Semifinal 1: Norway, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Cuba, Lithuania
Drysdale of New Zealand and Griskonis of Lithuania get away from the stakeboats first by Karonen of Sweden pulls through past Drysdale to lead to 500m. Rodriguez of Cuba in fourth, Hacker of Germany in fifth. Defending champion, Tufte, sixth. Karonen still leads Drysdale, now half a length. Who’s working harder? Drysdale looks comfortable. Hacker comes through into third at half way; Rodriguez fourth. Still half a length at the front. Drysdale has a length clear on Hacker. Now Drysdale is moving. He hasn’t lifted the rate but seems to have squeezed on and brings his bows to the front. Drysdale and Karonen are stroke for stroke through 1500m. Hacker is closing on the leaders and putting clear water back to the trailing three. Hacker now a length back on Karonen who looks to be tiring but should have enough margin to stay in second. Karonen has the highest rate into the finish to maintain his second place. Drysdale and Hacker finish at their mid-pace, no sprint from these. Drysdale, Karonen, Hacker top three. It’s clear back to Rodriguez. Griskonis is fifth. Tufte will not defend his title and goes to the B-Final. He didn’t look to have the pace at all today.
Semifinal 2: China, Argentina, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Belarus, Azerbaijan
Campbell (GBR) puts in his trademark fast start and leads by a length at 500m. Early leaders have paid for it in this headwind this morning. At 750m Synek (CZE) is second with a third of a length over Azerbaijan in third. Synek closes half a length. Maeyens (BEL) is trailing but could finish quickly. Campbell still leads by three feet. Aleksandrov is a few lengths back as Campbell and Synek battle it out. They’re level at 1400m. China fourth; Belgum, Argentina. “Come on Alan” from the crowds but Synek moves out to half a length. It’s Synek ahead of Campbell. Aleksandrov is third. Argentina, China and Belgium fail to qualify for the A-Final.