Olympics Day 1 – Live Updates

Welcome to the ARA's live coverage of the Olympic rowing. We'll be updating this minute by minute as the action happens so keep coming back to get the latest updates. Let us know what you think of the action by emailing olympics@ara-rowing.org.

Minute by Minute Updates

 
10:57

So that ends today's racing with some good wins for Great Britain.  Come back tomorrow for more of our live updates.

[finish]
10:56

Coming into the finish, Australia winning comfortably 6:00.33, Germany come second but Ireland finish third.

France who were in second right up till 1500m finish fourth.

[1000]
10:53

Australia lead at the halfway mark.  France in second with Germany and Ireland behind them.  The Aussies are (suprise, suprise) looking quite confident out in the lead.

[500]
10:51

Australia come through ahead of France, Germany and Ireland.

[start]
10:50

Last race of the day now and it's the final heat of the men's four.

Lane Country
1 [ger]
2 [fra]
3 [aus]
4 [irl]
[finish]
10:47

New Zealand going for it at the finish but the Netherlands just hold them (6:00.50).  Slovenia come through in third and Czech Republic finish fourth.

 [1500]
10:46

Netherlands come through in 4:30.73, New Zealand have made their move now coming through in second at 1500.

[1000]
10:44

At the halfway mark it's Netherlands leading but there's not much between the top crews.  New Zealand meanwhile have dropped down to fourth.

Remember top three qualify for the semi-finals.

[500]
10:43

It's Czech Republic, Netherlands, New Zealand at 500m.

[start]
10:41

Heat 2 of the men's four.

Lane Country
1 [nzl]
2 [ned]
3 [slo]
4 [cze]
[finish]
10:39

Britain finish well and push away from the other crews (6:00.65).  The Italians finish second ahead of the USA.  China finish fourth ahead of Belarus.

Hard race for GB but a good result in the end.

[1500]
10:38

Great Britain still lead but it's close as the Italians come up on them and bring the USA with them.

[1000]
10:37

Coming through the 1000m, Italy still about half a length off Great Britain.  Britain come through 2:58.14.  The Italians really pushing hard against the GBR.

[500]
10:35

First 500m and Great Britain (1:25.46) lead by 1.59 second over second place Italy.

 [start]
10:33

Team GB time again, can the men's four lay down a marker after a disjointed season?

First three to the semi-final.

Lane Country
1 [ita]
2 [usa]
3 [gbr]
4 [chn]
5 [blr]
[finish]
10:31

Australia win (6:21.47) with France second

The Slovenians wound down quite a lot, realising they won't win but weren't going to be caught by the Bulgarians who finish last.

[1000]
10:29

Through 1000m and it's close at the front.  Australia lead Slovenia and France but there's nothing between the boats.

[500]
10:27

Italy trailing a bit at the moment.  At 500, France lead followed by Australia and the Iztok Cop's Slovenian boat.

 
10:25

About to start now - we've got the roll call.

 
10:22

More delays while we wait for something to be sorted with the starting system.

[start]
10:20

Start of heat 3 of the men's double sculls, with both the 1st and 2nd placed crews from last year's world champs.

China won't start - some problem with the boat apparently.

Lane Country
1 [bul]
2 [fra]
3 [slo]
4 [aus]
5 [chn]
[finish]
10:16

[gbr] win in 6:26.14 and so go through to the semi-final.

Croatia finish second and the Estonians take the last semi-final spot.  Russia finish fourth with Iraq coming in last.

 [1500]
10:14

Great Britain lead at 1500m just ahead of the Estonians.  Apparently they haven't lost a heat in three years - let's hope they keep that up.

[1000]
10:12

Although Dan Topolski has been slating the Estonian timing on the BBC, they still lead at the halfway mark.

Great Britain just 0.39 seconds off the leaders.

 [500]
10:11

Three boats close at the front with Estonia, Great Britain and Croatia leading the rest of the pack at 500m.

[start]
10:10

Wells and Rowbotham go in heat 2 for Team GB in the men's double.  Good to see Iraq in this race too after we thought they might no be able to compete.

Lane Country
1 [cro]
2 [irq]
3 [gbr]
4 [est]
5 [rus]
[finish]
10:08

New Zealand as predicted powered through there and win in 6:24.29.  Belarus finish second with Germany third.  

Belgium and the USA will have to go to the repechage.

[1500]
10:06

Belarus still leading with New Zealand in second.  I reckon New Zealand will start to push on now and use the power of Rob Waddell.

[1000]
10:04

At 100m it's Belarus, New Zealand, Germany and then Belgium.The US are bringing up the rear.

 [500]
10:02

Belarus leading the race by miles in the first 500m already 2.16 seconds ahead after the first 500m.

Three of these boats will go through to the semi-final with the rest going into the repechage.

[start]
10:00

Heat 1 of the men's double.  Rob Waddell and Nathan Cohen in the New Zealand boat here.

Just a slight delay while they clear weed from one of the lanes.

Lane Country
1 [blr]
2 [ger]
3 [bel]
4 [nzl]
5 [usa]
[finish]
9:57

China respond and win in a time of 7:02.87 ahead of the Czech Republic, Great Britain finish third ahead of Australia and Italy.

China really had to react to the Czech push at the end there.

 
9:56

Czech Republic are rowing through the world champions China!

[1500]
9:55

China getting a great reaction from the crowd as they come towards the 1500 mark but they're being pushed now by the Czech Republic.  Great Britain now 3.66 seconds off the lead but still in third.

[1000]
9:53

At the halfway stage, China looking comfortable in the lead.  Great Britain now in third (2.87 seconds behind China).  Czech Republic currently sit in second.

[500]
9:52

China flew out of the blocks there rating over 50.  [gbr] start well too but as we come through 500 they find themselves in second 1.48 behind China.  Czech Republic in third.

[start]
9:50

Time for Team GB again.  It's Elise Laverick and Anna Bebington who will have to win this heat to progress straight to the final.  Unfortunately they face the world champions from China.

Lane Country
1 [aus]
2 [cze]
3 [chn]
4 [gbr]
5 [ita]
[finish]
9:47

The Swindell sisters win for New Zealand (7:03.80) ahead of Germany and USA.  Romania finish in fourth ahead of the Ukraine.

[1500]
9:45

New Zealand come through 1500 almost 7 seconds ahead of the chasing pack.

[1000]
9:44

New Zealand comfortably in the lead here.  In these heats it's just the winners who will progress straight to the final.  Everyone else goes into the repechage.

[500]
9:42

New Zealand lead Romania and the USA at 500.

Could New Zealand do the double in the doubles?  The Swindell sisters are looking quite good here and later on we'll see the men's double containing Rob Waddell.

 [start]
9:40

As we progress onto the women's double sculls, the temperature also progresses higher.

The Swindell sisters, Olympic Champions, go in lane 2.

Lane Country
1 [rou]
2 [nzl]
3 [ger]
4 [usa]
5 [ukr]
 [finish]
9:37

New Zealand win (6:41.64) with Serbia in second and the Czechs finish third.

Croatia, the Olympic silver medallists, finish a long way back.  Not sure they'll be on the podium this time.

[1500]
9:36

Bit of a suprise as the silver medallists from Athens, Croatia are really off the pace.

New Zealand looking comfortable out in front, not quite as good as the Aussies but still good.

There's some really great angles on the TV footage today by the way.  I'm particularly looking forward to the first shots from the supposed buoy cam.

[1000]
9:34

As we pass through the halfway mark, it's now New Zealand ahead of Serbia and the Czech Republic.

[500]
9:31

Through the first 500m and it's Serbia ahead of New Zealand and the Czech Republic taking up the last semi-final spot at the moment.

[start]
9:30

Final heat of the men's pair about to start.

Lane Country
1 [srb]
2 [nzl]
3 [cro]
4 [cze]
[finish]
9:26

No suprise when Australia win (6:41.08), South Africa finish second and unfortunately Germany finish third.

Great Britain finish fourth but will need the repechage to progress to the final.

[1500]
9:24

Through 1500m Australia lead (5:66.50) from South Africa but more importantly Germany come through a couple of feet ahead of Great Britain.

Can the boys from GB push through in the final 500?

[1000]
9:23

At this stage it looks like Great Britain's only chance to qualify directly is to catch Germany.  Australia have raised their game and are ahead of the field with South Africa in second.

[500]
9:22

South Africa come through in first with Australia behind them.  Great Britain currently sat in fourth.

[start]
9:20

So here comes the next Team GB crew of Tom Solesbury and Robin Bourne-Taylor.  Again it's first three through to the semi-final, fourth and fifth go into the repechage.

This will be a tough race with the legendary Ginn & Free racing for Australia in this heat.

Lane Country
1 [rsa]
2 [aus]
3 [ger]
4 [gbr]
5 [den]
[finish]
9:16

A really hard race there - everyone looking around in the final 250m.

France win (6:46.57), Italy second and Canada take third.

[1000]
9:14

At 1000m it's still Canada ahead and France in second but now Italy have got the final semi-final spot.

[500]
9:12

500m down and it's Canada in the lead with France in second and Poland in third.

In these heats its the first three through to the semi-final.

[start]
9:10

Now onto the men's pair.  Great Britain's Tom Solesbury and Robin Bourne-Taylor will go in the next heat.

Lane Country
1 [ita]
2 [fra]
3 [can]
4 [usa]
5 [pol]
[finish]
9:08

Romania win this one comfortably in the end (7:22.49).  Germany get second and Great Britain finish (7:29.88) a really creditable third holding on against a strong USA finish.  France finish last.

Really encouraging result for Great Britain there looking forward to the repechage.

[1500]
9:06

Romania are really turning it on here and are pulling ahead.  USA have moved ahead of Great Britain now though.

[1000]
9:04

Through the first 1000m and although Great Britain are now in third they actually are closer (+3.06) to the leaders Germany than they were before.

Romania putting a strong push here and look very strong.

[500]
9:02

Germany leading through the first 500m in the lead but Great Britain are currently sitting in second ahead of the Olympic champions Romania.

[start]
9:00

Team GB race in this one with Olivia Whitlam and Louisa Reeve.  This crew qualified for the Olympics through the Poznan qualifying regatta but how will they fair now they're here.

It's going to be tough they need to win to qualify for the final but are up against the Olympic champions, Romania.

Lane Country
1 [rou]
2 [gbr]
3 [ger]
4 [usa]
5 [fra]
[finish]
8:59

The world champions from Belarus win this one comfortably (7:24.47).  New Zealand take second ahead of China.  Australia fourth and Canada finish fifth.

Belarus have laid their marker in this event!

[1000]
8:54

At 1000m it looks like this will be Belarus' race.  They look really comfortable at the front.

[500]
8:52

Belarus come through in first (1:46.21) ahead of China and NZ then Australia.

Remember only one crew in this heat will go through to the final the rest will go through to the repechage where they'l race again for a final spot.

[start]
8:50

Onto the women's pair and Great Britain will go in heat 2 with Olivia Whitlam and Louisa Reeve.

Lane Country
1 [blr]
2 [nzl]
3 [aus]
4 [chn]
5 [can]
[finish]
8:49

A cross-head wind knocked Hamburger in those last 500m but luckily he doesn't capsize.

Tufte wins the heat (7:20.18) with Netherlands taking second spot.  Egypt and Columbia take the final two qualifying spots.

Looking at the times it's interesting because Mahe Drysdale was the slowest qualifier.

[1000]
8:44

Tufte leads but is looking a little laboured.  He's still 2.48 seconds ahead of the Netherlands though.  Egypt are third and Columbia are in fourth.

 [start]
8:40

Olaf Tufte the Olympic champion goes in this heat.

Lane Country
1 [egy]
2 [col]
3 [nor]
4 [ned]
5 [tpe]
 [finish]
8:39

Alan Campbell and Hardcastle of Australia had a really close fight coming through the last 500m.  Alan Campbell and his green go faster stripe come through and win in 7:14.98.

Great start for Alan and Team GB.

Mexico come through in third ahead of the USA who take the final qualifying spot.  Uzbekistan finish last.

 [1500]
8:37

Australia pushing hard as we come through 1500.  Campbell comes in just 0.19 seconds behind the Aussie.

[1000]
8:35

Halfway and Campbell comes through in the lead.  It's still tight at the front with Mexico, USA and Australia still pushing hard.

 [500]
8:33

USA just ahead at 500m with USA taking the lead.  Campbell comes through in second but is starting to slip down the order a bit but he's settled into a good rythm compared to the others.

 [start]
8:31

So it's the start for Team GB.  Come on Alan!

Lane Country
1 [aus]
2 [mex]
3 [usa]
4 [gbr]
5 [uzb]
[finish]
8:31

So it's Czech Republic (7:24.01) followed by Lithuania, India and Monaco.

Algeria miss out on the qualifying spot.

 [1000]
8:27

Czech Republic pushing ahead by 5 seconds of Lithuania, India coming through in third. Algeria currently occupying the final qualifying spot.

 [start]
8:23

Heat 4 off now (one race till Alan Campbell!)

Lane Country
1 [alg]
2 [ind]
3 [ltu]
4 [cze]
5 [mon]
 [finish]
8:21

So it's Sweden (7:26.71), Germany, Hong Kong and Uruguay through to the quarter finals.  Honduras and Cameroon make up the final two positions (though getting a great cheer from the crowd).

 [1500]
8:19

Sweden (5:20.58) comfortably ahead of Germany (5:27.39) as we pass through the 1500 mark.

 
8:17

There may be nine million bicycles in Beijing but there's also loads following each of these races today!

 [start]
8:13

Heat 3 and a slow start from Honduras.  Marcel Hacker looking good off the start for Germany.

Lane Country
1 [cmr]
2 [hon]
3 [swe]
4 [ger]
5 [hkg]
6 [uru]
 
8:13

Mahe Drysdale looks pretty sweaty but he's won (7:28.87).  He'll be followed into the quarter finals by Brazil, Chile and Estonia.

[1000]
8:08

Mahe's carrying his water bottle down the course with him - obviously got attached to that one!

He's still leading though and as we pass through the half way mark it's [nzl], [BRA],[EST],[CHI],[ven]

 [500]
8:06

Drysdale leads through the first 500 - Chile in second.

 
8:04

China Disqualified!

The Chinese sculler has been disqualified for being late to the start.  Huge disappointment for the home crowd.

 [start]
8:02

So here's the man to watch: Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand.

Bit of delay here too as the Chinese rower isn't at the start yet - not sure it'll be popular if the umpire starts without him!

Lane Country
1 [bra]
2 [chn]
3 [est]
4 [nzl]
5 [ven]
6 [chi]
[finish]
8:01

It's Belgium in first (7:16.52) followed by Switzerland (coached by Tim Foster).  Greece and Argentina take the final two qualifying spots.  Iran and Kenya make up the final two places.

[1000]
7:57

At 1000m it's Belgiurm, follwed by Greece, Switzerland and Argentina.  Tim Maeyans looking liking he's working hard at the front but will any of these guys be able to take on the likes of Drysdale?

[500]
7:55

Through the 500m mark - Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, Argentina.  Iran and Kenya currently a bit further off the pace.

 
7:53

Finally off and its Switzerland and Belgium who are expected to do well but off the start Argentina are looking good.

[start]
7:50

Onto the start of the M1x - about half an hour till it all kicks off for Team GB with Alan Campbell!

Bit of delay to the start here as the Iranian sculler haslost his lane number - the officials trying to fix it back on!

Lane Country
1 [gre]
2 [arg]
3 [bel]
4 [sui]
5 [ken]
6 [iri]
[finish]
7:49

A win for the Czech Republic (7:51.56) with Sweden in second.  Zimbabwe take the final spot in the quarter finals ahead of Egypt.

 
7:45

It's noticeable now that the course is starting to fill with spectators.  There's huge areas of colour in the stands going crazy for the rowing.  Bit different to Henley!

[500]
7:42

Through 500m withthe Czech Republic leading Sweden who in turn is leading Egypt and in the rear Zimbabwe.

[start]
7:40

About to start heat 6 of the women's single.

Lane Country
1 [zim]
2 [cze]
3 [swe]
4 [egy]
[finish]
7:38

Through the finish and its Italy's Bascelia (7:43.47), Savage of Australia and in the third qualifying spot comes El Salvador. 

[1000]
7:34

Italy through 1000m in 3:47.41, Australia a little further off now (+3.76).  The Italian really pushing on now.

[500]
7:32

Tight at the front of this one with Italy (1.51.91) vying with Australia (+0.96) for first place.  El Salvador and Iran a little way off.

 [start]
7:30

Heat 5 of the women's single scull:

Lane Country
1 [iri]
2 [ita]
3 [aus]
4 [esa]
 [finish]
7:28

So Bulgaria win but Dan Topolski on the BBC reckons she'll come unstuck due to some dodgy rushing at the end of the slide.

The 46 year old Cuban finishes in second.

 [1500]
7:26

Same order at the moment but the race is a lot more spread out now. Bulgaria through in the lead with a time of 5:55.26.  The 46 year old Cuban still in second.

The South African definitely went off too quick.

 [1000]
7:24

Through 1000m and it's still the same order.

 [500]
7:22

Through 500m and it's Bulgaria, Cuba, followed by South Africa. Myanamar also in this race but very much out of this one I think.

 
7:20

South Africa flying out of the blocks!  Not sure if she'll keep it up though.

 [start]
7:20

Start of heat 3 of the women's single

Lane Country
1 [cub]
2 [bul]
3 [rsa]
4 [mya]
[finish]

A lot of chanting for the USA in the final stages of that race but as we pass through the finish it's Belarus (7:39.87), followed by USA, followed by Korea and Kazakhstan.

So that's Belarus, USA and Korea through to the quarter final.

[1500] Belarus through 1500m in 5:41.72, still followed by USA (+3.35)
[1000]
7:14

Through 1000m in 3:45.21 the order remains the same, Belarus, USA, large gap, Korea, Kazakhstan.

 
7:13

Huge difference between Belarus and the USA and the other two crews.

[500]
7:12

Belarus (1:49.86), followed by USA both pulling away from the field.  Korea currently have that last qualifying spot.

 
7:11

So three of these four crews will progress to the quarter finals, Katerina Karsson is in lane 3 and should win but the USA looks like she wants to push her hard.

 
7:10

Heat 5 kicks off now.

Lane Country
1 [kaz]
2 [usa]
3 [blr]
4 [kor]
 [finish]
7:08

Through the finish it's New Zealand in first, followed by Serbia and then 

  • [NZL] 7:45.12
  • [SRB]
  • [ESP]
  • [bra]
  • [hkg]
 [1000]
7:04

Through the first 1000m and it's New Zealand (3:47.68) followed by Serbia (+0.51) and Spain(+6.40), Brazil currently in fourth (+10.03).

 [500]
7:02

New Zealand the crew to look out for here with Emma Twinn in the women's single scull (former U23 medallist).  She's looking good off the start through the first 500 in the lead and with a atime of 1:52.03

 [start]
7:00

Start of the second heat

  • Lane 1 - [esp]
  • Lane 2 - [srb]
  • Lane 3 - [nzl]
  • Lane 4 - [bra]
  • Lane 5 - [hkg]
[finish]

6:59

So China have won the first heat followed by Poland and France.

Position Country
1 [chn]
2 [pol]
3 [fra]
4 [arg]
5 [arg]
 [1500]
6:54

China (5:41.55) are looking really quite comfortable at the front of this race now, having extended the lead to almost 5 seconds.  

Is this first race an omen of what is to come in the rest of the regatta?

[1000]
6:53

At this stage it looks like China by a length and a bit, followed by Poland, followed by France as we pass through 1000m.

 
6:51

And we're off with China looking to have made a strong start in this heat 1 of the Women's single.

[start]
6:49

Just a minute or two before the rowing begins now and here's the lineup for the first race.

Lane Country
1 [arg]
2 [pol]
3 [chn]
4 [fra]
5 [chi]
 
6:40

10 minutes to go before the start of the first race of the 2008 Olympic Rowing Regatta. Excited yet?  Nervous?

We'll be kicking off with the heats of the women's single at 6:50.  The first British interest will be Alan Campbell at 8:30 am (Heat 5 of the M1x).