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Rowing's 3rd day features normality except for Australia
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20:16, August 11, 2008

Beijing Olympics rowing wrapped up its third day races here Monday with everything proceeded as expected except for Australia.

The competition agenda for the day was composed of 10 events, with two of them (heat races of men's eight and women's eight) postponed to Monday from Sunday due to a thunderstorm.

The United States and Roman qualified for the final because they headed two separate heat races. Romania has won three women's eight Olympic gold medal in a row and has been considered the most favorite for Beijing Olympics title for the event. The U.S. crew also showed the power of their muscle by finishing the 2,000-meter race with 6 minutes and 6.53 seconds.

Men's eight went along quite well except for the Australians. A sudden equipment problem dragged the boat of Australian crew's men's eight (M8+) to the last place in Beijing Olympics heat race of the event held in the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park. They finished the race with 6 minutes and 55.59 seconds.

"We were happy with how they started but it's very disappointing, the rudder caught and jammed," Australian head coach Noel Donaldson said.

On their medal chances affected by the accident, he said, "If we can get over tomorrow we are going to go hunting for medals."

James Tomkins, the most famous rower in the Australian crew who has secured 3 Olympic gold medals and 7 World Champion titles, also said that it was a pity.

"We thought we got off to a good start, but it was a malfunction of the steering, (cox) Marty had a real hard time," he said.

In the women's double sculls races, Britain, Germany, the United States and the Czech Republic qualified for final A, to meet challenges from New Zealand and China which qualified for the final by winning their respective heat races on Sunday.

In the quarterfinals for women's single sculls, 12 boats qualified for semifinal A/B, including China. Chinese rower Zhang Xiuyun said, "I made some mistakes during the race. The semifinals are coming. The rivals are strong. Therefore, I will try to my best in the coming races."

In the men's single scull races, 12 boats stood out for semifinals A/B. European powers Germany, Britain are among them.

"I'm happy with that. I had plenty more energy left at the end. He (Hacker) went hard at the start and I gave myself too much to do, I gave it a little push but he had it under wraps by that stage," said British rower Alan Campbell after finishing second to Marcel Hacker (Germany) in the first quarterfinal of the event.

One thing to note is that four young people from China's Shandong Province entered the heat and repechage races of men's four (M4-). They were the last one to hit the finish line, but they said they tried their best and were satisfied with the result.

"We are a team from Shandong. We now see our difference with foreign rowers. They are so strong, but we tried our best and we are happy with the result," one of the Chinese crew said after the races.

"This result is much better than what we achieved last year," he added.

Two of the four crew member, Guo Kang and Zhyao Linquan, were just 20 years of age. They said that they would try to train more and improve faster in the years to come.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 8 3 0 11
2 USA 3 4 5 12
3 South Korea 3 2 0 5
4 Australia 2 0 3 5
5 Japan 2 0 2 4
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