Defending champions France crash out of men’s fours repechage in Bled


France’s men’s four crashed out of their World Rowing Championships repechage today, missing out on London 2012 Olympic qualification on a dramatic day of racing in Bled, Slovenia.

The French four – consisting of Julien Despres, Jean-Baptiste Macquet, Germain Chardin, and Dorian Mortelette – were up against crews from New Zealand, the Netherlands, and Russia, and had forged a slender lead by the 1000m mark.

However, the Dutch and New Zealand crews refused to surrender the race, overhauling the reigning world champions and Olympic bronze medallists at the death to qualify for the A/B semi-final in the crucial first and second-place spots.

The French could consider themselves doubly unlucky on a breezy morning in Bled, as their third-placed time of five minutes and 54.67 seconds was comfortably quicker than the winners of all three of the other men’s repechages – Canada, Australia, and USA.

The GB Rowing Team, meanwhile, enjoyed victories in all three of its semi-finals in Bled today.

To see how the women’s pair and men’s and women’s eight got on, see the GB Rowing Team report.