Medals podium comment of the day, by a member of the Canadian mens' eight: "We're going to Athens with attitude."
The headwind caused conditions at the start to be quite bad, apparently; a couple different rowers compared it to the worst venues in their home countries on a bad day. The wind was so strong that, shortly after the regatta was over, the medal podium sign blew over in a crash.
This certainly boded poorly for the US women's eight, who caught a boat-stopping crab early in the race, and went from second place, 0.45 behind the Germans, to nine seconds out in sixth, and couldn't bring themselves back into the hunt. A very tough way to end a very good year, which included two World Cup wins.
The Romanian women, always in the middle at the medal stand, won only one gold in Milan, in the light women's pair.
The Canadian men's eight frontloaded their race with the fastest first and second 500s, pushing out to 2.5 second on the field by the 1000. pushed by the Brits, the US closed by a quarter-second over the next 500, then seemed locked bowman on coxswain for about 20 strokes before storming up to within about a third of a length at the finish line. The Brits couldn't keep pace, and fell back to three second behind the leaders. From there it was open water back to France.
|Final Medal Count |
| ||Gold ||Silver ||Bronze |
|Germany ||4 ||4 ||7 |
|USA ||3 ||2 ||1 |
|Italy ||3 ||1 ||1 |
|Canada ||3 || ||2 |
|Australia ||2 ||3 ||1 |
|Denmark ||2 || || |
|Great Britain ||1 ||4 ||1 |
|Romania ||1 ||1 ||2 |
|France ||1 || ||1 |
|Bulgaria ||1 || || |
|China ||1 || || |
|Norway ||1 || || |
|New Zealand ||1 || || |
|Netherlands || ||3 || |
|Belarus || ||2 ||1 |
|Croatia || ||2 || |
|Czech Rep. || ||1 ||1 |
|Poland || ||1 ||1 |
|Greece || || ||1 |
|Ireland || || ||1 |
|South Africa || || ||1 |
|Russia || || ||1 |
|Slovenia || || ||1 |
The men's coxed four held off an mad late charge from a British coxed four that includes three members of the gold medal Sydney eight. "We drove it up three times going for the line," three-man Jason Flickinger explained. The drive worked, as the crew went from a foot up to around a half-length up by the finish.
In 2002, Mike Altman and Simon Carcagno were the first US crew to make the final in the light men's pair; this year they're the first US crew to medal in the event, taking the bronze behind Denmark and Germany. The crew was very satisfied with the race: "Last year our goal was to make the final, and this year we wanted to close the deal with a medal." ---
The US light women's quad reached the 500m mark in sixth, but pushed back into the field, then had the fastest last 500 of the race. It was just barely too little, tho, and they missed a medal by 0.18 seconds.
Surprise medal of the day: the Dutch light men's four. It's been since fellow web geek Joris Trooster was in the game that the Dutch had a quick four.
During the final of the light men's double, a jokester threw smoke flares into the water near lane zero. The Polish double in Lane 1 rowed right through a massive red cloud.
The German squad is back - 15 medals out of 24 events. The US was the next closest country, with six.
Overheard at the Boatyard: "The good thing about him is he's short."
After the heats: "When is someone going to tell Sartori that he's not in the quad anymore, and he can stop going so damn fast?!?"
The organizing committee handed out "goodie bags" to the media at the close of the event, including among the hats and tees and propaganda an unprecedented bottle of wine.