A lightweight and a coxswain lead the 2012 Top 10 lists
29/08/2012 - 16:43:00
Danish lightweight rowing star Eskild Ebbesen and United States women’s eight coxswain Mary Whipple have taken the number one position on the lists of Top 10 male and Top 10 female rowers for 2012.
After a post-Beijing break, Ebbesen came back onto the international rowing stage in 2011 to go after his fifth Olympic medal. He was also ranked number one in 2011 and is keeping this spot for a second consecutive year following the Olympic bronze medal he won in London in the lightweight men’s four.
Topping the female table, Whipple is the first coxswain to head the Top 10 list. Whipple won her first World Championship gold medal back in 2002 and is part of the US women’s eight which has held an unbroken winning streak since 2006. This has earned Whipple back-to-back Olympic gold medals in addition to her 2004 Olympic silver.
The outstanding success by this women’s eight has meant a landslide of their members in the 2012 Top 10 female list – nine out of the 11 spots are from this boat (there is one extra athlete in this Top 10 list as Meghan Musnicki and Taylor Ritzel tie for 10th equal).
Along with Whipple the top four include Susan Francia, Caroline Lind and Caryn Davies. Francia, Lind and Davies were also all part of the Olympic Champion women’s eight in Beijing. Francia leads the way as she has also medalled in the pair. In sixth and seventh spot are Erin Cafaro and Ellie Logan who were also in the Beijing eight. The final three spots going to Esther Lofgren, Musnicki and Ritzel - London was their first Olympic Games.
The only non-US women’s eight members on the list are Great Britain’s Katherine Grainger in fifth and Grainger’s partner in the women’s double sculls Anna Watkins in eighth position. Grainger and Watkins formed a partnership in 2009 and have never been beaten since. Grainger is Great Britain’s most medalled female rower, while the younger Watkins is a two-time Olympic medallist.
Coming in second on the top 10 male list is Australia’s Drew Ginn. Ginn first won Olympic gold in 1996 in the men’s four. He then took back-to-back Olympic golds in the pair at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. Following back surgery Ginn started competing again in 2011 with the aim of being part of a winning four at the London Olympics. Ginn finished with a silver medal at his fourth Olympic Games.
Beijing and London Olympic gold medallists in the four, Andrew Triggs Hodge, Peter Reed and Tom James of Great Britain slot in at third, fourth and eighth respectively with New Zealand’s single sculler and current Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale in place five.
Slovenia’s Iztok Cop, 40, was second last year on the top 10 list and comes in at sixth this year. Cop’s first international success dates back to 1991 and, along with doubles partner Luka Spik, Cop picked up bronze at London, his sixth Olympic Games.
The most regular member of the German men’s eight, coxswain Martin Sauer comes in at seventh place. Sauer has been with the German eight since 2009 and has not lost a race in the entire time he has been in the boat. He has also won medals in the men’s coxed four and lightweight men’s eight.
In ninth equal are the London Olympic winners of the men’s pair, New Zealand’s Hamish Bond and Eric Murray who have been unbeaten since 2009 and also hold a World Championship title from 2007 in the men’s four.
To view the complete lists, please click here.
About the top 10
To be eligible to appear as a Top 10 Male or Female rower, athletes have to have medalled at the World Rowing Championships or Olympic Games in the current year. All-Time Olympic and World Championship results are taken into account with a weighting to favour Olympic medals three times higher than World Championship medals. World Championship medals in international boat classes are attributed half the value of a World Championship medal in an Olympic boat class.
With regard to points attributed to Olympic boat classes: past Olympic boat classes cease to be considered as Olympic boat classes at the end of the year in which they were part of the Olympic programme for the last time. Current Olympic boat classes began to be considered as an Olympic boat class two years prior to the year in which they were part of the Olympic programme for the first time.
Ranking is sorted according to gold medal points, then silver, then bronze. Athletes are listed in order of ranking.
Olympic medal = 3 points
World Championship medal in Olympic boat class = 1 point
World Championship medal in International boat class = 0.5 point