Establishing the best junior rowers for 2014
A festive atmosphere set the scene for finals day at the 2014 World Rowing Junior Championships in Hamburg, Germany. With crowds lining the banks of the River Elbe, 13 finals got underway in headwind conditions with choppy water.
The lanes for the crews had been changed due to the weather with official communications stating: "The southeast wind has created unequal conditions among the six racing lanes and therefore option 1.3 of Bye-Law to Rule 71 of the Rules of Racing has been implemented. This allocates the crews with the best placings from the previous round into the better lanes."
Junior Women’s Four (JW4-) – Final
The semifinals made it look like China would be the crew to beat as they came to this final with the fastest time. China finished sixth in this event last year and it looks like they had stepped up one year later. But it was the defending Junior World Champions, United States in the lead at the start. The United States must have loved leading as they had more than a boat length lead going through the middle of the race with China sitting in second.
Then in the second half of the race, China began to make gains on the United States crew of Mia Croonquist, Dana Moffat, Claire Collins and Marlee Blue. Coming into the final sprint China caught up to the United States and just after the 1500m mark they took the gold medal position. Meanwhile the fight for bronze was an intense battle between Italy, Germany and France. But the action was all on in the Chinese boat with Qian Wei, Jiayin Wang, Mengke Ji and Hanwen Cuo now in control. Gold for China, silver for the United States and bronze for Italy.
Results: CHN, USA, ITA, GER, FRA, BLR
Silver - Dana Moffat (USA)
"We wanted to go out really quickly and get out in front, which we did. The Chinese had a very strong second half, they managed to catch us and to win. We had a good race and we're happy with silver."
Bronze - Nicoletta Bartalesi (ITA)
"The turning point in the race was when we overtook Germany and then we had a tough battle for bronze."
Australia won the B-final last year at the World Rowing Junior Championships and had the opportunity to do it again this year. Australia had the lead at the start, but by the middle of the race New Zealand (fifth in 2013) took the lead with Great Britain in hot pursuit. A stroke-for-stroke race to the line between New Zealand and Great Britain had the British win by a tiny pip of the finishing horn.
Results: GBR, NZL, RUS, AUS, CZE, POL
Junior Men’s Coxed Four (JM4+) – Final
The Italians are the reigning Junior World Champions and on Thursday they proved their worth for 2014 by recording the fastest qualifying time in the heats. Having a couple of days off racing had left Italy fresh for today. But winner of the other heat was Great Britain and they shot out to an early lead under the guidance of coxswain Hugo Marsh. By the middle of the race Italy managed to overtake New Zealand who were in second, as they tried to make up lost metres on the British.
Then coming through the 1200m mark Italy's Dario Favilli. Andrea Cattaneo, Andrea Maestrale, Ivan Capuano and coxswain Francesco Tassia really let loose and not only overtook Great Britain, but completely moved away from them. Making the British look like they were standing still Italy took gold a full two lengths ahead of Great Britain. The British held off New Zealand to take silver with the New Zealanders redeeming themselves following a fourth place finish in 2013.
Results: ITA, GBR, NZL, RSA, GER, UKR
Gold- Andrea Cattaneo (ITA)
"At the start, we wanted to let GBR and NZL get out in front. Our plan was to do a push at the 1000m mark, which we did and in the end we won the race."
Silver - Charles Thurston (GBR)
"Our race went really well."
Bronze - Edwin Laver (NZL)
"Our race went to plan, in the end it was hard, but finally we did it."
Russia only just missed out on making the A-final through Friday's repechage and they made the most of today's race by overtaking Belarus and getting into the lead. But margins were extremely tight. Belarus won bronze last year, but 2014 would not be a medal year for them. In the final sprint Romania gave it their all to overtake Russia. Vadim Semeniuta in Russia's stroke seat reacted with higher rating and at the line the Russians were just a fraction, 0.04 of a second, ahead of Romania.
Results: RUS, ROU, BLR, AUS, USA
Junior Women’s Pair (JW2-) – Final
The heats showed that Canada was the crew to beat with an outstanding time. But it was Romania in the lead at the start with Canada and United States in chasing position. Romania finished with silver last year and they have returned with a new crew this year. By the middle of the race Roxana Parascanu and Beatrice-Madalina Parfenie of Romania had burned off the entire field and were now a big five seconds ahead of Canada's Larissa Werbicki and Caileigh Filmer. Parascanu comes from the 2013 gold medal junior eight while Parfenie finished sixth in the junior quad last year.
This race now turned into a procession with the United States back in third and looking like they were too far back to challenge Canada. Romania had earned a massive win, with Canada a long way ahead of the United States. Coming through behind Italy in fifth place was Antonia and Melita Abraham of Chile. The Abraham sisters are quadruplets with all four siblings competing here in Hamburg. Read about them here.
Results: ROU, CAN, USA, ITA, CHI, GER
Silver - Larissa Werbicki (CAN)
"The race was tricky, but we are happy with the results. I've wanted this my whole life."
Bronze - Meghan Galloway (USA)
"It was the hardest race of my life. The conditions were tough with a head wind."
Greece took off at the start of this B-final. Dimitra Kouklotidou and Paraskevi Giannou of Greece had a small margin by the middle of the race as they went after matching their 2013 seventh-place finish which had Kouklotidou in the boat. China moved into second and aimed to chase down Greece. Then Denmark joined in the chase and a real battle went on between these three countries. Greece got there first with China just sneaking ahead of a big sprint by Denmark.
Results: GRE, CHN, DEN, UKR, CRO, MEX
Junior Men’s Pair (JM2-) – Final
Romania looked to be in the position to go after gold when they recorded a very fast time in yesterday's semifinals. It was the Czech Republic, however, that took the early lead. The Czech's finished second in the European Junior Championships and they also won their semifinal yesterday. Going through the middle of the race Miroslav Jech and Lukas Helesic of the Czech Republic still had the lead with Romania closing the gap. But Jech and Helesic were not finished. Coming into the final sprint, the Czech's broke away from Romania and had the luxury of setting their own pace in the final sprint. Jech raced to seventh in the double last year, while Helesic was in the pair and finished fifth.
With Romania (Mihaita Iliut and Alexandru-Cosmin Macovei) solidly in second, Austria's Christoph Seifriedberger and Ferdinand Querfeld moved into third. Coming to the line the Czechs had the luxury of stopping just before the finish. The order was well and truly set.
Results: CZE, ROU, AUT, GER, RSA, GRE
Switzerland had the fastest time of this group following yesterday's semifinals, but it was France in the lead at the start. Andrien Decriem and Paul Goetghebeur of France held it through the middle of the race with Great Britain chasing hard. The British looked like they had timed this race very well as they went neck-and-neck with the French in the final sprint. Could Decriem and Goetghebeur hold them off? Yes, their work early in the race had paid off, while Great Britain slightly lost their rhythm in the sprint and slipped back.
Results: FRA, SUI, CAN, MDA, GBR, DEN