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Wagner & Buchholz 4th in Semis; To Race in B Finals Sunday

Rhode Island’s Chase Buchholz (17) and Richard Wagner (17) earned the rights to represent the United States at the Jr. World Rowing Championships being held this week in Plovdic, Bulgaria. They have steadily moved up the elimination ladder with first and third place in daily racing which is paring down 33 countries‘ athletes down to just 6 for the gold medal A finals event and six for the B finals tomorrow.

Buchholz and Wagner finished fourth today in a stiff field of competition which includes defending Jr. World Champion Germany.  The semi-final race delivered 12 country’s teams for the draw, and the USA was drawn in the same race as Germany, Estonia, and Latvia. The US advances to the B final tomorrow with their fourth place finish today in the semi-final.  This was a hard fought fast race where the Germanswere strong and continued to dominate this racing series. Germany recorded the fastest qualifying time of all teams in yesterday’s quarterfinals.

Behind Germany, Estonia followed in second with Latvia in third in very tight neck and neck racing. As the crews came into the last 300meters of the 2,000 meter race, Germany remained in the lead with Latvia in second place and third place Estonia pulling hard to hold off a fast finishing United States. The margin of separation between the US and Estonia was only 1.4 seconds in the 6:32.7 race.  It was a neck and neck race to the finish with the US posting the fastest time in the final 500 meters but it was still not enough to get them by Estonia who captured the final qualifying third place spot for the Gold Medal match tomorrow that will feature Switzerland, Belgium, Poland, Germany, Latvia, and Estonia. By comparison, their finishing time today would have placed them in second place and just thirty three hundredths of a second off first place if they had been drawn been to the A semi-final. It is “the luck of the draw”.

Buchholz and Wagner will race against Sovenia, France, Norway, Serbia, and Lithuania in the B-final tomorrow.   Rhode Island salutes these young athletes for their achievements so far in this World level competition, and hopes to see them finish strongly as they have done so many times before with back to back US National Championships and gold medals from the Head of the Charles Regatta.