By David Gold

Fabiana_BeltrameSeptember 2 - Fabiana Beltrame made history at Lake Bled in Slovenia today by becoming the first Brazilian rower to take a World Championship title.

The mother of one from Florianopolis hardly shone in the semi-finals of the lightweight women's single sculls but she was the stand-out performer as she laid down a marker in her long term goal of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

But Beltrame dominated in the race to claim her historic gold medal.

She raced into an early lead and rather than look flustered, she continued to move away from the chasing pack, with Switzerland's Pamela Weisshaupt putting up a futile fight to take silver.

The most thrilling race came in the men's double sculls, where Slovenian hopes Iztok Cop and Luka Spik lined up bidding to add to their medal collection.

Germany set the pace with the world champions from New Zealand and Olympic champions Australia in an amongst the front runners as six boats came to within sight of the finish line with a realistic chance of glory.

Slovenia, Australia and France pelted for the line but New Zealand and Germany pulled away, with New Zealand pair Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan retaining their title by just six hundreths of a second, and the French squad coming home in third.

There was also drama in the B-final, where Germany stormed into an early final but found themselves leading a six way fight for medals going into the final lengths.

However Poland grabbed a dramatic win ahead of the Czech Republic, and Germany had to settle for third.

Further back, France came fourth and South Africa, who seemed to be set to miss out on qualification for London next year, edged out Serbia by half a second to come fifth and ensure they can book their places at the 2012 Olympics.

Britain's Katherine Grainger and Anna Watkins won their semi-final in the women's double scull to put in them in with a great chance of gold tomorrow.

In the women's eight, the United States recovered from a poor start to win gold ahead of Canada, who had led until the end.

Britain came home in third after edging a three way battle for the final medal spot with Romania and the Netherlands, meaning that all five boats qualified for London 2012.

In the lightweight men's four, Australia led going into the final 500 metres after clawing back the advantage Italy had built up to take gold for the first time in the event for 30 years, and Britain survived a battle with Denmark and China to take bronze.

In the men's coxed pair, Italy beat Australia to the gold medal, with Canada coming third, whilst Denmark's Henrik Stephansen won the lightweight men's single scull, ahead of the Italians and New Zealand.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
September 2011: Golden start for Emery and Chambers at World Rowing Championships
August 2011: Racing starts in rowing World Championships in Bled
August 2011: Paul Thompson: London is ready for 2012 - now the rowers just need to qualify
August 2011: Top rowers get set for World Championships with Olympic qualification spots up for grabs
July 2011: Exclusive - We have a mountain to climb, says Reed