(L-R) Molly Reckford and Michelle Sechser pose after winning the women's lightweight double sculls final at the 2021 World Rowing Final Olympic Qualification Regatta on May 16, 2021 in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Molly Reckford and Michelle Sechser were ready for the best in their quest for a medal Saturday at the 2022 World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.
Reckford and Sechser, who finished fifth at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, overcame a slow start and finished strong as they earned a silver medal in the lightweight women’s double sculls race in 6 minutes, 57.92 seconds.
The runner-up finish earned Reckford and Sechser their first medal at a world championships race and was the first for a U.S. lightweight women’s double sculls crew since 2018.
Also reaching the podium Saturday were Madeleine Wanamaker and Claire Collins with a bronze medal in women’s pair. In addition, Solveig Imsdahl and Elaine Tierney won a silver medal Friday in the non-Olympic lightweight women’s pair, while three more American crews have reached the medal round for the final day of racing on Sunday.
Reckford and Sechser faced three of the four crews that finished ahead of them at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“The speed of the field is amazing,” said Reckford, whose grandfather was a two-time Olympian in biathlon.
“We are much faster than we were in our Tokyo Olympic final, I think, but we still have some room to go. It feels like a good place to be,” said Sechser, a native Californian. “(We're) already hungry to try to improve some areas, but I am immensely proud of being able to come away from last year and feel excited and confident to build and to see a little bit of that come together today.”
Great Britain’s Emily Craig and Imogen Grant won the gold in 6:54.78.
Wanamaker and Collins edged out a Romanian crew to earn the bronze in the women’s pair race, finishing in 7:08.03. New Zealand won the gold in 7:03.76, and the Netherlands took the silver.
Wanamaker and Collins crossed the finish line a half-length ahead of Romania’s Ioana Vrinceanu and Denisa Tilvescu.
“(We) took a move around the 1,000 (meters), which was our plan, and I think we had our best sprint of the regatta and came away with a medal, which is incredible,” Wanamaker said.