China claimed four spots at Rio 2016 as the World Rowing Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Gavirate in Italy came to a close today.
They finished in the coveted top two positions in each of the four boat classes' A finals to ensure their tickets to this summer's Paralympic Games.
Lili Wang posted a time of 5min 50.06sec to win the women’s single sculls showdown, finishing ahead of South Korea’s Sejeong Kim, who came second in 5:50.66.
In the equivalent men’s event, defending Paralympic champion Cheng Huang crossed the line first in 4:55.91 with South Korea’s Jun-Ha Park finishing runner-up in 5:01.00.
China also triumphed in the mixed double skulls as Shuang Liu and Tianming Fei combined to post an unrivalled time of 4:11.70.
Russia’s Vasily Feoktistov and Svetlana Nuzhdina came closest to matching it in 4:19.59, securing their Paralympic places.
Australia’s mixed coxed four team of Brock Ingram, Jeremy McGrath, Davinia Lefroy, Kathleen Murdoch and Josephine Burnand proved too strong for China’s Qian Wang, Hui Zhao, Yunlong Wu, Xuebin Feng and Li Yu, triumphing in 3:26.46.
China still took second spot with a time of 3:27.00.
Earlier in the day, Lithuania’s Augustas Navickas and Switzerland’s Franco Belletti won the respective men’s singles sculls B and C finals in 5:27.34 and 5:54.03 respectively.
Austria’s Maria Dorn, Gerheid Pahl, Thomas Ebner, Benjamin Strasser and Erika Buchinger won the mixed coxed four B final in 3:48.48.
The main Paralympic qualification took place at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette in France and the regatta in Gavirate provided the last opportunity for crews to qualify for Rio 2016.
Great Britain were among the medallists in the Paralympic class A finals as Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley won a bronze and a silver from the two trunk-arms double scull races.
The pair clocked a time of 4:03.04 in the first, which was won by The Netherlands’ Esther Van der Loos and Corna De Konig in 4:01.90 with France’s Perle Bouge and Stephane Tardieu second in 4:02.27.
Rowles and Whiteley then stepped up to silver, crossing the line in 4:06.63 to sandwich themselves between winners Bouge and Tardieu in 4:06.61, and third-place finishers Van der Loos and De Konig in 4:06.79.
Rachel Morris won silver in both of the arms-shoulders single scull finals, beaten twice by Norway's Birgit Skarstein in a reversal of the finishing positions at last year’s World Championships.
Tom Aggar, a world silver medallist last year and Paralympic champion in 2008, battled to a silver and a bronze from the two arms-shoulders single scull finals, both of which were won by Ukraine’s Roman Polianskyi.