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Rowing concludes day six with two Chinese boats qualifying for finals
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19:05, August 15, 2008

Friday is a busy day for rowing as there are altogether nearly 20 events on the agenda. Two out of three Chinese boats won the berths for the finals to be held over the weekend.

In lightweight women's double sculls, the Canadian boat held a one length lead and maintained it for the whole race. The Chinese boat finished second in the semifinal. It was surpassed by three boats in the middle of the race.

"I think the Olympics is a different level all together, we needed to take a different approach from that we took in our first heat. We have confidence in our speed," Canadian rower Melanie Kok said after the semifinal on Friday.

On how to prepare for the final, her partner Tracy Cameron said: "We'll be doing the same again, looking at the video of this performance, analyzing it and getting a few pointers. Hopefully we can have our best race of the lot."

In the lightweight men's double sculls, Chinese boat was in the last batch in most of the race. But in the last 200 meters, the boat went so fast that it surpassed at least two boats and finished the race in the third place, securing a ticket for the final.

In the semifinals for lightweight men's four, the Canadian boat was taking the lead in the first 500 meters of the race, followed by Australia and China. But in the sprint, the Chinese boat lagged behind and finished the race in the fifth place, depriving itself of the qualification for the final. Poland was the first to hit the finish line.

"We hope it will be the same outcome as this race, but the final is the final, there are new rules," Polish rower Bartlomiej Pawelczak said after the chase.

On potential challenges to Poland in the final, he listed Britain as their arch rival.

Britain was "a major threat, he said, adding that the Germans would also pose a threat to them if they had not been ill and pulled out.

"The Greeks were faster than we had expected. Otherwise, China were as we thought they would be," Reinholdt Mads Rasmussen from the Danish crew noted.

In races of men's quadruple sculls, Poland and Italy won Friday's semifinals and together with Australia, Germany, the United States and France will stride into the final.

"At the last part of the race, we gave it our all. We kept in unison and were able to build up our speed for the last few hundred meters," Smone Raineri from Italy commented after their race.

In the final B races of seven boat classes, European rowers also tried to show their best side although they had no chances of standing on the podium.

Saturday will be a day of gold medals. Seven gold medals would be open for grab.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 24 9 5 38
2 USA 14 12 18 44
3 Germany 8 2 4 14
4 South Korea 6 8 3 17
5 Italy 6 4 3 13
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