Rio Olympics Finals Day #1

by Jordan Wille August 11, 2016

Women's Single (Semi-Final), Lightweight Women's Double (A-Final) and Men's Four (A-Final). 

Women's Single (Semi-Finals)

First up at 6:10am PT (or 9:10am ET), is the Women's Single Semi-Finals. The crews in this Semi-Final are: Mexico, Zimbabwe, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Canada.



This Semi-Final may be one of the most hotly contested races in this regatta, hosting the two gold medal favourites and many other Olympic hopefuls. For Carling, she will have to race this like it is her Olympic final if she wants a shot at the medals. 

In the inside lanes are Kim Brennan of Australia and Emma Twigg of New Zealand. Brennan is the heavy favourite for gold here, winning many times over the last couple of seasons - the only person that's gotten the better of her is Twigg. This promises to be a show down for the top three advancing spots.

On the outside lanes we have Mexico, Zimbabwe, Switzerland and Canada.

Mexico has been having a great regatta, however she may be a bit out of her depth - posting a time 10 seconds behind the next fastest competitor in the Quarter-Finals.

Zimbabwe on the other hand has been showing some real speed, beating out Carling in the previous race and posting the 7th fastest time. She will likely be racing for that third qualifying spot head-to-head with Canada and Switzerland.

Switzerland has been seen as an outside chance of a medal, despite her lack of international experience. She even posted a faster time than Zimbabwe by a solid five seconds.

In the outside lane is Carling Zeeman. Carling will have the race of her life ahead of her as she will be competing with four oarswomen who could have a real shot at a medal. Thankfully Canada will be right next to her biggest competition for the qualifying spot, Switzerland.




Women's Lightweight Double A-Final

Next up at 6:30am PT (or 9:30am ET), is the Women's Lightweight Double. Crews racing for medals are: China, Canada, South Africa, Netherlands, New Zealand and Ireland.


The tightest races are always in the lightweight events and this race looks like it isn't going to disappoint. 

China has been picking up speed finishing with one World Championship medal in the quadrennial (bronze in 2014 - right behind Canada); however, they have not been as consistent as some of the other crews in this final. We will see if they can get it right on the day.

On the other side of the course is Ireland. Putting their hopes on both their lightweight doubles, Ireland has done all they can to make A-Final, and it has paid off. The best news is that they posted the 3rd fastest time going into this final.

The middle four crews will be fighting it out for the three medals. Canada has the experience and the firepower to have a real shot at the medals - and their speed this regatta has been showing this. Canada has the 2nd fastest time going into the final - 3 seconds behind the top.

South Africa won a solid bronze at World Championships in 2015 and has been showing top speed this regatta - beating out heavy favourites New Zealand in the Semi-Final. They currently have the 3rd fastest time of the regatta.

The Netherlands won the Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta, Europeans and also set a world best time this year. They are on top form and will be Canada's next target, as they hot on their heals in the Semi-Finals. They also have the top time out of the last round.

New Zealand, while getting beaten in the Semi's (and posting the 5th fastest time), are still favourites for the gold. They will be racing with the skills needed to win the last two World Championships.


Men's Four (A-Final)

Next up at 7:25am PT (or 10:25am ET), is the Men's Four. Crews racing for medals are: Italy, South Africa, Great Britain, Australia, Canada and the Netherlands.


On one of the outside lanes, Italy has the 3rd fastest time, meaning that their heat posted all three of the top times. Posting a result like that automatically makes you a medal threat in itself.

The Netherlands on the other end raced Canada for the last spot, getting beaten out by half a second. With Belarus right behind them, it is clear this was their best effort. They posted the slowest time of crews in the final.

South Africa posted the second fastest time overall, one second ahead of Italy. They will be a crew expecting to podium and a crew Canada will be looking to stick with.

The Canadian are on the other side of the course, posting the 5th fastest time and looking ready to perform this regatta. Drawing inspiration from their London 2012 final, this might be one of Canada's best chances at a medal - hopefully gold.

The middle two lanes, Great Britain and Australia are the favourites here. Australia did post the better time in both the heats and the semi's; however, Great Britain has the track record. This classic showdown will be right down to the line, that is for sure. We can expect Canada, South Africa and Italy pushing with these crews for the three available medals.



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Jordan Wille
Jordan Wille


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