Chilean twins Melita and Antonia Abraham sealed a ticket for next year’s Olympics in Paris on a day where qualification for the Games was on the line at the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade.
After the disappointment of agonisingly missing out on Tokyo 2020, the Abraham sisters delivered a quota for Chile in the women’s pair at Sava Lake in the Serbian capital.
Other qualified boats included Romania, Ireland, Australia, The Netherlands and the United States after finishing in the top three in the two semi-finals.
Meghan Musnicki, a two-time Olympic champion in the women’s eight for the US, joined forces with Alison Rusher to come third in the second semi-final.
“Alie did an incredible job, she called an amazing race,” said Musnicki.
“We trusted ourselves, stuck with our plan.
“She kept me on point.
“I couldn’t be more proud of her and I’m super-excited to have qualified this boat for the US for the Olympics.
“It’s an amazing thing.”
It was a challenging day for the rowers due to a very strong headwind but it failed to stop reigning world champions Marius Cozmiuc and Sergiu Bejan of Romania top their men’s pair semi-final in a time of 6min 51.21sec.
The British crew of Tom George and Oliver Wynne-Griffith also came first in their semi-final in 6:59.61, while Switzerland, Ireland and South Africa were the other qualifiers for Paris 2024.
“The first goal was achieved – Olympic qualification, so it’s all good,” said Switzerland’s Andrin Gulich.
“It was pretty tricky conditions out there today, so the goal was just to keep it clean and be sure to get in the final.
“Now we have two days more of recovery and then it’s full gas on Saturday.”
Britain, Romania, China, Canada, New Zealand and the US sealed quotas for the women’s lightweight double sculls as Italy and France, who claimed gold and silver respectively at Tokyo 2020, failed to make it through.
Ireland, Czech Republic, Norway, Switzerland, Italy and Spain all secured Olympic berths in the men’s lightweight double sculls.
There was disappointment for Olympic bronze medallists Ireland in the women’s four after placing fifth in second semi-final.
Defending world champions Britain, world and Olympic silver medallists The Netherlands and reigning Olympic champions Australia advanced along with China, the US and China.
“I’m really happy,” said Dutch rower Marloes Oldenburg.
“We did a good job, but we are here for this World Championships and not for Paris.
“Everybody is like you have to be celebrating, and we’re like ‘no. we’re here for the finals.”
The men’s four saw France sealed third spot ahead of Italy and book their ticket to the Olympics along with the US and The Netherlands, while Britain, New Zealand and Australia advanced from the other semi-final.
The Netherlands, China, Romania, Britain, Switzerland and Australia qualified boats for Paris 2024 in the women’s quadruple sculls.
There was more success for The Netherlands, Britain and Switzerland in the men’s quadruple sculls as they clinched qualification spots along with Poland and Germany.
“It’s so great to see this team develop from four individuals to really get this team together and now qualify for the Olympics and go to Paris next year is more than a dream come true,” said Germany’s Tim Ole Naske.
Source: Inside The Games