Heading to the rowing finals at the Youth Olympic Games
Racing continued at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires with the day opening to four rounds of junior men’s single sculls quarterfinals.
After the heat round results, there were no real surprises with who qualified for the semifinals. Switzerland, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus all qualified top in their respective quarterfinal rounds. The Czech Republic, Greece, Australia and Peru came second to still qualify for the semifinals. Unfortunately for Wai Chun Wong, from Hong Kong, he tipped out in the first 250 meters of the race, which resulted in him finishing last in his qualification round. Uruguay’s Martin Gonzalez Volkmann, who had done so well in the opening rounds, also fell short of qualifying for semifinals.
In the junior women’s single sculls quarterfinals, there were a couple unexpected results. Throughout the competition, Argentina’s Maria Sol Ordas had been winning all of her races. Elin Lindroth from Sweden, however, completed her quarterfinal race with a time quicker than Sol Ordas and Taylor McCarthy-Smith of Australia had a time just 0.01 of a second behind Sol Ordas. These three very close times means it is still anyone’s race when coming to the semifinals and finals.
Additionally, today we witness both Uzbekistan’s, Islomova Lulzakhon, and Mexico’s, Mildred Mercado, push their limits to attain second place in their respective quarterfinal qualifiers. This saw them progress to the semifinals and push out promising rowers from Great Britain, Switzerland and Canada.
In the junior men’s pair the competition was extremely tough. In the second semifinal, lined up at the start were Italy, Romania, Croatia and India, all having crews that raced quickly and stood a chance to enter the final. To the shock of most, the Loncaric brothers of Croatia (medallists at the World Rowing Junior Championships) placed third in their semifinal, meaning that they would only progress to the B-final. Ahead of them were both the Italian and Romanian crews.
Thirty minutes after their semifinals, the crews were back out on the water and in line for the final to begin. In the race for first, alongside Italy and Romanian, there was Uzbekistan and Argentina. With meters to go it wasn’t clear who would be taking home gold, silver or bronze, but with no time to spare Italy pushed in front of Romania to take gold, and Romania in front of Argentina to take silver. The crowd favourite, Argentina, still placed on the podium with a bronze medal which brought huge smiles and joy to the athletes and crowd. This was the first medal that Argentina has won at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games so far.
In the junior women’s pair there was a close competition for the top three spots in the finals. After the semifinals took place, the final included the Czech Republic, Romania, Greece and China. All crews had competed closely throughout the competition, finishing with times which made it hard to separate them. However, Anna Santruckova and Eliska Podrazulova from Czech Republic had been winning all of their races and were seeming to be the favourites to win the final alongside the Greek pair, Maria Kyridou and Christina Bourmpou. But it was the Romanian pair, Tabita Maftei and Alina Maria Baletchi who were in front and seemed to have been holding onto a sturdy lead. Then in the last ten meters, both the Greek and Czech crews pulled away to take first and second. Greece will be taking home the gold medal after beating the Czech crew by 0.09 seconds.
Wednesday 10 October will be full of junior men’s single sculls and junior women’s single sculls races, starting off with semifinals in the morning at 09:54 (local time) and finishing with the junior women’s single scull final at 12:00 (local time).