Buryak, from Ukraine, is the top qualifier for the eight women that have earned places to compete, having earned an automatic spot as reigning indoor rowing World Champion.

Buryak will be joined by seven other top female indoor rowers. Five were awarded their places through an online qualification system. They raced a qualification challenge on the Concept2 ergometer which measured a total time for 1200 metres, as well as a the time for the final 300m. The final two places were wildcard additions. The eight women are:

·         Olena Buryak, Ukraine

·         Vwaire Obukohwo, Great Britain

·         Marloes Oldenburg, the Netherlands

·         Jordan Falcone, United States

·         Anna Muehle, Germany

·         Jing Sun, China

·         Beck Smith, Australia

·         Morgan McGrath, United States

The eight men who have qualified for the event included six online qualifiers and two wildcards. The top spot was won by Jason Marshall from Canada when he recorded a time of 3:24.2 on his 1200 metre race, with a final 300 metre time of 0:49.2. The eight men are:

·         Jason Marshall, Canada

·         Ivan Saric, Germany

·         Pavel Shurmei, Belarus

·         Josh Penrice, Great Britain

·         Paul Marcy, United States

·         Phil Clapp, Great Britain

·         Liang Zhang, China

·         Bo Wullings, the Netherlands

These 16 athletes will head to Budapest from 13 to 15 September 2019, to participate in indoor rowing at the first-ever World Urban Games. Indoor rowing has been included as a showcase event in the festival-like multi-sport Games. The rowers will test their strength and skill in a series of six challenges over the three-day event. The challenges are designed to determine which athletes have mastered the full range of skills and physicality necessary to be a well-rounded indoor rower. Some challenges will be announced to the competitors prior to the Games, while other challenges will be announced in Budapest.

This unique race attracted many keen indoor rowers to participate in the qualification.

“The challenge is very special and unique. Six workouts in three days and nobody knows the distance,” says Second-qualifier Ivan Saric from Germany who noted that the qualification process posed an interesting feat. “It was very tactical. You have to row a fast 1200m but also a fast 300m finish. So, the ‘fly and die’-tactic was not the key to win.” Laughing, Saric says that he checked the leaderboard up to 30-40 times per day.

The leading qualifier, Jason Marshall from Canada, was also strategic about qualification. “I actually rowed the 1200m distance three times. With my first and second attempts I was trying to put up a fast overall time. I soon realised that the last 300m was going to win or lose the competition. After some strategy coaching from Oli Gray, I realised that I could sacrifice some overall time in order to get a better result on my last 300m.”

While of some the qualifiers are well-known in the on-water and off-water rowing scene, some, like qualifier Vwaire Obukohwo from Great Britain, has never competed internationally. Obukohwo found out about the competition from her coach and decided to give it a try to push herself outside her comfort zone.

“I would like to be able to develop myself as an athlete through this competition and surpass my own expectations at the event,” says Obukohwo.

At the World Urban Games, these top athletes, from various backgrounds will come together to test their skills on the indoor rowing machine.

For more information about the event, click here.
For full qualification results, click here. https://log.concept2.com/challenges/world-urban-games/2019/male