Gold medals shared at under-23 championships
The 2012 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Trakai, Lithuania saw the remaining 13 finals being raced on Lake Trakai in a day that made history for Cyprus and Azerbaijan.
It also saw a medal spread that was shared across a large number of nations.
Today the rowers faced head wind conditions with the added complexity of a cross wind that saw the FISA Fairness Commission take the decision to re-allocate lanes to make sure the best available lanes were used for the top qualifiers. These conditions with the added element of bumpy water meant that times were slower than usual.
The conditions, however, did not deter Cyprus from winning its first ever under-23 medal when Anna Ioannou finished third in the lightweight women’s single sculls. It also did not deter Azerbaijan from getting its first ever Under-23 Champion title when Aleksandar Aleksandrov won the men’s single sculls.
Lightweight Women's Single Sculls (BLW1x) – Final
Last year Kathrine Copeland of Great Britain won this event. She was so good that she is now in her country’s Olympic lightweight double leaving the field open to a new winner. Alena Kryvasheyenka of Belarus now came in as the favourite having finished second last year and first in 2010. Kryvasheyenka qualified for this final with the fastest time in the semifinals yesterday and today she took the lead at the start with the Netherlands’ Annick Taselaar being the next fastest. As the rest of the field continued to keep their stroke rate in the low 30s, Kryvasheyenka was confident enough to drop to 29 then 27. Kryvasheyenka was making it look way too easy.
As Kryvasheyenka moved clear away from the field, Claire Lambe of Ireland pushed her way into second. But her position didn’t last long with Sweden’s Emma Fred pushing through into second. Kryvasheyenka did a little push at the end, but had just won with a showing that was relaxed, low rating and long through the water. This must at least be a nice consolation for Kryvasheyenka who tried to qualify of the Olympics earlier this season in the lightweight double. Fred held on to take second with Anna Ioannou of Cyprus pushing through to a bronze medal for her nation.
Results: BLR, SWE, CYP, IRL, NED, RSA
Christina Sperrer of Austria took off at the start ahead of Chloe Poumailloux of France. Poumailloux then used a higher stroke rate to get ahead of Sperrer. Both of these athletes competed at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta earlier this season, hoping to go to the Olympics in the lightweight double. They continued to battle at the head of the field with neither athlete willing to relent. Poumailloux had to deal with a bit of a steering problem as Sperrer took her stroke rate up to a speedy 36 then 37 stroke rate. Austria had done it. Sperrer finished first with Helena Pavkovic of Croatia putting in an almighty finish to grab second.
Results: AUT, CRO, FRA, PAR, GER, ISR
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (BLM1x) – Final
Coming through into this final Switzerland’s Luca Fabian had shown that he had a fast start and today was no exception. Fabian shot out but found that the competition was ready for him and by the half-way point Switzerland had lost the lead to Spyridon Giannaros of Greece. Fabian held tightly as both boats paced each other using a 33 stroke rate. Giannaros came into this final with the fastest qualifying time from yesterday’s semifinals with Germany’s Konstantin Steinhuebel the next fastest.
Giannaros continued to lead with Steinhuebel now pushing through into third. Fabian, meanwhile was very courageously holding on. In the sprint to the finish Steinhuebel was flying. Giannaros now realized that his gold medal spot was under threat and he took up his stroke rate. Switzerland and the Netherlands were also both very much on the pace. At the line four boats crossed within one second of each other. Giannaros had retained first to with the gold – his first gold medal at the international level. Steinhuebel got the silver with Fabian holding onto third.
Results: GRE, GER, SUI, NED, GBR, UKR
Slovakia’s Richard Vanco, had a great start and then started to slip back, but he managed to regain his confidence. But Andrea Micheletti of Italy was unrelenting. Vanco then did a big piece and got away from Micheletti with Bulgaria now challenging Micheletti. Vanco remained well in front to finish in first and seventh overall at this regatta.
Results: SVK, ITA, BUL, SLO, ALG, FRA
Men’s Pair (BM2-) – Final
The two semifinal winners were South Africa and Great Britain. They met today, side-by-side in the final. All six boats were tightly packed together going through the first 500m mark with Great Britain’s Kieren Emery and Matthew Tarrant having a very slight edge. This slight advantage remained going through the middle of the race with Germany following very closely.
Emery, who is the lightweight Under-23 Champion from 2011, and Tarrant remained in the lead and managed to move just slightly away from Germany with the United States now being the biggest threat. The margins remained tight with five boats still very much within attacking distance and the charge to the line became intense. South Africa’s David Hunt and Vincent Breet took a flyer, rating 38 strokes per minute. South Africa finished second last year and they were not going to let the medals slip away. Great Britain held on. At the line Emery and Tarrant had won the gold, South Africa were in second and Paul Heinrich and Hannes Ocik of Germany held on to third.
Results: GBR, RSA, GER, USA, FRA, GRE
After a fast start by Argentina, Belarus got out in front. Yauhen Aliakhnovich and Ihar Pashevich of Belarus remained in front with Turkey now becoming the nearest threat with Bulgaria and Italy now going head to head. Coming into the line Bulgaria did a huge sprint, getting their stroke rate to 46. It was a great finish, and closed the gap on Turkey and Belarus but came just a fraction too late. Bulgaria take third.
Results: BLR, TUR, BUL, ITA, ARG, AUT
Women’s Double Sculls (BW2x) – Final
Austria and Greece were the two semifinal winners, finishing with almost identical times. They sat side-by-side in this final waiting for the starter’s buzzer. Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig and Lisa Farthofer are the bronze medallists in this event and Greece’s Eleni Diamanti and Aikaterini Nikolaidou come to this regatta after trying to qualify for the Olympic Games earlier this season. But at the start it was Russia that took the lead. This crew finished seventh in 2011. Greece then took over in the lead through the middle of the race with Austria now slipping into second. Russia, meanwhile had slipped right back.
Greece and Austria now went head-to-head into the final sprint with Belarus’s Katsiaryna Shliupskaya and Tatsiana Kukhta now charging towards the finish. The favourites, Lobnig and Farthofer were charging as well and their stroke rate hit 38 in a huge attack on Greece. Could the Greek’s hold on? A very happy Lobnig and Farthofer crossed the line in first. They were ecstatic. Greece took second and Belarus had third.
Results: AUT, GRE, BLR, LTU, FRA, RUS
Ireland jumped out at the start with Germany, Switzerland and the United States absolutely level. This three-way battle meant that all of these crews were moving up on Laura D’Urso and Holly Nixon (junior medallist from 2011) of Ireland. As crews settled into a low 30s stroke rate Ireland remained just a little in front. Germany and Switzerland then broke away from the United States. Germany is the reigning Under-23 Champions in this event, but after finishing fifth in the semifinals yesterday, they missed out on the opportunity to defend their title. Romania, who were second last year, raced at the back of this B-final. Ireland remained in front until the line and finish seventh overall at this regatta with Switzerland getting the better of Germany.
Results: IRL, SUI, GER, USA, ITA, ROU.
Men’s Double Sculls (BM2x) – Final
Germany finished second in this event last year and this year they qualified for the final with the fastest time. Last year Hagen Rothe was in the boat and he is now partnered with Stephan Riemekasten. The second fastest qualifiers were the Dutch (Dirk Uittenbogaard and Freek Robbers) and they sat next to the German’s. At the start it was Germany and the Netherlands who were the fastest with these two crews matching each other stroke for stroke. New Zealand followed in third.
As Rothe and Riemekasten dropped their stroke rate down to 32, Uittenbogaard and Robbers remained at 35. A big piece at the half way mark by Nathan Flannery and Hayden Cohen of New Zealand, gave them the lead. Could they sustain it from the other side of the rowing course?
Flannery and Cohen maintained their very slight lead coming into the third 500m managing to gain a half boat-length over the Germans. New Zealand could now smell the finish line and taking their stroke rate to 40, then 42 then 43 then 44 it was all about New Zealand. Now Italy charged, pushing the Dutch out of a medal spot and going after Germany. Full credit to New Zealand. Flannery and Cohen, the younger brother of doubles World Champion and Olympian Nathan Cohen, had used all-out rating to win the race. Germany had held on to second and Francesco Cardaioli and Giuseppe Vicino of Italy took third.
Results: NZL, GER, ITA, NED, LTU, SLO
The Czech Republic, Vojtech Rimak and Jakub Paroulek, took an absolute flying start to take the lead. They couldn’t, however, maintain the pace and by the half-way point Belgium’s Maxime Andre and Jean-Benoit Valschaerts had pushed ahead with Denmark pushing hard. Belgium was 12th last year and it looked like they were going to improve this placing at Trakai. In the final sprint Great Britain’s Jack Beaumont and Jonathan Walton stormed through at a 38 stroke rate pace. It did the job and Beaumont and Walton finished first.
Results: GBR, BEL, DEN, RUS, KOR, CZE
Lightweight Men’s Four (BLM4-) – Final
The advantage seemed to be with Italy coming into this final. They were the reigning Under-23 Champions and they also had the fastest qualifying time from winning their semifinal yesterday. Spain had the next fastest qualifying time and at the start it was Italy and Spain that took off just ahead of the rest of the field.
The first timing marker showed Italy (Guido Gravina, Gianluca Sapino, Petru Zaharia and Matteo Pinca) just ahead of Spain with Poland very much on the pace. As they showed in the semifinals, Italy kept their stroke rate high and coming into the middle of the race the Italian’s were still up at 40 strokes per minute. No other crew could compare to this choosing a 37 stroke rate for their ideal. At the 1100m mark Italy now had more than two seconds over Spain. Spain were third last year while Poland, who continued to threaten the Spanish second-placed spot, were fifth in 2011.
Spain then managed to inch away from Poland and in the process they moved up on Italy. The Italians now were on 43 as the castle 300m from the finish line passed by. Out of nowhere France, who were second last year, now came sprinting through. The gaps were closing. Could Italy hold on? They had. The Italian’s crossed the line in first. Spain held on to second over France’s phenomenal finish.
Results: ITA, ESP, FRA, POL, GER, AUS
Coming into this race Hungary had the fastest qualifying time after recording the next fastest time in yesterday’s semifinal. But at the start it was the United States that owned the leader’s edge. The United States continued to lead throughout the race. Meanwhile a very strong second half by New Zealand brought them up through the field and into second.
Results: USA, NZL, CAN, HUN, DEN, JPN
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (BLW2x) – Final
By a huge 10 seconds, Germany’s Wiebke Hein and Nora Wessel had the fastest qualifying time coming through from yesterday’s semifinal race. Last year Hein and Wessel finished fifth in this event and it looks as if another year of experience together was totally working in their favour. The Netherlands’ Elisabeth Woerner and Lieve Leijssen won the other semifinal but in a time that was just the fourth fastest. Still it earned Woerner and Leijssen the favoured lane next to Germany.
At the start Spain jumped out quickly with the Dutch chasing hard. But by the half-way point Hein and Wessel were in the lead now followed by Georgia Hammond and Sophie MacKenzie of New Zealand. This is a new combination for New Zealand with MacKenzie racing for the first time internationally at this regatta and Hammond coming from the junior national team.
In the final sprint Germany had built up a small advantage with nothing between Spain, the Dutch and New Zealand. Woerner and Leijssen went to a 39 stroke rate, Hammond and MacKenzie were doing all that they could. At the line Hein and Wessel had got the gold. Woerner and Leijssen crossed just 6/100th of a second ahead of Hammond and MacKenzie.
Results: GER, NED, NZL, ESP, CAN, SUI
Great Britain’s Eleanor Piggott and Charlotte Burgess just missed out on the A-final by one position in yesterday’s semifinal and they probably were a little disappointed to be racing in the B-final. But Piggott and Burgess made the most of it and showed their speed by getting out at the start and remaining in that leading position throughout the race. Poland followed in second and became the only crew to really be any threat to the British lead. Piggott and Burgess raced last year in their country’s lightweight quad where they finished fifth. Coming into the final 500m of the race Piggott and Burgess had a comfortable lead and did not really need to sprint.
Results: GBR, POL, FRA, AUS, JAP, CZE
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (BLM2x) – Final
In the favoured lane sat Julius Peschel and Matthias Arnold of Germany. Arnold was part of the Under-23 Champion crew from 2011 and he was back to defend his title with new crew mate, Peschel. They came through to the final with the fastest qualifying time from yesterday’s semifinal. At the start Spain’s Jaime De Haz and Ander Zabala Artetxe had good speed, but by the first 500m marker it was brothers, Paul and Bernhard Sieber of Austria in the lead with the Germans in second.
Sieber and Sieber raced earlier this season at the Belgrade World Rowing Cup and they also attempted to qualify for the London Olympics at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in May. Today they continued to lead through the middle of the race and also push away from Arnold and Peschel.
Coming into the final sprint the Sieber’s still held the and they continued to build, taking their stroke rate to 37. What could Germany do? Now Artur Mikolajczewski and Milosz Jankowski of Poland were out-rating everyone, taking their stroke rate to 42. They had the Germans. Austria win gold, Poland took the silver and Germany hold on to bronze.
Results: AUT, POL, GER, USA, ESP, GRE
Zak Lee-Green and James Coombes of Great Britain got off the start line the quickest but going through the middle of the race there was very little in it. Just two seconds separated the top four boats with Italy, Canada and Hungary all in a position to attack for the lead. Lee-Green and Coombes held on bravely. In the final sprint Hungary’s Daniel Matyasovszki and Bence Pozsar took their stroke rate to 40 and managed to get their nose ahead of Great Britain. The British held on and in the process these two crews moved away from the rest of the field. At the line Hungary had finished first.
Results: HUN, GBR, CAN, ITA, BEL, DEN
Men’s Quadruple Sculls (BM4x) – Final
Ukraine, the reigning Under-23 Champions, had a slight advantage at the start in a field that was spread over just two seconds. This very tight six-laned race then began to spread out a bit with Ukraine moving ahead with France, the Czech Republic, Italy and Australia all on top of each other and matching each other stroke for stroke.
As the final 500m sprint came into view Ukraine, Mykhailov, Verestiuk, Bondarenko and Nadtoka still had a slight lead but the rest of the bunch were closing hard. Could Ukraine hold them off? Italy now came storming down the outside rating 41. The Italians had the fastest qualifying time leading into this final and they had finally decided to prove their worth. At the line the beeper sounded in quick succession. Ukraine had defended their title, Italy had grabbed second and Australia had come through to third.
Results: UKR, ITA, AUS, FRA, CZE, NZL
Germany had a great start in this race. They were the bronze medallists in 2011, but the best they could hope for here was seventh. Estonia followed closely into second and coming into the final sprint Estonia did an almighty push to get into the lead. The German’s fought back and got their bow ball back in front. The Germans had finished first. Estonia had to accept second and Russia was third. Results: GER, EST, RUS, ROM, GBR, SUI
Women’s Eight (BW8+) – Final
In the preliminary race a couple of days ago, the United States had been clear winners over Germany. The United States were third last year but have seen gold a number of times in this boat class that they are so successful in at the senior level. At the start it was Great Britain that jumped out quickly, but the United States soon pushed into the lead with just a bow ball of an edge over Great Britain.
Last year the British finished in fifth place, and their current second place was a fine effort especially knowing the calibre of the Americans who are able to pull on a huge number of university rowers to make up their under-23 team. Then in the third 500 the United States, coxed by Kendall Schmidt, did a huge piece and pulled right away from the British and right away from the rest of the field. Now Great Britain were under attack from the Netherlands and from Germany. The final medals were going to come down to the best sprinters. The United States crossed in first with a comfortable lead to take gold and become the Under-23 Champions. Germany had stormed through to second and the Netherlands take third.
Results: USA, GER, NED, GBR, BLR
Men’s Single Sculls (BM1x) – Final
Aleksandar Aleksandrov of Azerbaijan did not have such a good race when he competed in this event last year. From being the silver medallist in 2010, Aleksandrov ended up finishing seventh in 2011. This year, though, Aleksandrov was in great form and came to this final with the fastest qualifying time. But Aleksandrov was up against the very talented Hubert Trzybinski of Germany who is the reigning Under-23 Champion. In single sculling terms, Aleksandrov and Trzybinski are very different rowers. Trzybinski is very tall, at over two metres, while Aleksandrov is shorter and stockier. But both of them make the boat move fast. At the start Aleksandrov had the lead, knowing that he’d have to try and break Trzybinski early on.
With Aleksandrov and Trzybinski fighting it out at the front of the field, they moved away from everyone else. The older, more experienced Aleksandrov then began to push away from Trzybinski with Dionysios Angelopoulos of Greece now gaining on Trzybinski. Angelopoulos is currently Greece’s top single sculler and earlier this season Angelopoulos tried to qualify for the London Olympics.
At 36 strokes per minute Aleksandrov then moved clean away from Trzybinski to become the Under-23 Champion. Tzrybinski held on to second and Angelopoulos wins the bronze.
Results: AZE, GER, GRE, BEL, ARG, SVK
Norway’s Bjoern-Jostein Singstad and Peter Csanko of Hungary got out at the start together, but it was tight across the entire six-boat field. By the middle of the race Singstad and Csanko continued to be at the head of the field. This was quite a surprise as Csanko was the slowest qualifier for this race from yesterday’s semifinal. Perhaps Csanko was saving himself? Then Juan Carlos Cabrera of Mexico came charging through to threaten these two leaders. Cabrera, who won the World Indoor Rowing Championships earlier this year, got ahead of Csanko and went after Singstadt. Cabrera was successful.
Results: MEX, NOR, RUS, SUI, AUT, HUN
Women’s Single Sculls (BW1x) – Final
Despite being on the Canadian national team for the first time at this regatta, Carling Zeeman has been making waves by beating very seasoned rowers through the heats and semifinals of the women’s single sculls. Zeeman comes to the final with the fastest qualifying time. Canada already knows about Zeeman and earlier this year Rowing Canada awarded her with the top females sculler award. Today Zeeman faced Germany’s Julia Lier who won gold in the quad for the last two years and she also has two Junior Champion titles.
At the start Lier jumped out to take an early lead and by the 500m mark Lier had a two second lead. Behind Lier, Latvia and Denmark went head-to-head while Canada, Great Britain and Norway were all equal.
Coming through the middle of the race Lier was still in the lead with Denmark’s Rikke Quist the only one in striking distance of her. The field then began to close up a bit as the crews with the best stamina started to show their true colours. Rating a couple of pips lower than the other crews, Lier still had the lead.
The third 500 saw first and second looking pretty clear with the real fight going on for third between Great Britain’s Rachel Gamble-Flint and Norway and Latvia. Zeeman was off the pace at the back of the field. Everyone began to sprint. Ratings went to the mid-30s as Zeeman now really began to move. In a huge sprint to the line Zeeman had gone from the back of the field and into medal contention. At the line Lier was in first, Quist had taken second and Zeeman earned third.
Results: GER, DEN, CAN, NOR, LAT, GBR
The order changed several times in this race with France being the early leader and then falling to the back of the field. Poland’s Anna Karzynska then got out in front, but it didn’t last long with Hungary’s Krisztina Gyimes finding the lead as these boats came into their final sprint. Then Lisa Dilleen of Ireland came flying down the outside. At the line Gyimes had just held off Dilleen, but the margin was very, very close. Last year Gyimes finished 11th in this event. This year she is seventh overall.
Results: HUN, IRL, BUL, NED, POL, FRA
Men’s Eight (BM8+) – Final
In this Blue Riband event, the United States are the defending Under-23 Champions. They raced in the heats three days ago and won. But it was the winner of the other heat, Germany that clocked a faster time. Today the United States and Germany would meet for the first time and race side-by-side.
Germany leapt out at the start and got to the first 500m mark in first. But they barely had a bow ball of a lead with the United States sticking with the Germans like glue. Germany settled to a 37 stroke rate pace with the United States choosing a 38 pace to hold the Germans. It worked. Coming into the final sprint the United States had found the lead and they aimed to hold it to the end. Germany was holding on as Australia and Great Britain did all they could to catch the leaders.
Germany hit 43 strokes per minute with the United States now on 42. The other crews did not seem to be able to match the leader’s pace. The United States had defended their 2011 title. They take the gold. Germany, who finished fourth in 2011, get the silver and Australia get the better of Great Britain to take bronze.
Results: USA, GER, AUS, GBR, POL, ESP
These four crews were being led by Romania through the first half of the race. Belarus followed closely in second with Russia challenging hard at a stroke rate a couple of pips above the leaders. A big piece by Belarus in the third 500 brought them closer to Romania, but the Romanian’s continued to hold on. Belarus, however, had more momentum and got their boat in front of Romania.
Results: BLR, ROU, RUS, LTU