First World Rowing Cup medals presented in Poznan
The World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland turned on great conditions for today’s finals. The water was flat, barely any wind blew and temperatures were mild.
Para PR2 Women’s Single Sculls (PR2 W1x) – Final
This was a two-boat race between Lauren Rowles of Great Britain and Annika van der Meer of the Netherlands. These two scullers raced in a test race yesterday with van der Meer finishing first. Van der Meer is the silver medallist in this boat class from the 2018 World Rowing Championships while Rowles is a Paralympic Champion from the double.
The duo were neck-and-neck through the first quarter of the race before van der Meer managed to inch away using a 29 to 30 strokes per minute and keeping her pace very steady. At the line van der Meer had a 2 ½ length advantage over Rowles.
Results: NED, GBR
Annika Van Der Meer, Netherlands, gold
“I was watching the PR1 men this morning and I saw it was a headwind, which I knew it would make today tough. My goal was just to win, not to set a best time or anything. There were gusts coming in the entire race which made it tricky. But I’m very happy with the result. I’m looking forward to tomorrow in the double with Corne, as that’s always a fun boat and I like rowing with him. I hope to race some more in the single this year, but it depends on the entries. Of course we’ll be in Rotterdam, and hopefully, there is good competition there.”
Lauren Rowles, Great Britain, bronze
“We only decided to do this last Saturday. It’s different just being in the single but it’s been good to implement what I’ve learned in training. World Championships is still the priority.”
Para PR2 Men’s Single Sculls (PR2 M1x) – Final
Yesterday Corne de Koning set a new World Best Time in this boat class when he raced in the test race. What would de Koning do today? De Koning is the reigning World Champion and it wasn’t a surprise to see him belt out at the start at an incredible pace. But it wasn’t going all de Koning’s way. Jeremy Hall of Canada was right on his tail. Hall was the silver medallist in this race at last year’s World Rowing Championships and these two scullers must know each other’s style well.
Following behind the two leaders was a full-on tussle between Ukraine and Italy 1. Italy had the advantage for the first half of the race, but coming through to the final 500, Ukraine snatched the advantage and got into a medal position. De Koning held the lead right through to the finish.
Results: NED, CAN, UKR, ITA1, ITA2
Corne De Koning, Netherlands, gold
“I enjoyed the result and I’m glad I ended up winning by that margin. The wind was tough but I just had to embrace it.”
Jeremy Hall, Canada, silver
“Because of the conditions, I knew today was going to be a little bit harder and slower than yesterday. Yesterday I left a little bit in the tank at the end of the race so today I just wanted to lay it all out there. We’ll head back to Canada tomorrow and do some domestic races there and our next big race will most likely be World Rowing Championships.”
Iaroslav Koiuda, Ukraine, bronze
“The race was okay as the water out there is a bit tricky. I’ve really enjoyed my time in Poznan.
Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls (LW1x) – Final
Australia’s Georgia Nesbitt recorded the fastest qualifying time in this morning’s semifinals making her the favourite for this final. This is Nesbitt’s seventh year of racing internationally and last year she raced in the lightweight quad. At the start China 1 (Mengyin Cheng) took off at a 50 stroke rate pace and got into the lead. But there was very little in in so early in the race. Only half a second separated the top five boats. Then Nesbitt picked up the pace and took over in the lead. Leonie Pless of Germany caught a bad stroke and sat back in fifth as Cheng slipped to the back of the field.
Canada’s Jill Moffatt picked up her pace and closed on Nesbitt. Moffatt had finished second to Nesbitt this morning in the semis and it looked like she was trying to reverse the result in this final. Nesbitt and Moffatt were now head to head. But Moffatt had more to give and came was moving away from Nesbitt. Then China 2 of Fang Chen came zooming down the outside and into the silver medal spot. Nesbitt held on to bronze.
Results: CAN, CHN2, AUS, GER, ITA2, CHN1
Jill Moffatt, Canada, gold
“I knew it was would be a long race, and we had this morning as well. It’s a headwind out there. But our team has put in a lot of work over the winter and I knew I could handle a race of any length. I was at the back of the pack and was thinking “don’t let them get too far, then you’ll really be in trouble”. I did what works for me.”
Fang Chen, China, silver
“I didn’t expect to get a medal, I just tried my best and come out on top. I’m very happy to come away with a silver medal. We’re still testing line-ups so I might row in the lightweight double at the next regatta.”
Georgia Nesbitt, Australia, bronze
“It was a good race but tough conditions. The weather has been changing all week. Everyone wants to win so I’m stoked to come away with a medal. It’s been a really good regatta here in Poznan. The Australian team will be to a training camp and I expect to race at World Rowing Cup III.”
In the semifinals this morning South Africa’s Ursula Grobler only just missed out on qualifying for the a-final. Grobler did not lead at the start – that honour went to Argentina’s Milka Kraljev – but by the middle of the race Grobler had found her pace, got into the lead and moved away from the field. Grobler is back to rowing after taking a break following the Rio Olympics. Poland came in to take second.
Results: RSA, POL, DEN, ARG, SWE1, AUT
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (LM1x) – Final
From this morning’s semifinals it looked like this race may go the way of Australia’s Sean Murphy. Murphy had recorded the fastest qualifying time. But in lane five was European Champion Peter Galambos of Hungary. And next to Murphy was Poland’s Artur Mikolajczewski who has already picked up two silver medals this season. Mikolajczewski was the first to show inching out ahead of Murphy. Mikolajczewski was at 37 with Murphy at 35.
Through the middle of the race Murphy and Mikolajczweski managed to break away from the rest of the field and carry out their own two-way battle. Murphy got into the lead but Mikolajczweski had more to give and got his bow ball out in front. Meanwhile the race for third was a three-way battle between Galambos, Italy and Germany 1. Galambos seemed to be making the best of it and had now moved on the two leaders. Then Mikolajczweski went to 39. Murphy matched, went to 40 and moved clean away.
Results: AUS, POL, HUN, GER1, ITA, CRO
Sean Murphy, Australia, gold
“Our race plan has changed a lot recently. I’m now a lot stronger and fitter. I had two big pushes at 500m and 1000m. I get quite excitable so I still need to calm myself down. You can’t win from the start but you can lose it. I’m stoked with the outcome."
Artur Mikolajczewski, Poland, silver
“I expected Galambos to be very fast but I was very surprised by Murphy. I looked back and he was behind me and in one second it all changed. Next up I’ll be in the Lightweight Double Sculls.”
Peter Galambos, Hungary, bronze
“After Europeans Rowing Championships, I knew I wasn’t expecting to win here but I had a great chance at a medal. The timing of my training just didn’t line up to prioritise this race.”
After an initial early lead by Florian Roller of Germany 2, Obbe Durk Tibben of the Netherlands took over out in front. These crews all raced this morning in the semifinals and Tibben had finished last. He must have been saving himself for this afternoon and he led over a tight battle between Norway, New Zealand, USA and Germany 2.
Results: NED, NOR, USA, GER2, NZL, SWE
Para PR3 Men’s Pair (PR3 M2-) – Final
The test race yesterday had France by far the fastest crew. The duo of Jerome Hamelin and Laurent Viala of France are the bronze medallists from last year’s World Rowing Championships. They jumped out and into the lead ahead of Ukraine in second. By the middle of the race Hamelin and Viala had a five second lead over Ukraine with India coming up to challenge the Ukrainian boat of Maksym Zhuk and Andrii Syvykh.
Hamelin and Viala managed to build more of a margin as they headed for the finish line. They are the gold medallists.
Results: FRA, UKR, IND, GER
Jerome Hamelin (b), France, gold
“That race was so much fun! We wanted a really strong start and we had one, so we settled into our pace and were able to slowly to bring it up again throughout the whole race. We’re ready for the next one!”
Maksym Zhuk (b), Ukraine, silver
“I found the wind helpful to my stroke however my partner, Andrii didn’t. We’re both happy with the result! This is my first medal in a World Rowing Cup so I’m really enjoying the moment."
Kuldeep Singh (s), India, bronze
“Yesterday in the test race we were third and today we were third again, which was a great result. We’re very happy as this is our first event like this. This is a really great result for India and it means that the programme can only grow from here.”
Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls (LM4x) – Final
The test race yesterday had seen Italy win by a very slight margin over China. Italy took the European Champion title earlier this month and they got off the line at a 42-stroke rating. But China, in the outside lane, was moving just a fraction faster. China got to the first 500m mark in the lead. The lead, however, was tiny and Italy had now come through to take the lead with Norway and Austria right with China.
Italy then moved to a clear water lead with Austria, featuring the Sieber brothers, slotting into second. Austria and China were now tussling for the silver medal. Italy went to 38 and then 39 in the final sprint. Austria went to 40. China came after them. Italy had won.
Results: ITA, AUT, CHN, NOR, UZB
Gabriel Soares (s), Italy, gold
“It was a beautiful race! China and Norway pushed hard at the start, so at 500 meters we made a push. We’re all so happy to come away with the gold medal. Our next race is the World Rowing Championships and I don’t expect many changes between now and then.”
Paul Sieber (s), Austria, silver
“We knew that Italy was going to be good after seeing them at the European Rowing Championships and today was a good step towards closing that gap. We have the World Rowing Championships in 2 months, so we’ll focus on training until then.”
Zhiyuan Zhang (b), China, bronze
“This crew was only put together one month ago. We work very well together and we have trained very hard together. We are happy with the bronze medal but a bit disappointed too as we were expecting to come first. This will be our target for the next regatta.”