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Rowing concludes day of repechages, leaving cheers and tears for China
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19:54, August 12, 2008

Rowing's day four is one of repechage races of seven events, with 28 boats winning qualification to enter final and semifinals in the races held in Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park on Tuesday.

Two Chinese boats entered the repechages, with one winning and the other failing to secure the ticket for finals.

The day's repechages kicked off with lightweight women's double sculls. Six boats including the United States, Britain and Greece have qualified for semifinals A and B.

"It's the Olympics, you have to race hard. We had a good 1,500 meters but in future could pace it a bit better and give ourselves a chance for a sprint at the end,"British rower Helen Casey said.

In the lightweight men's double sculls' repechage races, the Portuguese crew occupied the fourth place in the first 500 meter race. But they boosted rhythm of strokes in the last part of the 2,000-meter race and won the race with a result of 6 minutes 39.07 seconds.

Germany finished first in another repechage race of the event.

"I'm just pleased it is over and that we have done well," German rower Manuel Brehmer told reporters after the race.

On the determination to win the heat, he said: "It has two reasons. One is a better lane, which might only be a small advantage. The other is important psychologically to beat the Australians."

In the repechage race of lightweight men's four, the Irish crew won the race with clear water in 6 minutes and 21.79 seconds, some 3.46 seconds ahead of the second boat.

In the men's eight, the U.S. and Australian boats won the first two places in the race. The Australian boat led the race in most of the race. The U.S. crew overtook the Australians in the sprint race. The Australian boat failed to win the race on Tuesday due to a rudder jam.

"It's always difficult from my experience, they're always the worst races, both emotionally and nerves wise," Australian rower in the event James Tompkins commented on the race.

The Chinese boat finished the repechage with the fifth place, just 0.05 seconds behind the fourth boat, having no chances to enter final A.

There has been speculation that China's men's eight could secure a medal in the event if the crew performed well enough in the heat and repechage stage.

But luckily, two Chinese rowers in the women's pair brought cheers to the Chinese team. They led the repechage race they were in all along the way and hit the finish line with a result of 7 minutes and 23.71 seconds, 3.31 seconds ahead of the German boat, and thus qualified smoothly for final A.

Semifinals, a repechage and finals C and F will be run on day five of the Olympic rowing regatta on Wednesday. Much interest will center on the semifinals of the single sculls, men's pair and the repechage of the women's eight, the final race of the day.


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1 China 11 3 4 18
2 USA 7 6 8 21
3 South Korea 5 5 0 10
4 Italy 3 4 2 9
5 Australia 3 1 3 7
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