ESPN.com - OLY - Romania, Australia score upsets at worlds

 
Sunday, August 26
Romania, Australia score upsets at worlds



LUCERNE, Switzerland -- Romania and Australia pulled off stunning upsets on the final day of the World Rowing Championships on Sunday to capture the showcase eights titles.

The Romanian men got their nose in front early and left the field, including Olympic champion Britain and three-time world gold medalist the United States, chasing them to the line.

Olympic bronze medalist Croatia was able to cut the Romanians' lead to a quarter-length before running out of lake, settling for the silver, while Germany took the bronze.

Only a gritty effort by the Australian women prevented the Romanians from sweeping gold medals in both eights.

Like the men's race, the Aussie women took early control and with 500 meters to row enjoyed a length advantage.

But in the last 300 meters, the Romanians mounted their charge, nearly pulling level before a surprised Aussie crew responded to the challenge to save the gold.

Catriona Roach, Sally Causby, Amber Halliday and Josephine Lips added to the Australian gold medal haul by storming to victory in the women's lightweight quadruple sculls in a world-best 6 minutes, 29.68 seconds.

The United States was a distant second, three seconds adrift, while Germany took the bronze.

A strong final day with three wins and two third-place finishes took Germany to the top of the medals table with five golds, a silver and two bronzes.

Britain was second with three golds, two courtesy of James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent's unprecedented coxed and coxless pairs double on Saturday, and a bronze.

Australia and Ireland were equal third with three golds.

Germany did most of its damage in the quadruple sculls, sweeping gold in both the men's and women's races.

In the women's quads, Olympic champion Germany got out in front early and won with authority, more than a length clear of New Zealand.

The German men were equally impressive, coming home three-quarters of a length clear of the Dutch, who took silver in a photo-finish over Italy.

As expected, the showdown in the lightweight men's fours came down to a battle between Olympic champion France and three-time world champion Denmark.

But that fight was for the silver as Austria upset the form book surging across the line first in a time of 5:53.55, while the Danes settled for silver in 5:54.36 just ahead of France on 5:55.55.

France made up for its disappointment with a fantastic sprint in the men's coxed fours, going from fourth to first in the final 500 meters to snatch gold.

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