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Netherlands, China win in world best times on speedy day

Netherlands, China win in world best times on speedy day

TOKYO: The Netherlands and China posted world best times to win gold in the men’s and women’s quad sculls races as Olympic rowing roared back into action at Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway on Wednesday.

China clinched the women’s quad sculls in 6:05.13, more than six seconds ahead of silver medallists Poland and bronze winners Australia.

On the men’s side, the Netherlands won gold — one of four medals they picked up during the day’s competition — in 5:32.03, 1.72 seconds ahead of Britain’s crew, with Australia claiming bronze.

The races kicked off on Wednesday in hot and windy conditions, after organisers suspended competition for two days due to adverse weather forecasts.

The first two rowing medal races of the Tokyo Games delivered thrills as Romania’s Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis won gold in the women’s double sculls while Hugo Boucheron and Matthieu Androdias of France triumphed in the men’s event, both with Olympic-best times.

Brooke Donoghue and Hannah Osborne of New Zealand picked up silver in the women’s event and the Netherlands’ Roos de Jong and Lisa Scheenaard earned bronze.

Melvin Twellaar and Stef Broenink of the Netherlands claimed silver in the men’s competition, and China’s Liu Zhiyu and Zhang Liang took the bronze medal.

A rematch of the 2019 World Championship race between Australia and the Netherlands in the womens four did not disappoint, as Australia once again came out on top — this time, in a scorching 6:15.37 — and the Dutch took silver.

Ireland propelled past Britain in the last quarter of the race, securing bronze for their second-ever Olympic rowing medal.

It was not the only heartbreak Britain endured on the water on Wednesday as their golden run in the men’s four came to an abrupt halt.

The Britons, who topped the podium at the previous five Games, veered out of their lane down the final stretch and finished fourth, with Australia clinching gold in an Olympic best 5:42.76 ahead of Romania and Italy.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2021

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