Ending on a high note at Junior Championships
An afternoon of finals completed the 2014 World Rowing Junior Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Competitors in the nine races were greeted with a large crowd that had congregated near the finish line. This greeting must have been a welcome sight as head wind and choppy conditions made for tricky racing.
Junior Men’s Four (JM4-) – Final
In the semifinals Germany had the fastest qualifying time and they gained the advantage of also getting the best lane. But they were up against the reigning Junior World Champions, Romania. At the start, however, Germany absolutely stamped their dominance. Olaf Roggensanck, Rene Schmela, Wolf-Niclas Schoreder and Paul Gebauer of Germany were in a league of their own as they gained an open water lead with just 40 strokes rowed. This lead left a very tight battle going on between Romania, Croatia and Spain. Coming through the third 500m, Romania managed to break away a bit to get into a silver medal spot. But there was no doubt about the leaders - Germany.
Last year Germany was ninth in this boat class, but this year they set an incredible standard by winning gold - the first medal for Germany at this regatta. Romania came through in silver with Croatia shaking off Spain to earn bronze.
Results: GER, ROU, CRO, ESP, GRE, ITA
Gold - Paul Gebauer (GER)
"We thought that it would be a close race, but after 500m we knew we could win. At 1500m we did a big push. The race was hard with such a head wind, but we made it."
Bronze -Toni Cavha (CRO)
"The battle was pretty hard. All boats had tough conditions. The Germans were really fast, but we are happy about a bronze medal."
The Czech Republic only just missed out on the A-final through yesterday's semifinals and they took the lead at the start today. Last year the Czech's were fifth so the crew must have been racing for a sense of pride today. Machac, Veselka, Jakoubek and Tikal held the lead with Denmark coming from the back of the field to take second.
Results: CZE, DEN, SUI, USA, CHN, BLR
Junior Women’s Quadruple Sculls (JW4x) – Final
The semifinal yesterday indicated that this would be a race between Germany and China with Great Britain also able to hold the pace. Germany managed to get off the line the quickest with China following very closely. But then Germany got a little caught by the wind as they moved through the 750m mark. This enabled China to make a small gain, with Germany still just a fraction in the lead. This tussle between China and Germany moved them clean away from the rest of the field with Great Britain sitting in third, far away from attacking the leaders and far ahead the rest of the field.
Then China got into the lead and once in that position the Chinese crew of Mingna Kuang, Meng Zhao, Jing Chen and Dongfang Zhao moved clean away from the Germans. Germany looked to have no reply. A very spread out field came into the finish line with China earning their second gold medal of the day.
Results: CHN, GER, GBR, NED, ROU, NZL
Gold - Kuang Mingna (CHN)
"I am so happy I worked so hard for this."
Silver - Annemieke Schanze (GER)
"Yes we hoped to get a medal and we're really happy with silver. The Chinese had a really strong third 500, we couldn't stop them, but it was a nice race."
Bronze - Anna Thornton (GBR)
"It was an amazing push and now I am really happy about bronze."
The fastest boat in this B-final following yesterday's semifinals was Switzerland. But the United States had won silver in 2013 and there were signs that they had something more to give. At the beginning Italy had the lead. Then Denmark in the second 1000m stopped. Maybe a crab? Italy continued to lead with the United States taking them on stroke-for-stroke in second. The Americans - Gray, Delleman, Zapolski and Kallfelz - then got their nose ahead and left the rest of the field in their wake.
Results: USA, ITA, SUI, CZE, BLR, DEN
Junior Men’s Quadruple Sculls (JM4x) – Final
A hesitant Germany came out of the starting blocks second to Great Britain. The British had been doing a fine effort through the earlier rounds of this boat class and come to the final with the fastest qualifying time from the semifinals. By the middle of the race the reigning Junior World Champions, Germany had got a very tiny lead over Great Britain. The German crew of Henrik Runge, David Junge, Johannes Lotz and Hannes Redenius includes one member of the 2013 gold medal crew - stroke man Redenius.
As the second half of the race got under way, Great Britain was unrelenting and would not let the Germans get away. This fight at the head of the field saw them create a big gap between them and New Zealand in third with Romania and Slovenia locked together in the fourth position. In the final sprint, Germany did a big push with 100m to go and it was enough to get the advantage over Great Britain. The result was decided.
Results: GER, GBR, NZL, ROU, SLO, NED
Gold - Henrik Runge (GER)
"We had the best time in the heat and the quarterfinal, but we knew GBR would be really strong. It is incredible to win here in my first year at international level."
Silver - Chris Lawrie (GBR)
"We've been thinking of this race for the past year and we are very happy with the results."
The United States had the fastest time from the semifinals, but it was Belgium in the lead coming out of the blocks with Croatia in hot pursuit. The Croatians were ninth in 2013 and they looked to be stepping up this year. Coming into the final sprint Belgium had a smidgen of a lead. A big push by Belgium's Lauwers, Wambersie, Claeys and Van Zandweghe saw them get to the line first and earn seventh place overall.
Results: BEL, CRO, FRA, USA, BLR, POL
Junior Men’s Double Sculls (JM2x) – Final
The reigning Junior World Champions, Germany had earned the favourable lane today and the crew of Philipp Syring and Max Appel made the most of it. By the 250m mark Syring and Appel already had clear water over Lithuania in second. Syring was in the boat that took gold last year, while Appel finished first last year in the quad. Lithuania followed in second, being described by commentator Paul Castle as 'bouncing around' indicating the challenge of today's conditions.
Syring and Appel remained firmly out in front as the race turned into a procession with Dovydas Nemeravicius and Armandas Kelmelis of Lithuania firmly in second and Australia's Tyron Boorman and Adam Bakker firmly in third. Syring had retained his 2013 title, Lithuania had moved from fourth last year into the medals and Australia had gone from a sixth in 2013 to the bronze medal spot.
Results: GER, LTU, AUS, ITA, TUR, GRE
Gold - Philipp Syring (GER)
"Yes, we wanted to go out first and extend the lead and that's what we did. To win the junior double sculls was really nice in 2013, but this year was even more special with Max Appel from my rowing club."
Silver - Kelmelis Armandas (LTU)
"Our race was successful, we trained for than half a year."
Bronze - Adam Bakker (AUS)
"It was a great race! Next year I want to race in the junior single sculls, my partner will be under 23."
Poland's Swietek and Rewers missed out on making the A-final by an agonisingly close 0.09 seconds in yesterday's semifinals. Today they made an excellent job of it by shooting away from the rest of the field to a clear water advantage. But then Belarus, in second, started to reel Poland in turning this race into a dog fight to the line. Maziarkin and Kozel of Belarus had turned the race around to win.
Results: BLR, POL, CHN, HUN, MEX, ESP
Junior Women’s Double Sculls (JW2x) – Final
Romania had the best start, setting the pace from lane six. Romania earned this lane after recording the fastest qualifying time in yesterday's semifinal. Romania's Elena Logofatu and Nicoleta Pascanu won this boat class last year and they were surely the favourites coming into this final. By the middle of the race Romania had a margin of about one boat length over Germany. Tina Christmann and Franziska Kampmann of Germany got to the semifinal through the repechage but then won their semifinal to give them lane five today.
In the second half of the race Logofatu and Pascanu broke away from Germany and raced their own race at the head of the field. Germany, in second, was under no threat from Greece who sat firmly in the bronze medal spot. The race was all but decided. Still Logofatu and Pascanu were not going to take any chances and they kept the pace on right through to the line to successfully defend their title. Germany took silver and Greece earned the bronze. At the line Pascanu held up the Romanian flag that they had kept in their boat for the entire race.
Results: ROU, GER, GRE, HUN, ITA, UKR
Gold - Elena Logofatu (ROU)
"I felt strong, really strong. AN incredible feeling the conditions were bad but we managed to have a good race and to win gold."
Silver - Tina Christmann (GER)
"The race was really hard it was like racing against a wall. After som technical problems at 1000m we are happy now with silver."
Bronze - Aikaterini Zerva (GRE)
"We have trained 7 hours a day for the past 4 years. Our opponents were challenging and the weather was not good."
South Africa had the fastest time coming through from yesterday's semifinals and they had the lead at the start with Australia chasing hard. The Australians made the A-final a year ago and they must have had a sense of pride in today's race. Coming through the second half of the race South Africa, Australia and New Zealand had opened up a gap on the back half of the field. Australia then couldn't hold the pace with New Zealand showing the better stamina to take the lead.
Results: NZL, RSA, LTU, NOR, AUS, USA
Junior Women’s Eight (JW8+) – Final
Russia and Germany won their respective heats on Thursday with Germany by recording the fastest time. Germany took silver a year ago and they looked to be changing their colour this year as they took a full boat length lead within the first 500m. Romania, who came to the final through the repechage, followed in second with Russia in third. Romania won at the European Junior Championships and they are the reigning Junior World Champions. Then Germany's bow seat lost her oar. Vera Spanke recovered quickly and Germany remained easily in the lead. Meanwhile Russia was giving their best to try and overtake Romania making for one of the closest battles this afternoon. As Germany came to the finish line, Russia gave it their all. It worked. Russia got their boat ahead of Romania.
Results: GER, RUS, ROU, ITA, AUS, USA
Gold - Charlotte Zeiz (GER)
"Yes, in the last 500m I knew we had it, I knew we could win it. Such an incredible thing to win the gold!"
Silver - Elizaveta Kornienko (RUS)
"It was amazing when we overtook Romania. At the European Junior Championships we were 6 seconds behind and now we felt so strong catching the silver."
Bronze - Raluca Mihaela Munteanu (ROU)
"Everything went smoothly and I am very happy with the results."
Junior Men’s Single Sculls (JM1x) – Final
Germany has a fine tradition in this boat class and it was likely that Tim Ole Naske would continue this tradition as he came through to the final with the fastest qualifying time from the semifinals yesterday. With that Naske got into the lead at the start. Meanwhile, Benjamin Davison of the United States lost grip of his oar in the first 500m and had to make a quick recovery. By the middle of the race Naske had a huge lead over South Africa (Daniel Watkins) and Canada (Daniel De Groot) who were going head to head for the silver medal.
Coming through the third 500 Naske left the rest of the field far behind as De Groot managed to break away from Watkins and open up a handy gap. The race was now very spread out and all but decided. Naske showed that he could handle the conditions the best as he crossed the line as the Junior World Champion.
Results: GER, CAN, RSA, SUI, RUS, USA
Gold - Tim Ole Naske (GER)
"My next goal is to race at the Youth Olympic Games in Naning and to beat the others with hopefully better conditions."
Silver - Daniel de Groot (CAN)
"I think no one could follow their race plan, the conditions were too tough. I had a great time here and hope to qualify for under 23 next year."
Bronze - Daniel Watkins (RSA)
"I have been training now for about 6 months. Canada was a big challenge for me up until the 750m mark."
France's Maxime Ducret was eighth last year in this event and he comes to this B-final with the fastest qualifying time of this group from yesterday's semifinals. But it was the tall Thomas Schramko of Australia in the lead at first. Then Ducret pushed ahead with Schramko now trying to hold on with Bulgaria joining in the hunt for first. Ducret held on to the line to improve on his 2013 result by one place.
Results: FRA, BUL, AUS, LTU, TUN, BRA
Junior Women’s Single Sculls (JW1x) – Final
France's Camille Juillet went out to an early lead in the penultimate final of this regatta. Juillet has been having a great regatta so far, being part of the exclusive group of six finallists that started off as part of the 33 entries that began racing back on Wednesday. Juillet won her heat, quarterfinal and semifinal to get to this final. But by the middle of the race Melanie Goeldner of Germany had taken over in the lead and then proceeded to move away from the rest of the field. Goeldner was handling the conditions very well with Marieke Keijser of the Netherlands also handling the situation well.
In the final sprint Goeldner, who is at her first international regatta, had enough of a lead that she just had to keep her cool. Keijser, who raced to fourth last year in quad, was just a fraction ahead of Juillet in the battle for silver. Both Keijser and Juillet had to sprint the finish. As Goeldner crossed the line in first, Juillet picked up the pace and got to the line just a fraction ahead of Keijser. Just 0.26 of a second separated these two crews.
Results: GER, FRA, NED, GRE, CHN, BUL
Silver - Camille Juillet (FRA)
"It was horrible. I'm very pleased with the result but during the race, I lostmy scull and had a lot of water in my boat. I'm very happy having managed to win the silver."
Bronze - Marieke Keijser (NED)
"The first 1000m I just thought about my own race and blocked everything else out."
Croatia gave it her all yesterday in the semifinal and just missed out by a fraction of a second in qualifying for the A-final. This must have taken it out of Teuta Lea Stojakovic as today she sat at the back of the field. Instead it was Kateryna Dudchenko of Ukraine in the lead with Belarus following. Dudchenko held first place to the end, finishing with an open water margin.
Results: UKR, BLR, SRB, USA, ITA, CRO
Junior Men’s Eight (JM8+) – Final
After a delay due to a breakage in the Italian boat the men's eight got underway. The Netherlands and Germany had posted nearly identical times when they won their heats earlier in the regatta and they were placed in the two favourable lanes for today's final. Germany are the defending Junior World Champions while the Dutch raced in the B-final last year. Germany had the lead at the start with the Netherlands holding on to a striking position and doing everything not to let the Germans get away. Italy, who had started off very quickly, followed in third and was also within striking distance of the leaders.
As the crews came into the final sprint this turned into one of the closest races of the day. Germany held on with both the Dutch and the Italians throwing everything at them to challenge their lead. Then Germany managed to pull out a very good sprint, which put the silver medal for the Netherlands under threat from a very high rating Italian crew. Italy took silver last year and they wanted it again this year. Germany crossed the line in first with the Netherlands able to hold on to silver and Italy took bronze. This was the first ever junior medal for the Dutch in this boat class.
Results: GER, NED, ITA, GBR, FRA, ESP
Serbia scored the bronze last year, but just half a second saw them miss out on the A-final during Friday's repechage. Today, Serbia used a more conservative approach at the start, to come through and take the lead at the half way point. Once in the lead, Serbia moved away from the rest of the field stroke by stroke.
Results: SRB, RUS, USA, AUT