Semifinal 1: New Zealand, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, USA, Cuba
Greece lead off the start by half a length. Germany in second but all boats overlapping. Greece have two-thirds of a length over Germany at 250m as the field starts to spread out. USA in third and GB in fourth. These boats both overlap Germany’s stern. Greece draw strongly to the body. They move to clear water. A few drops of rain hit the grandstands. 1000m: Greece by a length. Germany and GB level behind them. Commentary say GB have moved through to 2nd. The crowd cheer. GB moved half a length in 200m. Germany now respond but GB continue to pull away. They now overlap Greece again. GB seats move off the catch fast with great leg drive. Greece in contrast load the back end of the stroke and could be tiring. GB only feet behind at 1500. There are only a few lengths between 1st and fifth. GB, into the crowds, lead. They finish strongly and just get clear water over Greece. The USA are rating high but can’t get closer to Germany who hold them off to take third. New Zealand are fifth with Cuba trailing in sixth.
Semifinal 2: Japan, Netherlands, Denmark, China, Australia, Canada
Great shots on big screens from the buoy camera at the start. Canada out fastest. Netherlands and China level behind. China settle to a lower rate but their boat is running fastest at the moment. They move to the front, a canvas up at 500m. Australia in second, Denmark third. Netherlands and Canada close but Japan trail. Australia start to move and get a lead, sending good finishes away. Denmark start to sharpen their rhythm but stay in third. China respond and retake the lead. Denmark move past Australia and just take second. Australia might be saving something for the sprint. The three leaders have 2 seconds over Netherlands in fourth at 1500m. Sprints start and it’s Denmark to lift most. They pull towards China but can’t pass them. Canada are rating highest but sacrifice length. The race is over for the Netherlands, who have emptied the tanks and have to paddle to the line. China win. Denmark and Australia also go to the final. Canada can’t find any more speed and cross the line in fourth. The Netherlands are fifth and Japan are lengths back in sixth.