The second regatta of the 1997 Rowing World Cup continued in Paris Saturday with repechages and semi-finals. Germany, the overall World Cup leaders after the first event, have ten boats in Sunday's finals, closely followed by Britain and host nation France, each with nine boats racing tomorrow.
Racing was brought forward by 90 minutes to beat anticipated bad weather. Despite the early start, the rowers still had to battle a strong crosswind but the rain held off until the end of the session.
Men's Single Sculls: Former world champion and Munich winner Iztok Kop (SLO) powered home in 6:50.20 to win the first semi-final. Ibrahim Ali (EGY), the first rower from the African continent to win an international regatta medal when he finished second in Munich, was this time only two seconds behind Kop. Horst Nussbaumer (AUT) put in a strong last burst to edge out Munich third placer Jamie Koven (USA), a former world champion in the eight. The second semi-final was significantly slower and was won by Frederik Bekken (NOR) in 7:06.10, ahead of Barcelona gold medalist Greg Searle (GRB), in his first season in the single, and Andris Reinholds (LAT).
Women's Single Sculls: Olympic champion and Munich winner Katya Khodotovitch (BLR) won her semi comfortably in 7:39.81 with 1994 world champion Trine Hansen (DEN) second and Olympic double sculls gold medalist Kathrin Boron (GER) third. 1995 world champion Maria Brandin (SWE) went faster in the second semi, winning in 7:37.00 with the remaining final places going to Rouniana Neikova (BUL) and Celine Garcia (FRA).
Men's Lightweight Double Sculls: Munich winners Ingo Euler and Bernhard Rahline (GER) again beat Olympic champions Markus and Michael Gier (SUI) in the first semi-final. Poland, France 1, Austria and Australia also qualified for the final.