Germany and New Zealand dominate the Top 10 for 2019
The fiercely competitive 2019 season has now ended and the numbers have been crunched. World Rowing reveals the 2019 Top 10 rowers.
Germany continues to dominate the men’s side, claiming the first six spots in the top 10. This comes thanks to their consistent performance in the men’s eight, wrapping up yet another season of a near-perfect winning streak. The winning streak also kept Richard Schmidt as the number one for the second year running.
In comparison the Top 10 women’s list has gone through quite a shake-up assisted by new crews on the podiums of the women’s pair and women’s eight. New Zealand rowers Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler grabbed the top spots after doubling up through the season and taking out astounding double-gold medal win at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.
Top 10 Men
1. Richard Schmidt (Germany)
2. Hannes Ocik (Germany)
3. Malte Jakschik (Germany)
=4. Johannes Weissenfeld (Germany)
=4. Torben Johannesen (Germany)
6. Jakob Schneider (Germany)
Schmidt, Ocik and Jakschik have been ranked in World Rowing’s Top 10 for the last three years, but their continued dominant performance pushed them to the top of the list and has kept them there. They are now joined by Weissenfeld, Johannesen and Schneider. Together these six rowers have been integral to the supremacy of the German men’s eight.
The flagship boat for the Germans has only seen one international defeat in an A-final race, at the 2019 World Rowing Cup III in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. But the men in the iconic green shell were not deterred by this hiccup. They came back to win the 2019 World Rowing Championships in style. The three consecutive World titles, combined with holding the World Best Time is what helps put these six on top of the leader board.
The tiebreak that puts Schmidt at the top is his long-standing career in rowing. He first competed internationally in 2004. Ocik started internationally in 2009 and Jakschik in 2010. Johannesen and Weissenfeld both started in 2011, with Schneider the last in 2012.
7. Valent Sinkovic (Croatia)
8. Martin Sinkovic (Croatia)
The Sinkovic brothers are also regulars on the World Rowing Top 10 list. They frequently made the cut when racing in the men’s double and are now looking to keep the streak going in the men’s pair. Their 2019 World Championship win secured their places in the top 10. But they also hold the 2018 title and a silver medal from 2017. While they have not yet clinched the World Best Time in the boat class, they have earned enough to put them into the Top 10. Valent edges slightly ahead of Martin because he started his international career two years earlier, in 2004. Valent bio. Martin bio.
9. Paul O’Donovan (Ireland)
Paul O’Donovan has managed to hang on to his Top 10 spot this year. O’Donovan’s consistent top performances have given him the edge. O’Donovan raced, and won the lightweight men’s single sculls at the 2017 World Championships when his brother Gary was sidelined due to illness. The duo was back together in 2018 and managed to pull off gold at the World Championships. But Paul added yet another accolade in 2019, when he won a tough selection to stay in the Irish lightweight men’s double. In the new combination with Fintan McCarthy, O’Donovan earned yet another gold medal at the World Championships, a feat almost unheard of in this highly-competitive category. O’Donovan’s bio.
10. Mikolaj Burda (Poland)
New to the Top 10 this year, Mikolaj Burda spent the 2019 season in the Polish men’s four. The crew raced at every World Rowing Cup picking up two medals including a gold. Burda spent most of the season in bow seat. He then switched to two seat and the crew took gold at the World Rowing Championships. This is Burda’s first World Champion title from a career that stretches back 20 years and includes four Olympic Games. Burda’s bio.
Top 10 Women
1. Grace Prendergast (New Zealand)
2. Kerri Gowler (New Zealand)
Grace Prendergast and her pair partner Kerri Gowler jumped from 6th and 9th to 1st and 2nd respectively in 2019. In fact, their total point count blew away the rest of the field. Prendergast and Gowler not only scored World Championship points in the women’s pair, they also won in the women’s eight, doubling their total World Championship score. This comes at the end of a solid World Rowing Cup season in which they earned two gold medals and one silver. The pair also won silver at the 2018 World Rowing Championships and gold at the 2017 World Rowing Championships.
Prendergast and Gowler earn points as the World Best Time holders, a recorder they set back in 2017. Prendergast edges ahead of Gowler with an earlier international debut, back in 2010, with Gowler’s in 2013. Prendergast’s bio. Gowler’s bio.
3. Olivia Loe (New Zealand)
4. Brooke Donoghue (New Zealand)
Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue are new to the 2019 Top 10 list. In 2018, Loe and Donoghue finished second at the World Rowing Championships in the women’s double sculls. But in 2019, they won gold at the second World Rowing Cup in Poznan, Poland and did not stop there. Loe and Donoghue proved their power, winning gold at the World Rowing Championships and securing their qualification for next year’s Olympic Games.
Loe and Donoghue also retain points from their 2017 World Championship title in the boat class. And Loe wins the tiebreak because her international debut was three years before Donoghue’s, back in 2010. Loe’s bio. Donoghue’s bio.
5. Annabelle McIntyre (Australia)
Annabelle McIntyre is new to the Top 10 list. Although she hasn’t secured any World Championship wins in the last three years, McIntyre raced in both the women’s eight and the women’s pair at the World Championships and her silver medal in each category earned her enough points to be in the top 10. This is tacked on to her World Rowing Cup win in the women’s pair and her bronze medal in the women’s eight from the 2018 World Rowing Championships. McIntyre is the youngest rower on the list, with her international debut in 2017. McIntyre’s bio.
6. Sanita Puspure (Ireland)
Sanita Puspure is the first Irish woman to make the World Rowing Top 10 list and it is thanks to her outstanding and consistent performance in the women’s single sculls. Puspure earned her first World Championship title in 2018, but she did not back off. In 2019, she raced to a European Championship title and wrapped up the season by retaining her World Championship title in Linz-Ottensheim. Puspure’s bio.
7. Jessica Morrison (Australia)
Competing in both the women’s eight and women’s pair this season put Jessica Morrison into the Top 10 list for the first time this year. Rowing with Annabelle McIntyre, who comes in as fifth on the list, was part of the formula for Morrison which earned her two silvers at the World Rowing Championships and also gold and silver medals from the World Rowing Cups. Morrison stepped away from international rowing after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and her 2019 ‘comeback’ was impressive. Morrison’s bio.
8. Zoe McBride (New Zealand)
Zoe McBride raced a perfect season winning every race she entered in the lightweight women’s double sculls. This included two World Rowing Cup golds and a World Championship gold – all with partner Jackie Kiddle (nineth on the Top 10 list). This comes after a 2018 season which saw McBride finish in sixth at the World Rowing Championships. McBride’s rowing career is extensive and includes a World Champion title in the lightweight women’s single sculls and owning the World Best Time in this boat class. McBride’s bio.
9. Jackie Kiddle (New Zealand)
Rowing with Zoe McBride in the lightweight women’s double sculls saw the duo complete an unbeaten season. McBride is at number eight on the Top 10 list and Kiddle joins her for the first time on the Top 10 list. Kiddle has also had success in previous years in the lightweight women’s single sculls and has medalled as an under-23 rower. Kiddle’s bio.
10. Lucy Spoors (New Zealand)
Lucy Spoors sat in three-seat of the New Zealand women’s eight. After starting the season with a fourth-placed position at World Rowing Cup II, the eight went on to win World Rowing Cup III and the World Rowing Championships. This World Championship title was a first for New Zealand having never earned that title in the women’s eight. Spoors was also part of the eight in 2018 and 2017. Her international rowing career goes back to 2007 when she competed in the junior women’s quadruple sculls. Spoors’ bio.
The Top 10 ranking uses a formula that takes into account current year results, as well as results from the previous two years. Points are allocated according to results, World Best Time ownership and also based on the length of time each rower has competed internationally. To view a detailed explanation of the formula, click here.