Can’t beat the heat for under-23 champs finals
With temperatures stretching into the upper 30s degrees Celsius, racing was delayed one hour to avoid the heat at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.
At the later time of 5pm (CET) racing got going on perfect water conditions and the waiting crowd as well as the rowers were raring to go. Eight finals opened with the large Australian contingent making themselves well heard as their women’s four set the standard. Then Italy and Romania showed their under-23 prowess by earning three gold medals each with Italy’s lightweight men’s quadruple sculls only seconds out of recording a new under-23 World Best Time.
Women’s Four (BW4-) – Final
To the chorus of Australia’s chant, Hannah Vermeersch, Alexandra Hagen, Charlotte Sutherland and Lucy Stephan led the way in commanding style. Last year Australia finished second but today it was all about the gold medal. By the middle of the race the Australians had an extremely handy four second lead with Ireland, Russia and New Zealand fighting it out in a stroke-for-stroke scenario.
With the final sprint in view Australia remained in charge while Ireland, Russian and New Zealand gave it their all in search of the coveted medal reward. At the line Australia had won the first championship title of the 2013 World Rowing Under 23 Championships with Russia pounding through to take second and New Zealand getting the better of Ireland to win the bronze medal. The Australian finishing time was just 12 seconds outside of the under-23 World Best Time in these hot, perfectly still conditions.
Results: AUS, RUS, NZL, IRL, NED, POL
Romania produced a very solid performance to finish first and thus seventh overall at this regatta. Romania led from start to finish but perhaps the more dramatic feat came from the United States. The US came through from the back of the field to finish second after rating 39 in the closing sprint.
Results: ROU, USA, ITA, GER, FRA
Hannah Vermeersch (AUS) - Gold
“It is awesome we have been given the opportunity to race a lot this year; we were able to race at Lucerne, here and also coming up, Korea (senior World Rowing Championships). Alex (Hagan) and I are still learning and it is good being with the young ones coming through.”
Anastasia Zhukova (RUS) - Silver
“In Moscow, when we were training we experienced 22 degrees Celsius. We came here quite late and did not have time to acclimatise. At the finish we were able to jump ahead just a bit faster.”
Johannah Kearney (NZL) – Bronze
“It was particularly hard to race in this heat, but the rowing conditions were good. To cool down afterwards we plan to jump in the water.”
Men’s Coxed Four (BM4+) – Final
The gold and silver medallists from 2012, Serbia and the United States had not made it to this final leaving the field wide open to some new medallists. Italy made the best of it taking off out of the start with the highest stroke rate. Italy had recorded the fastest qualifying time to come directly to this final from the heats and at the half-way point, Luca Parlato, Vincenzo Abbagnale, Mario Cuomo, Massimiliano Rocchi and coxswain Andrea Kiraz of Italy were still in the lead.
Behind Italy, New Zealand, who won bronze in 2012, was clawing their way back from fourth place and a push at the 1000m mark, as called by coxswain Sam Bosworth, had brought them into second as they closed the gap on the Italians. Holding onto their aggressively high stroke rate, Italy were holding off the charging New Zealanders. New Zealand got their stroke rate to 41 with Italy rating in the low 40s. Meanwhile, Germany at 34 was hanging on to third by the skin of their teeth. The Italians had struck gold.
Results: ITA, NZL, GER, AUS, CAN, FRA
Despite having to carry 55kg coxswain down the 2000m regatta course, Great Britain showed that they had the power to do it, and do it really well. The British led from start to finish ending with a massive closing sprint of 38 to 40 stroke rate. They also demonstrated swing and synchronicity that was a pleasure to watch.
Results: GBR, USA, UKR
Jared Glue (NZL)
“The Kiwis are going well at the moment: we just do lots of kilometres of training. We can look up to Eric and Hamish (NZL senior men's pair) as we are definitely inspired by them”.
Vincenzo Abbagnale (ITA)
"When we came here, we felt that we had a good chance. We had a good start but then the New Zealanders started attacking. We were under pressure until 500m to go. After that we felt we owned the race. We are super, super, super happy!"
Carl Reinke (GER)
"I am happy because my complete family is here. My brother even had exams but is still here today."
Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Sculls (LW4x) - Final
The reigning under-23 World Champions, Germany had set the fastest qualifying time through the heats three days ago. With a relative long break the Germans, who had retained one member of their 2012 winning crew, took off at the head of the field. By the middle of the race Franziska Kreutzer, Ann-Catrin Leineweber, Julia Eichholz and Clara Bergau had held on to the leading margin, but not by much. Australia who were beaten by Germany by a very small margin in the heats thus having to race the repechage, kept the heat on the Germans.
The crowd rose to their feet as the final quarter of the race was underway. Germany maintained a very solid 35 stroke rate. Could the Australian’s catch them? Australia, also at 35, tried desperately to close the gap. Meanwhile, Great Britain and Denmark were having a huge battle for the bronze medal with their stroke rates hitting the high 30s. At the line Germany had retained their World Champion status, Australia had earned silver and Great Britain’s sprint had given them the bronze medal.
Germany rowed to the medals podium minus stroke, Clara Bergau, suffering from the exertion of racing.
Results: GER, AUS, GBR, DEN, USA, ITA
Ann-Catrin Leineweber (GER) - Gold
“I wish Calra Bergau the best and I hope she is back on her legs again quickly. She is a very good sculler, and I am grateful for her great contribution”.
Emma Webley (AUS) – Silver
"Because of the delay of the race, we had 3 hours between weigh-in and racing, and I was really full of water by the end and a bit of chocolate. The crew handled the delay really well. A few of us have to go to Senior A next year, and I want to make the team again, in any boat.
Emily Craig (GBR) - Bronze
"We were in racing under-23 level for the first time. It was really hard for us. After 500m we saw were were a bit behind. Denmark pushed us in the end, but we managed to hold our spot."
Lightweight Men’s Pair (BLM2-) – Final
Fastest out of the start were the Czech Republic’s Jan Hajek and Michael Humpolec. But they were up against the reigning Under 23 World Champions, Francesco Schisano and Vincenzo Serpico of Italy. Schisano and Serpico raced an impressive race in their heat a couple of days ago where they easily scored the fastest qualifying time despite not really being pushed. Today, however the Italians were not able to dominate. Going through the middle of the race Great Britain’s Matthew Bedford and Wilf Kimberley had pushed into second and were doing their best to catch the Italians.
Schisano and Serpico now really showed their racing pedigree. Taking their stroke rate to 39 the Italians showed that they were uncatchable. Bedford and Kimberley, who were fourth in this event last year, managed 35 strokes per minute but could not catch the Italians. Hajek and Humpolec had held on to third. There were three very happy and very hot crews that crossed the finish line.
Results: ITA, GBR, CZE, HUN, CAN, GER
Argentina and Belarus just missed out on making the final in yesterday’s semifinals and they proved to be the best two crews in this B-final. A year ago Argentina were first in the B-final while Belarus was second. They reversed positions today with Belarus having the better sprint and finishing first.
Results: BLR, ARG, FRA, CRO, AUS, BEL
Vincenzo Serpico (ITA) - Gold
“We are the reigning World Champion in this boat from last year. Our next step will be the World Rowing Championships in Chungju.”
Wilf Kimberley – Silver
“We said before the race; if we had the best race then we would be happy. I think that was the best race. Because of University, I might go for the Senior B team again next year."
Jan Hajek (CZE) – Bronze
“I just finished school this year, and for next year I want to study and row at university if I can."
Women’s Pair (BW2-) – Final
Australia’s Jessie Allan and Genevieve Horton jumped out to take the lead of this final. Australia had got to this position through the repechage and at 18 years old the word was ‘had they gone out too fast and too hard?’ From the heats Romania and Germany had the fastest qualifying times and they were following in second and third respectively.
At the half way point Allan and Horton were still in front with two and a half seconds over Romania’s Mihaela Petrila and Madalina Beres. Italy’s Beatrice Arcangiolini and Gaia Marzari had meanwhile got their nose ahead of Germany and was doing their best to push away. Italy had also come to this final via the repechage, but it seemed to be doing them no harm.
As boats lined up for the final sprint Australia still had the leading edge with Romania now closing in second. The powerful Petrila and Beres rowed together last year in their country’s under-23 quad where they finished sixth. Both have also rowed at senior level in the pair. Rating a solid 33 Romania pulled into the lead. Behind them a virtual line had formed with Germany, Australia and Italy giving it their all to get into the medals. In a flurry of oars and colours Germany had pulled it off. Miriam and Sara Davids of Germany had sprinted through from fourth to a silver medal. Arcangiolini and Marzari had just got the better of Australia to take the bronze. Allen and Horton’s gutsy performance had ended in fourth by just 0.17 of a second.
Results: ROU, GER, ITA, AUS, FRA, CZE
This race received a huge amount of crowd support indicating the number of nations that were represented in the finish line grandstand. Ukraine made the best of it leading from start to finish. Behind them five boats battled for second place through the first half of the race, narrowing down to three boats – Norway, Croatia and the United States – in the second half. A solid sprint at a 34 stroke rate earned Norway second.
Results: UKR, NOR, CRO, USA, ESP, RUS
Madalina Beres (ROU) – Gold
“My next goal is to work really hard for the Olympics. We will train the same way has we have done so far.”
Sara Davids and Miriam Davids (GER) – Silver
"We started rowing together from the beginning. During the training season there was never any discussion of changing the crew, because we are twins and have a perfect fit. Now we are studying psychology and that is hard to combine, especially during exam period”.
Gaia Marzari (ITA)
On the delay of the races:
“We were just chatting to keep calm and to avoid getting nervous.”
Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls (BLM4x) – Final
In the preliminary race two days ago Germany and France had been the two leading crews. But Italy are the reigning under-23 World Champions. Had the Italians been holding back? At the start France took the lead with Germany and Italy in hot pursuit. The margins between these three countries remained oh-so-tight through the middle of the race. The second half of the race would have to decide the winner.
Then the Italian’s – Paolo Ghidini, Michele Quaranta, Francesco Pegoraro and Matteo Mulas - did a piece that propelled them into the lead. France did their best to hold on while Germany began to slip. Once the Italians were in the lead they didn’t look back. In beautiful style they came flying through to the finish rating 35 strokes per minute. France and Germany were left to fight it out for silver. The higher rating France got the better of Germany to earn silver. Germany got the bronze medal.
At the line the 2012 finishing order of the top three places had remained the same. Italy’s finishing time of 5:55 was just six seconds outside of the under-23 World Best Time, a time owned by Italy and also counting as the senior World Best Time.
Results: ITA, FRA, GER, ARG, DEN, USA
Michele Quaranta (ITA) – Gold
“This is unbelievable. We have only been rowing together for three weeks but somehow it just fitted well. Also we have a good atmosphere in the team."
"The Italian crowd is great, we have a lot of supporters here. My mom is here, my coach from my club back home together with some other club members. Tonight we are definitely going to party.”
Eloi Debourdeau (FRA) – Silver
"Our plan was to be fast at the start and we were but the Italians were so strong in the third 500.”
Tobias Schad (GER)
“We were in Weissensee in a trainings camp before this. We definitely made a lot of progress there which apparently helped us a lot in this race. Nevertheless I am looking forward to having proper holidays after this and I can’t wait for proper food.”
Women’s Quadruple Sculls (BW4x) – Final
Poland shot out at the start to take the lead at the 500m mark. Poland had the fastest qualifying time from the heats, but not by much. Every indication was that this race would be close. By the middle of the race Romania had a fraction of a lead over Poland. The Romanians got to this final through the repechage with the slowest qualifying time but they were looking very good today in the final.
Using a much lower stroke rate (around 33) than the Poles, Romania were inching away from Poland. Meanwhile there was nothing in it between the rest of the field and at the 1500m mark only four seconds separated all six boats.
It was a flurry of 48 overlapping sculls that came flying towards the finish line. The calm and collected Romanian’s had done it by a fraction of a margin. Poland came through in second and a very happy Germany took bronze. Romania (Tataru, Berindei, Bejinariu and Vrinceanu), who finished sixth in 2012, had stepped up into gold.
Results: ROU, POL, GER, ITA, NZL, USA
An underweight boat in the heats on Wednesday pushed the Netherlands into the repechage. They were unable to make it into the top two places in that repechage and thus raced today’s B-final. After a fast start by France, the Netherlands got into the lead. All four boats remained tightly bunched with the Dutch remaining in front albeit only just.
Results: NED, FRA, UKR, RUS
Mihaela-Teodora Berindei (ROU) - Gold
“During the race I didn’t look out the boat as I didn’t want to ge distracted by the other crews. I didn’t expect to win at all so I’m super happy. We wanted to give our best and succeeded.”
Ariana Borkowska (POL) – Silver
“Our race plan was to win a medal. We had to wait many years for this. Last year we were fourth. We are very happy!”
Marie-Catherine Arnold (GER) – Bronze
"We had a pretty bad start. The rest of the field just went ahead but we did a big push at the 1000 metres mark. When I looked around at 400 metres to go I thought we could get a medal at so we just put everything in every stroke.”
Men’s Four (BM4-) – Final
In the heats three days ago Turkey had pulled off a stunner by not only winning their heat but also recording the fastest qualifying time as well as beating the reigning under-23 World Champions.
Out of the start Romania and Australia had a slight leading margin with Turkey the slowest boat and the lowest raters. Was this all part of the plan? By the first 500m marker Romania had a slight edge over Australia. But the field was tightly packed together and it was still anyone’s bet as to the order 1500m later.
The 2012 silver medallists, Australia then got their bow ahead of Romania as Turkey looked like they were dropping off the pace. The United States then did a piece going through the third 500 which moved them closer to the two leading crews. Australia upped their stroke rate to 38 to hold on to the lead but they could not shake the Romanians.
In the final sprint Romania (Gontaru, Cozmiuc, Palamariu and Pirghie) gave it their all taking their stroke rate to 41. Australia, at 38, had no reply and now had to worry about the flying Americans. At the line Romania had earned gold, Australia gallantly held on to silver and a very happy United States punched the air. They had come through from rowing in the repechage to take bronze.
Results: ROU, AUS, USA, ITA, TUR, GER
Croatia retained their 2012 position by racing to first in the B-final. The crew got out in front at the start and held off Ireland and Lithuania who were pacing each other through the middle of the race. Finishing with a 35 stroke rate sprint kept Croatia in the lead right through to the end. Great Britain did not start as three-seat, Marcus Bowyer was moved into his country’s quad to race the semifinal earlier today.
Results: CRO, LTU, IRL, NOR
Cristi-Ilie Pirghie (ROU) – Gold
“We are proud that the Romanians are doing so well this year here. This is the third medal for our country. We knew straight from the beginning that we would win.”
Louis Snelson (AUS) – Silver
“We all row for colleges in the USA and we are lucky that Australia recognises the sort of talent we have over there. It’s funny – I compete with my crew member on a weekly basis (in the USA) and we also compete against the USA crew.”
William Gillis (USA) – Bronze
“We just rowed our own race and we managed to put the pieces together.”