The 2013 World Rowing Championships have kicked off in Chungju, South Korea. Day 1's extensive run of heats provided plenty of interesting results for rowers who are looking to score a major victory in Asia.
Onlookers were treated to races in 10 boat classes in comfortable conditions on the Tangeum Lake International Rowing Regatta course. As we recap the opening day of action, let's also take at the rowers to watch across the rest of the event's duration.
Day 1 Results Recap
Here's each of the results from the elite class races.
It's worth noting that in the Lightweight Men's Single Sculls, the top four from each of the five heats qualified for the quarterfinal clashes. In the Men's Single Sculls, only the top three qualified across six heats.
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls—Heats
|Heat 1||Henrik Stephansen||Jeremie Azou||Rajko Hrvat||Aymen Mejri|
|Heat 2||Michael Schmid||Nicholas Pratt||Nedelcho Vasilev||Jose Casiraghi|
|Heat 3||Andrew Campbell||Jonathan Koch||Nikolaos Afentoulis||Wong|
|Heat 4||Peter Galambos||Jamie Kirkwood||Hakbeom Lee||Benjamin Tolention|
|Heat 5||Pedro Fraga||Alan Eber Armenta Vega||Duncan Grant||Catalan Flores|
Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls—Heats
Qualifiers: GRE, USA, AUT, GBR, RSA, BLR, BRA, NZL
Qualifiers: GBR, ROU, SRB, NED, NZL, UKR, USA, RSA, GER
Qualifiers: ITA, NZL, ESP, FRA
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls—Heats
Qualifiers: ITA, GBR, SUI, NED
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls—Heats
Qualifiers: ITA, GER, USA, NED, GBR, NZL
Qualifiers: NED, ITA, USA, GBR, AUS, BLR
Women’s Quadruple Sculls—Heats
Qualifiers: GER, CAN
Men’s Quadruple Sculls—Heats
Qualifiers: GER, UKR, CRO, SUI, GBR, EST
Men’s Single Sculls—Heats
|Heat 1||Mahe Drysdale||Petru Codau||Domonkos Szell|
|Heat 2||Mindaugas Griskonis||Roel Braas||Roman Roeoesli|
|Heat 3||Ondrej Synek||Sawarn Singh||Dani Fridman|
|Heat 4||Alan Campbell||Nicholas Purnell||Georgi Bozhilov|
|Heat 5||Angel Fournier||Aleksandar Aleksandrov||Vladislav Yakovlev|
|Heat 6||Marcel Hacker||Luka Spik||Artem Kosov|
Rowers to Watch in South Korea
Sunday's showing has outlined a number of favourites to watch during the rest of the competition. While many of the heats finished in close contention, who destroyed the rest of the field with an easy victory? Let's take a look.
Was Henrik Stephansen's win the most impressive performance of the day?
Stephansen was tasked with an immensely difficult opening race in the Lightweight Men's Single Sculls. The 25-year-old Dane was pitted up against Jeremie Azou, beating the Frenchman by just 0.14 seconds. This race quite literally went down to the last stroke as both rowers strived to assert dominance in the first clash.
Such a win gives Stephansen the edge as the competition progresses. His fast-finishing prowess is a potent weapon on his quest for glory and has already proven vital in South Korea.
He also set the fastest qualifying time at 6:56.61, as reported by World Rowing.
Helen Glover and Polly Swann
British hopefuls performed extremely well during Day 1. Glover and Swann's new partnership may have only started at the beginning of the season, but since hitting the water together, the pair have won every single race.
An intense battle with Romania's Roxana Cogianu and Nicoleta Albu saw the British duo pushed to the limit. Glover and Swann started slowly and had work to do in the latter half of the race to ensure victory. Encouragingly, even with the trundling start, they set the fastest qualifying time across all of the Women's Pair heats.
Campbell will be pleased for his fellow Brits, but the 30-year-old had his own reasons to celebrate in the cloudy South Korean conditions.
The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist hasn't enjoyed the best of spells in recent times. A misfired start in the Men's Single Sculls would have dented the confidence of a man who has struggled for rhythm all season. Luckily, a comfortable 31 strokes per minute was enough to safely qualify from his heat in first.
This win will do wonders for Campbell's confidence. Although it means nothing yet, the British rower will head into the quarterfinal with a rejuvenated morale and increased focus.