Colour and excitement for racing at junior championships
A large, colourful and enthusiastic crowd filled the grandstands at the 2018 World Rowing Junior Championships in Racice, Czech Republic. They came to see day two of heats with rowers aiming to qualify for the next round of racing. The water was completely flat with morning temperatures already in the high 20s degrees Celsius
Junior Women’s Coxed Four (JW4+) – Heats
In this first year of gender equity, this boat class has been added to the programme and it attracted two heats with the goal in each heat of being first to go straight to the final. The United States jumped out to the lead and still had it through the middle of the race in Heat One. But they didn’t have the stamina as Italy pushed through into the lead as the US slipped back. Italy, coxed by Giulia Clerici, held the lead through to the end.
Ukraine jumped out in Heat Two to lead the way. By the middle of the race they had a full boat length lead. Ukraine had twins Kateryna and Anastasiia Ustiuzhanina in stroke and three seat and at 15 years old, they are the youngest competitors at this regatta. Behind Ukraine, Germany and Belarus were neck-and-neck. Rating 30 at the end, Ukraine had enough of a margin to hold off any competition.
Qualifiers: ITA, UKR
Junior Men’s Coxed Four (JM4+) – Heats
Three heats lined up with the goal of being in a top three position for a direct path to the semifinals. In Heat One Ireland led the way at the start with Croatia and Canada following closely. By the middle of the race the margins had closed with Croatia, Russia and Canada all within striking distance of the leading Irish boat. Canada then did a third 500 push and got into the lead. The sprint was on. Canada, rating 33-34, stayed in front with Ireland and Russia going into the high 30s to get the remaining two spots. Meanwhile Hungary had dropped their stroke rate right down and paddled most of the race.
The United States face the junior champions, Italy in Heat Two. The United States led the way at the start with Italy back in third. The US, stroked by Michael Fairley still had the lead at the half way point with South Africa the closest challengers. Now Italy moved up on South Africa as US still looked great at the head of the field. The three qualifying spots looked set. Would they sprint the finish? Yes, Italy went to 36 and the United States were at 40 and holding off any challenge. They recorded the fastest qualifying time.
The Czech Republic led at the start of Heat Three. But not for long. Australia then pushed into front with the Czechs trying to hold on. As the race progressed, Australia was able to move away from the Czechs and the rest of the field to take the win.
Qualifiers: CAN, IRL, RUS, USA, ITA, RSA, AUS, ESP, CZE
Junior Women’s Pair (JW2-) – Heats
This boat class had three heats with the goal of being in a top three position for a chance to go directly to the semifinals. Greece led the way in Heat One. This boat had Christina Bourmpou who medalled last year in the pair and her partner Maria Kyridou was in the junior double. The pair finished fourth last month at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships. By the middle of the race the Greeks had a huge margin over Chile in second and Lithuania in third. Greece dropped their rating to 27 as they did not need to sprint.
Hungary took off in a hurry in Heat Two stroked by Boroka Elek with Flora Tremmel in bow. But France and Germany were hot on their heels. Going through the half way point it was so, so tight with just three seconds separating the entire field. This was going to be a race to the end. Germany now had a small advantage as Hungary started to be overtaken. In the final sprint Romania came racing through with Germany responding.
The United States often have success in this boat class and they raced in Heat Three and out in front. Caitlin Esse and Lucy Koven of the United States led from start to finish and they were able to watch, from a open water lead, the fight between Great Britain and Canada. Rating 37, Canada crossed the line in second with Great Britain and Ireland fighting it out for third. The British won the battle. The US duo had recorded the fastest qualifying time overall.
Qualifiers: GRE, CHI, LTU, ROU, GER, RSA, USA, CAN, GBR
Junior Men’s Pair (JM2-) – Heats
Four heats lined up and the goal here was to be in a first place position for a direct path to the semifinals. The British had the best start in Heat One. They had a slim margin over Italy with Turkey very much on the pace as well. Through the middle of the race a real battle went on between Slovenia and Uzbekistan for third. But out in front was Great Britain and Italy practically neck-and-neck. Then the Italian crew of Davide Comini and Simone Fasoli did a push and moved ahead of the British. Robert Powell and Miles Beeson of Great Britain didn’t seem to have a reply. Italy moved clean away to win at a 34 stroke rate pace.
It was Felipe Modarelli and Tomas Herrera of Argentina leading the way in Heat Two. This pushed Lithuania into second. The Lithuanian crew raced in the B-final of the World Rowing Under 23 Championships last month and they must be a crew to keep an eye on. But Argentina was able to move further and further away from the rest of the field. Herrera kept the stroke rate at 36-37 through most of the race to win the race. The Argentinian crew then flipped and were in the water. Luckily they had already across the line.
Heat Three had Germany just ahead of South Africa at the star of this race. The German crew of Elias Kun and Jasper Angl remained in the lead at the 1000m mark with the reigning junior champions, Croatia in third. Romania had done a big second 500 push and were now in second with South Africa slipping back. But it was tight with three boats practically in a row behind Germany. Jun and Angl pushed on with Romania breaking away from the following battle. Jun and Angle went from 37 to 38 to keep the pressure on right to the end and finish eight seconds outside of the junior World Best Time. The Germans had recorded the fastest qualifying time overall.
All eyes were on Belarus at the start of Heat Four as they came racing out to not only snatch the lead but take nearly a boat length lead over Serbia. Belarus’s Aliaksei Bandziuk and Maksim Zhurauliou remained ahead of Serbia, but not without challenges. These two countries now moved away from the rest of the field. But then Australia came up to challenge Serbia keeping the pressure on Stankovic and Prodanovic of Serbia. In the final sprint Serbia attacked rating 40. Belarus went to 34 as Serbia closed on the lead. Australia was coming too. Belarus went to 36 and just held off Serbia who were at 44.
Qualifiers: ITA, ARG, GER, BLR
Junior Women’s Four (JW4-) – Heats
With three heats lining up it was the aim of these crews to finish in a top three position for a direct path to the semifinals. Heat One had New Zealand well out in front. This meant that their coach was able to cycle along beside the race way ahead of the other coaches on bicycles. Behind New Zealand, Germany was trying to hold off Russia and Austria. It was a fight for the remaining two spots. Russia missed out.
Heat Two had Australia the fastest out of the start with Italy chasing hard. Through the middle of the race Australia and Italy were overlapping and fighting for the lead. Australia had a small advantage but Italy wasn’t giving up. Meanwhile Great Britain had moved into the third qualifying spot with Switzerland challenging them for this position. Italy had now got the better of Australia and were at 35 then 37 coming into the final sprint. Australia did not react and stayed at 35. Switzerland got third by holding off Great Britain.
The United States got out ahead of the Netherlands in Heat Three and in the second 500 they broke clean away from the rest of the field to an open water lead. The Netherlands then tried to close. But the United States continued to keep their rating high. In the final sprint the Dutch went to 35 with Romania going with them. This closed the gap on the US who saw it happening and went to 37, then 40. The US finished first.
Qualifiers: NZL, GER, AUT, ITA, AUS, SUI, USA, NED, ROU
Junior Men’s Four (JM4-) – Heats
A top two finish was needed to move on directly to the semifinals in these three heats. Italy made the best of it in Heat One. The Italians won the European Rowing Junior Championships earlier this season and they still had the lead at the half way point. Romania and Greece went neck-and-neck behind Italy. Romania then managed to get a very small margin over Greece, but there was very little in it. Greece couldn’t fight back as Romania went to 37 and closed on Italy who were at 37. Italy held them off to take the win.
Much to the crowd’s delight the Czech Republic was out in front in Heat Two. Germany and Croatia followed closely. The crew of Pospisil, Diblik, Dedek and Nedela for the Czech Republic got the flags waving as they still had a rather comfortable lead at the half way point. Germany had moved into second ahead of Croatia. The Czechs kept the pressure on and kept Germany at bay with Croatia not looking to be a threat. Rating 36 the Czech Republic crossed the line in first. Germany, at 37, held second.
Heat Three featured last year’s junior champions, Great Britain. This crew has Douwe de Graaf and Calvin Tarczy returning to the winning boat. The British crew led through the first half of the race with New Zealand and the United States the nearest challengers. But the British were now way, way out in front and they looked untouchable. Dalton and Darlow make up the remainder of the British boat and at 34 strokes per minute the British were comfortable in the final sprint. New Zealand came through rating 35 to take second. Great Britain’s time of 6:07 was much, much faster than the other two heats.
Qualifiers: ITA, ROU, CZE, GER, NZL
Junior Women’s Quadruple Sculls (JW4x) – Heats
Three heats lined up with the aim of being in a top two position for a direct path to the semifinals. The Czech Republic had the fastest pace at the opening of Heat One. Germany followed very closely and these two crews went into the middle of the race practically neck-and-neck. This duel at the head of the field remained into the final sprint and both boats would really have to sprint if they wanted to take the win. Germany went to 34 with the Czechs at 35. The Czech Republic then went to 37 and they crossed the line in first and also recorded the fastest qualifying time overall.
Out in lane six, Italy led the way in Heat Two. But it was tight with the Netherlands and a push by the Dutch in the second 500 gave them the lead. These two countries were now comfortably ahead of New Zealand in third. But New Zealand fought back and got the overlap with the Italians. This race was far from over. Italy and New Zealand were side-by-side giving them an advantage of knowing their competition, while the Dutch sat on the other side of the course, away from the action. But it didn’t seem to bother the Dutch who stayed in front. Italy had now broken away from a fading New Zealand. Both the Netherlands and Italy were at 35 with the Dutch remaining in the lead.
Heat Three had the 2017 bronze medallists, Switzerland out in the lead. Three members of this crew were back in the boat and they had a rather handy lead when they reached the 1000m mark. Denmark had a fast start and sat in second with Sweden back a length in third. The crew of Dupre, Kovacs, Loetscher and Nussbaumer from Switzerland remained out in front and now had a huge lead over Denmark and the rest of the field. Rating 33 Switzerland took a very easy win. Denmark remained in second.
Qualifiers: CZE, GER, NED, ITA, SUI, DEN
Junior Men’s Quadruple Sculls (JM4x) – Heats
A large field of four heats had the goal being to be in a top two position for a direct path to the semifinals. Heat One started off quickly by Switzerland with Italy and New Zealand in hot pursuit. Switzerland have the honour of being the reigning junior champions, but their 2018 crew has all four new members. Coming into the middle of the race Italy had pushed ahead of Switzerland with the New Zealand crew also overtaking the Swiss. Italy and New Zealand were now neck-and-neck at the head of the field. Could Switzerland come back? A push in the third 500 gave New Zealand the lead. New Zealand went to 37 in the final sprint as Switzerland went to 39 to overtake Italy and take on New Zealand. Italy had absolutely no answer. Switzerland had won.
Heat Two opened with the Czech Republic in the lead. Behind them Great Britain sat in second and Croatia and Chile were neck-and-neck fighting for third. The British then closed on the Czechs going into the middle of the race with Chile getting the better of their battle as Croatia slipped back. A push from Great Britain gave them a small leading margin over the Czech Republic and these two boats were now well ahead of the rest of the field. The Czech boat did not seem to want to react to the British and the race looked all but sorted in the final sprint. No big sprint took place. Despite this Great Britain recorded the fastest qualifying time overall.
Germany was out in front in Heat Three. They led within the first five strokes with the United States in second. Germany, with the crew of Berghoff, Finger, Erfanian and Schmid, then got nearly a boat length lead over the United States with Romania in third. Romania then did a push in the third 500. This seems to be the Romanian tactic, leaving their big push to the second half of the race. The Romanians now had the overlap on the US and coming into the final sprint Romania got their bow ball ahead of the US. Germany still had the lead and they were able to watch the Romanian-United States battle. Romania went to 40 and the US were at 36. Romania had qualified along with winners, Germany.
Opening the Heat Four race was the Greek crew with Poland taking chase. Greece and Poland went head-to-head through the middle of the race and as they were side-by-side in lane three and four respectively, they could keep a good eye on each other. France followed in third with Sweden challenging France. Poland then got the edge over Greece and they took their boat into the final sprint in the lead. Poland was at 35 then 37 with Greece at 37 but remaining in second.
Qualifiers: SUI, NZL, GBR, CZE, GER, ROU, POL, GRE
Junior Women’s Double Sculls (JW2x) – Heats
Four heats lined up and the goal here was to be finishing first for a direct path to the semifinals. Heat One opened with Germany in the lead. This was before New Zealand’s crew of Glen and Clayton-Greene moved into the lead. Germany had no answer with Japan now overtaking the Germans. Looking long and strong through the water Glen and Clayton-Greene were moving away from their competition. Japan looked great for second but they were not close enough to challenge the New Zealanders. Japan did not sprint the finish. Australia had pulled out of the race for medical reasons.
Greece had the leading edge in Heat Two, but it was not a big lead as France was coming at them. These two boats went through to the middle of the race practically neck-and-neck with Greece’s crew of Ismini Noni and Eleni Agioti holding a very small edge. Now Lithuania was creeping up. The Lithuanian’s were way over in the far side lane and potentially Greece and France had not seen them coming. Lithuania had moved ahead of France and into second and they were bearing down on Greece. The Greeks saw them coming at went to 38. Lithuania was at 35. Greece took the win.
At the start of Heat Three Poland had the leading edge with Italy and Russia chasing hard. Russia’s Luganskaya and Inozemtseva then moved into the lead with Italy and Poland having to take chase. Russia kept their speed up and they had a one length lead coming through the 1500m mark. The crew of Luganskaya and Inozemteseva raced last year at the junior championships in their nation’s quad. This change to the double was looking good. Russia led the way home at a comfortable 30 stroke rate. Italy was at 34 but couldn’t catch the leading boat.
Heat Four had China in the lead at the start. But it didn’t last long as Belarus then pushed out in front. Back in fourth was the reigning junior champions, Great Britain. But the British crew is new this year and they would have to prove their own worth. China kept up with Belarus and these two crews went through the middle of the race at the same speed. During the third 500 Liu and Zhang of China did a push that got their boat ahead of Belarus. In the final sprint Belarus picked it up. Both boats were at 36 with Belarus looking a little faster as China dropped to 34. Belarus got to the line first and recorded the fastest qualifying time overall.
Qualifiers: NZL, GRE, RUS, BLR
Junior Men’s Eight (JM8+) – Heats
The United States took off at a blistering pace in Heat One of two heats. The goal here was to be in a top two position for a direct path to the final. On the other side of the course Great Britain had overlap on the US boat and they were pushing hard. Italy was also within striking distance of a qualifying spot. The British then got their bow ball in front and once there they looked confident and opened up over the United States. Now Italy was challenging the US. Meanwhile the British had gone to 39. Italy was sprinting at 38, then 39 and they had overtaken the US. Great Britain had recorded the fastest qualifying time.
The German crew are the reigning junior champions and they lined up in Heat Two. But their start wasn’t great and they had to claw their way into the lead to get ahead of a fast starting Hungary. Going through the middle of the race Germany had earned a bit of a lead with Poland and Hungary neck-and-neck for second. Poland then managed to get a bit of a margin over Hungary with Germany looking really good at the head of the field. Germany was at 36 looking much more comfortable than Poland who were also at 36. These were the two qualifying boats.
Qualifiers: GBR, ITA, GER, POL