With all of the semifinals now raced, the last two days of the Olympic Regatta are all finals. Day 6 warms up with minor finals before four boat classes will race the 2000m course for the medals.
The first final is for the Men’s Quad. Croatia have won all three World Cups this season and look untouchable. They set the fastest time in the semifinals but Germany, who have been second in every World Cup, will not be rolling over. The Germans may start fast and hope to hold on, or aim to build through the race. This has worked for many crews at the windy Dorney course this week. On times from the semifinals three crews (Australia, Great Britain, Germany) were within 0.4 seconds of each other. Croatia may be firm favourites but no one can predict what could happen behind them.
Start List: GBR AUS GER CRO EST POL
The Men’s Pair final follows the quad. No one is expecting New Zealand to take anything but the gold from this race. Weather forecasts look similar to Day 6, with crosswinds blowing from lane 6 to lane 1, so don’t expect another record from this boat. Eyes will be on the Great Britain pair who won their semifinal. They are a new crew this season and have been getting faster with every race. Italy can sprint hard. New Zealand will pull out all the stops. They will enjoy seeing their full potential revealed just as much as the crowd will. The Kiwis could win by lengths. The race for silver and bronze will be ferocious.
Start List: AUS FRA GBR NZL ITA CAN
The penultimate final is the Women’s Double. Great Britain’s Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins are firm favourites and so many hearts in the crowd will be beating hard, willing Grainger to win that elusive Olympic gold which has evaded her for three Olympics. The GB boat is unbeaten since its formation. Australia are on a mission to win, with Kim Crow aiming to win the double and the single. Crow has only lost one race this regatta as she cruised to the line in the single semifinal. Crow’s fatigue may show at the finish and the race for the line, and the medals, will be enthralling. At the finish line it will either be heartache or ecstasy for Grainger, the home crowd and so many fans of rowing. This is a great race for the neutral.
Start List: USA POL AUS GBR NZL CHN
The last race of the day is the final of the Men’s Single. Tufte, the defending champion, is absent from this race and races the B-Final. The other big names meet for their final showdown of this Olympiad. Synek and Drysdale won the heats. Drysdale arguably the stronger; Synek more technical. Campbell has a fast start and finish. Hacker’s form has been up and down but he is fighting hard at this regatta. Karonen is the oldest in the field. Aleksandrov the youngest. Less than 6 seconds separated these six scullers in the semifinals. With only one sculler in the boat so much can depend on these athletes having a good day or a bad day. This event is a one-on-one conflict between the toughest competitors in the sport. It will be a great race.
Start List: Aleksandrov (AZE), Karonen (SWE), Synek (CZE), Drysdale (NZL), Campbell (GBR), Hacker (GER)