Olympic Liveblog: Semi Final M4-

Semi Final 1: Serbia, Netherlands, Australia, Great Britain, Belarus, Italy.  Nobody is going to want to show their total speed in this race – keep your powder dry boys.   Australia lead by a canvas at 500m these two crews out in front of the rest of the field.  Commentators suggesting the Brits and ‘containing’ their attack.  Netherlands in third but the two out front are where al the interest is from the backside coaches on bikes.   Australia at half a length and GB nearly clear water over the Netherlands.   Britain take up their rate and area half a length down from Australia at half way.  Interesting Jurgen is letting the Australians set the pace here.  Clear separation now in the first three crews from the rest. Clear the Australians pick up the boat more efficiently than the British crew who are now nearly 2/3 length down but comfortably ahead of the Netherlands in third place.  Brits push back to half a length and closing back to a canvas down.  Australia not taking up the rate.

Semi Final 2: Canada, Romania, USA, Germany, Greece, New Zealand.   Germany take the bull by the horns and have 2/3 length at 500meters – they clearly want to show their strength here.  Chased by USA half a length down and rowing strongly.  This is one of the better-looking USA crews I’ve seen for a long while – Tim Mclaren’s influence?  USA closing the gap on Germany and Greece, Canada and Romania in a line with NZ back in last place.  Coming up to the half way and USA is un-hurridly pressing into the lead no dramatics, just plain good rowing and under-rating Germany.   Now Greece start to move back on Germany and they are now in second place as they approach 1250m.   I really  like these Americans in their tandem rig.  Now clear water ahead of Germany in third and a canvas overlap on Greece.  Canada pressin gon hard vying for the third qualifying slot.  Germany still in the race.  At 1500 USA half a length on Greece, half a length on Germany.  New Zealand and Canada fourth.   USA looking comfortable and the Greeks start to sprint in and USA crew look across at their sprint and respond as Germany tries to come back into the race; Canada 2/3 length behind and probably too far behind to make an impact in last 200m.  USA 21/3 length ahead of Greece, with Germany 1/2 a length behind.  USA scrappy in the sprint but win by half a length and 1/3 length to Germany with New Zealand fourth a length back, Canada fifth.

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