SA rowers in Dutch semis

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Amsterdam - Olympic gold medallists James Thompson and John Smith on Wednesday qualified for the semi-final of the men's lightweight double sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam.

Thompson and Smith will join the rest of the South African crews in the semi-finals at Amsterdam's Bosbaan regatta course on Thursday.

Only the top three boats in the four quarterfinals would advance to the semi-finals.

The two South Africans finished final quarterfinal in second place behind the German crew of Moritz Moos and Jason Osborne.

The Germans finished in a time of six minutes, 38.740 seconds (6:38.740) with the South African boat posting a time of 6:40.890.

Thompson and Smith held onto third place over the first half of the race where they were involved in a duel with the Germans and the Dutch crew of Tycho and Vincent Muda.

The South Africans briefly took the lead over the third 500 metres before Germany reclaimed poll position with the Netherlands finishing third for a semi-final berth.

South Africa have four Olympic-class boat crews in Thursday's semi-finals with the men's and women's pairs, and the lightweight women's double sculls aiming for a spot in the final.

These boats qualified for the semi-finals in their heats on Sunday with Naydene Smith and Lee-Ann Persse advancing in the women's pair, while Kirsten McCann and Ursula Grobler will be rowing in the lightweight women's double sculls.

The men's pair of Vincent Breet and Shaun Keeling also won their heats progressing to the semi-finals.

Kate Johnstone will also be flying the flag in the lightweight women's single sculls after she gained automatic qualification to the semi-final when she finished in the top three in her heat on Sunday.

The men's coxed pair crew of David Hunt and Lawrence Britain with Willie Morgan as coxswain finished second in Wednesday's repechage to book a place in Friday's final.

South Africa's para-rowing LTA Mixed Coxed Four crew of Shannon Murray, Lucy Perold, Clifford Andrews, Dieter Rosslee and Morgan as coxswain will be rowing in Thursday's final.

Para-rower Sandra Khumalo finished second in her AS women's single sculls repechage on Tuesday to claim a final berth on Thursday.

Sapa


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