Big success for Belarus at Friendship Regatta
15/05/2012 - 17:31:00
The 13th International Junior Friendship Regatta heralded the first international race for the brand new regatta course in Minsk, Belarus.
Six nations participated including Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russian, Ukraine and Belarus, with 120 junior rowers competing. Overall the Belarusian rowing team was the most successful winning gold in seven of the ten events. Belarus also picked up four silver and six bronze medals. Ukraine came in second with two golds, four silvers and one bronze medal.
The closest race of the day ended in a photo finish between Belarus and Ukraine in the men’s four. Just 10/100th of a second separated the two boats with Belarus winning.
It is a tradition for the countries involved to bring their strongest junior rowers to the Friendship Regatta to test them before the World Rowing Junior Championships.
This is the first major regatta at the new Minsk regatta course which began reconstruction in 2006 and was finished last year. As well as the rowing course, the venue is a multifunctional complex with accommodation, gyms, a rowing pool, boathouses and an administrative building. The course is part of the Vileika-Minsk water system in the city of Zaslavl, 15km from Minsk.
The Minsk regatta course is to be used as the training centre for the Belarusian junior and under-23 rowing team. As an international course they already have hosting of the 3rd European Rowing Junior Championships in June 2013 on their schedule.
The President of the Republic of Belarus visited this rowing course last year and said that it should be used not only for hosting of different international events and as a place of training of our national team, but also for tourism.
The Friendship Regatta began 13 years ago when the nations of Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine and Belarus got together to agree on an event that they hoped would grow into the European Rowing Junior Championships. As part of the agreement the host country covers the accommodation and meal cost of 17 members (three officials and 14 rowers) of the six main nations. Other countries are invited to participate at their own expense.
Belarus has hosted the Friendship event twice before (2002 and 2007), both times in Brest. Last year it was held in Moscow, Russia where Belarus finished as the top nation.
The decision on who will host the 2013 regatta will be made at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria later this year.