One of the most notable events to begin on the first official day of action this Olympic Games was the Rowing, one of the most popular events of the whole games.
Taking place at the Lagoon Rodrigo de Freitas, one of the most scenic venues of the whole event, this article gives a roundup of the wide variety of rowing heats which took place today.
Men’s Single Sculls
The first event to take place was the Men’s Singles Sculls, which was fairly uneventful with no real surprises.
Mahe Drysdale, the defending champion from New Zealand and the favourite for this year’s event, was the fastest qualifier with a time of 7:04.45 as he won his heat ahead of Bendeguez Petervari-Molnar and Jhonatan Esquivel.
Current world champion Ondrej Synek struggled with the conditions but did win his heat ahead of Rhys Grant and Arturo Rivarola, whilst London 2012 bronze medallist Alan Campbell was the third fastest qualifier as he won his heat, followed by Stanislau Shcharbachenia and Memo in second and third place respectively.
Also impressing was Ángel Fournier, who won the first heat in what was the second fastest time of the day. Also qualifying from that heat was Juan Carlos Cabrera and Dattu Baban Bhokanal, whilst Nils Jakob Hoff and Hannes Obreno were the other heat winners.
Women’s Single Sculls
One of the standout performers of the day was Kenia Lechuga Alanis, who was the fastest women through to the quarterfinals after winning her heat in a time of 8:11.44, ahead of Micheen Thornycroft in second and Kim Brennan in third.
Also impressing was pre-event favourite Emma Twigg, who won the final heat in the second-fastest time of the day ahead of Ekaterina Karsten and Michelle Pearson, whilst American Gevvie Stone won her heat, with Fie Udby Erichsen and Linda Saltyte also progressing through the same heat.
The other heat winners were Carling Zeeman, Duan Jingli and Magdalena Lobnig.
Men’s Coxless Pair
Setting the pace early on in this event is the Australian pairing of Spencer Turrin and Alexander Lloyd, who won the first heat in a time of 6:40.79, ahead of the South African duo of Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain and Jakub Podrazil and Lukas Helesic from the Czech Republic, who also made it through.
Heat 2 saw the pairings from Great Britain, France and Romania automatically qualify for the next round, whilst the third and final heat saw the pairings from New Zealand, Italy and Hungary make it through automatically.
The American pairing of Anders Weiss and Nareg Guregian failed to make it through, and will have to go through the Repechage if they want to make the latter stages.
Women’s Double Sculls
The first heat in this event was by far the fastest of the three. The Lithuanian pairing of Donata Vištartaitė and Milda Valčiukaitė set the fastest time of the day, winning in 7:04.82, though the British pairing of Katherine Grainger and Victoria Thornley, who came second, and the third-place French pairing of Hélène Lefebvre and Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino both recorded times that would have won the other heats.
Heats 2 and 3 were won by pairings from New Zealand and Poland respectively, with Australia and China securing second place finishes and Greece and Belarus coming in third place respectively.
The American pairing of Meghan O’Leary and Ellen Tomek will have to compete in the Repechage tomorrow to try and make it through.
Men's Double Sculls
Just like the Women's Double Sculls, the fastest pairing of the day was from Lithuania, with Mindagaus Griskonis and Saulias Ritter winning their heat in 6:29.11. The Norwegian and German pairs also qualified from Heat 2.
Heat 1 was won by the New Zealand pairing of Robbie Manson and Chris Harris, despite recording a time 11 seconds slower than Griskonis and Ritter, with pairs from Azerbaijan and Italy also qualifying from this heat.
The third heat saw Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic qualify top, with pairings from France and Australia also qualifying.
Men's Coxless Lightweight Four
In this event was the Danish quartet who has set the early pace, with a time of 5:58.21 leading them to win the second heat, ahead of the Great British and Greek teams.
The Italian quartet were victorious in the first heat ahead of teams from China and Switzerland, whilst the final heat was one by the New Zealand team, ahead of the American quartet in second and the Dutch quartet in third.
Men's Quadruple Sculls
The competition was high in this event, with only two heats and only two of the five teams in each heat guaranteed to go through.
The first heat was extremely tight between the top three, with Estonia's winning time of 5:51.71 just one second ahead of second-placed Ukraine, and less than two seconds ahead of third-place Germany, who head into the Repechage along with New Zealand and Canada.
The second heat was also tight, with the teams from Australia and Poland edging out the teams from Switzerland, who came third, and the fourth-placed British squad. The Australian's won in a time of 5:50.98, with Poland just 0.3 seconds behind that.
Women's Quadruple Sculls
This was set to be a particularly tight event with just one team from each heat guaranteed a final spot.
The first heat was won by the Ukranian quartet, who won in a time of 6:35.58, around two seconds ahead of Australia in second. The Dutch finished in third, with China coming in fourth.
The second heat was dominated by Germany, who won in a time of 6:30.86 despite easing off towards the end. Poland came in second whilst America came third.