Dara Alizadeh into quarter-finals of single sculls at Olympics
Dara Alizadeh booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Olympic men’s single sculls with a row last night at the Sea Forest Waterway that marked an improvement on his debut effort 24 hours earlier.
Dumped into the second-chance repechage, a series of three heats to determine the six who will complete the 24-man quarter-final field, Alizadeh stamped his authority on the top-two goal from the outset despite a slightly slower finishing time of 7min 35.90sec.
The 27-year-old Bermudian tracked heat winner Jan Fleissner, of the Czech Republic, from the gun and pulled clear of Jorge Ignacio Vasquez, of the Dominican Republic, in third — at one stage opening a lead of as much as ten seconds.
Fleissner took the heat in 7:29.90, his 13-second drop-off from the day before reflected in the lack of recovery time the rowers had before getting back out on the course.
Alizadeh can take credit in that he lost just under a second to his time in the opening heat, signifying an improvement.
In fourth place was Privel Hinkati, of Benin, in 7:55.93.
The prospect of a full day’s rest before the quarter-finals was removed when organisers brought the schedule forward in anticipation of bad weather early next week.
So Alizadeh will be back in action late tonight hoping to punch well above his weight.
He has been drawn in the second quarter-final, which is set to begin at 11.50pm Bermuda time. There he will face a rematch with Canadian Trevor Jones and Onat Kazakli, of Turkey, who qualified directly from the preliminary heat.
The others in the six-man field are Sverri Nielsen, of Denmark, Alexander Vyazovkin, of the Russian Federation, and Peter Purcell-Gilpin, of Zimbabwe.
The top three will advance to the semi-finals with the rest dropping into the C/D consolation semi-final.