Olympic Liveblog M4x Semi Finals

It’s quite a brisk headwind today –  expect slow times.

Semi Final 1: Switzerland, Australia, Russia, Croatia, Great Britain, New Zealand. Russia and Croatia go out hard from the start and take half a length over the field.  At 500m they have 2/3 length and Croatia looking very strong.  This is the bet medal chance Russia has in the regatta.  Only three go through to the final.  The field sorting itself out behind with Croatia, Australia,and Britain chasing.   New Zealand dropping off the pace now and the race is developing to four crews.  Britain in fourth and looking a bit sluggish.  Croatia challenge towards the half way and are gaining on Russia – level pegging at 1500m  Australia still strong.  Croatia have their rate up and Russia let them go through.  Croatia lead and Britain neck and neck with Australia.  Russia dropping back now – there’s a chance of Britain qualifying by beating them.  Croatia have clear water and Australia now second – Russia has blown.  British pressing on alongside the Aussies – last 250m and it’s the Australia and who get a small advantage to take second, Britain third.

Semi Final 2: France, Estonia, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Italy.  The Germans look like they are taking control of this race and Ukraine and Estonia second place at this stage.   France and Italy trail.  The Germany have a great rhythm and the ir power is palpable – this is a crew that knows how to race quads.  Estonia coming up alongside now  as they come to half way – just half a length down and 2/3 length to Poland in third with Estonia a canvas behind.   The overhead camera shots are so good – you can see the technique brilliantly – video this for later use!  Estonia holding onto second place – bowman looking over to see where they are as they press on and come alongside the Germans – it’s a couple of feet down now.   These two untroubled by the rest and Poland now has clear water over Ukraine, Italy and France.   Coning down past teh grandstand. Poland move ahead again and Estonia sitting at 2/3 length behind neither crew pressing on – they seem just happy to qualify for the final.  Germany win with Estonia second 2/3 length behind and Poland third a length back.

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