Biggest European Junior Championships goes Germany’s way
A record 570 athletes from 34 countries competed at the 2019 European Rowing Junior Championships last weekend in Essen, Germany. The host country won big with eight gold medals, three silver and two bronze. The Czech Republic followed next on the medal table with two gold and two bronze and Russia in third.
Germany has a robust junior rowing programme and they regularly do well at the World Rowing Junior Championships, so it was not a complete surprise to see their success. The German medals came in a spread across the categories with the junior men’s eight following in the footsteps of their senior teammates by winning ahead of Poland and Russia. Germany also showed their strength in the men’s sweep category by winning the men’s coxed four, the men’s pair and the men’s coxless four.
The men’s coxed four was one of the closest races of the day with Germany beating Ireland by less than half a second. The young Irish crew pushed the German boat to the line, being chased themselves by Turkey.
Germany did not, however, feature on the podium in the men’s single sculls. Instead it was Belgium’s Tristan Vandenbussche claiming gold. Vandenbussche finished third at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships and looks to be back on form this year. He beat Belarus’ Ivan Brynza to the line. Brynza finished fourth last year at the world junior championships. Switzerland’s Tim Roth took the bronze.
In the women’s single sculls, Ukraine picked up their only medal when Daria Stavynoga sprinted to win gold. This was Stavynoga’s first international event. Maria Kyridou from Greece finished in second. In 2018, Kyridou won gold in the women’s pair at the World Rowing Junior Championships and the Youth Olympic Games. Her transition to the single seems to have worked well with this early-season medal. Third on the podium was Germany’s Alexandra Foester. Foester is a silver medallist from the women’s quad at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships.
Rounding off the blue riband events, Russia won gold in the women’s eight. The young crew took the lead at the start and managed to carry it through the finish. They were pushed to the line by Germany who finished with silver and the Czech Republic who won bronze.
The European Rowing Junior Championships first began in 2008. Participation has grown steadily as European countries continue to develop their rowing programmes. The 2020 European Rowing Junior Championships will take place in Belgrade, Serbia from 30-31 May 2020.
Rewatch the racing here and here.
For full results from the 2019 event, click here.