale takes up his rate too and maintains a third of a length lead. Both pull away from the rest.
Quarter Final 2: Brazil, Azerbaijan, Germany, Great Britain, Mexico, Korea
As is his wont, Campbell shoots off the start to take an early lead over Hacker and the rest of the field. Half a length by 500m to Great Britain and Azerbaijan chasing Hacker hard. Campbell now a length clear. He’s looking very confident and now is one and a half lengths ahead at 1500m while Hacker pushes past the U23 World Champion from Aszerbaijan to 2/3 length second place. The Mexican is chasing hard now chasing Azerbaijan – the fans in front of us whistle loudly for “MECCICO”. Campbell untroubled one and a half lengths clear over Hacker one length behind. Mexiox 1.5 lengths behind the third place and unlikely to make it in time.
Quarter Final 3: India, Egypt, Argentina, Sweden, China, USA
Indian sculler has a slight lead but the rest are all in a line. By 500m Karonen of Sweden has half a length lead and China and Argentina now pulling ahead of the others. 750m to go and Karonen looking confident out in a clear lead. China and Argentina in second and third with India in third and USA now behind the umpire’s launch. Last 250 and China loks over and startst to sprint – almost at half slide as his pushes on his little red-winged skiff towards the line Argentina staying long and strong and coming second.
Quarter Final 4: Iran, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, Cuba, Monaco
Denmark went off the start at 63 strokes per minute – Lightweights show us how to start!. Synek of Czech Republic leads with Tufte second for Norway. By half way Synek is a length and a bit clear of Fournier of Cuba who overtook Tufte. Denmark is working hard to stay in touch. Cuba now in second now half a length in front of Tufte and Denmark chasing him hard for the third qualifying spot. Denmark and Norway side by side. Norway sprints later and moves ahead of Denmark. Cuba moves too and they all close on Czech. Tufte chucking in some quick ones for a third place behind Cuba and Czech.