For immediate release
Lausanne, 2 December 2016

Rio 2016 Olympic Champions featured strongly amongst the winners of the 2016 World Rowing Awards as the World Rowing Federation, FISA, recognises the outstanding performances of the past year.

Brotherly familiarity paid off for Martin and Valent Sinkovic of Croatia who were named the Male Crew of the Year. Poland scored their first-ever World Rowing Award for women with Magdalena Fularczyk-Kozlowska and Natalia Madaj becoming the Female Crew of the Year. Para Crew of the Year went to single sculler, Rachel Morris of Great Britain. World Rowing Coach of the Year went to South Africa’s Roger Barrow. Australia’s Reinhold Batschi was honoured with the Distinguished Services to International Rowing.

2016 World Rowing Female Crew of the Year:
Magdalena Fularczyk-Kozlowska and Natalia Madaj, women’s double sculls (POL)
Fularczyk-Kozlowska and Madaj have been leading the way for rowing in Poland, especially for women’s rowing. The 2016 season was their fourth season together and after finishing fourth at the 2015 World Rowing Championships, they pulled through to become the Rio 2016 Olympic Champions. This was the first Olympic gold medal for Poland in women’s rowing and it built on two European Rowing Championship titles as well as World Rowing Cup wins.

2016 World Rowing Male Crew of the Year:
Martin Sinkovic and Valent Sinkovic, men’s double sculls (CRO)
When the Sinkovic brothers moved out of their nation’s winning men’s quadruple sculls and into the double, they experienced instant success. In 2014 Martin and Valent began an unbroken winning streak that saw them become the first double ever to finish in under six minutes. They won back-to-back World Championship titles and then capped it off in 2016 with gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The duo is admired throughout the rowing world for their synchronous technique. 

2016 Para Crew of the Year:
Rachel Morris, para AS women's single sculls (GBR)
Rachel Morris made the successful transition from para-cycling to para-rowing bringing her to Rio 2016 Paralympic gold after just three years in the sport. This path to success saw Morris take silver at last year’s World Rowing Championships as well as become the World Best Time holder in the single. Known for her strength of will and dedication, Morris inspires both para and able-bodied athletes. 

2016 World Rowing Coach of the Year:
Roger Barrow (RSA)
Roger Barrow has spearheaded the development of elite rowing in South Africa which culminated in the first-ever Olympic gold medal in rowing for not just South Africa, but the whole of Africa. This gold in the lightweight men’s four at the London Olympics was achieved using a small pool of athletes. Barrow has since grown the squad relying on the enthusiasm and dedication of athletes in the face of funding limitations. Instilling a winning credence, he took a squad of five boats to Rio – the biggest squad South Africa has ever fielded at an Olympic Games. All crews made the A-final with the men’s pair winning silver.

2016 Distinguished Service to International Rowing:
Reinhold Batschi (AUS)
 
Reinhold Batschi began as a rower representing his country, Romania, at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. He subsequently moved to Europe, coaching initially in Germany, then to Australia where he was the head coach of every Australian Olympic rowing team from 1984 to 2000. In this period, Australia won 16 Olympic rowing medals. Batschi designed an innovative coaching education system and he helped standardise rowing technique throughout the country. Batschi has also used his position to help developing rowing nations in Oceania and throughout the world.

The award winners will be honoured on 28 January 2017 at a gala dinner during the 2016 World Rowing Coaches Conference in Vancouver, Canada.