Junior rowers test 500m format at Youth Olympic Games
Rowing at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina continued with innovative new racing formats for the heats.
Instead of racing the normal 2000 meters, crews race in two rounds of 500 meters and then progressed depending on a point ranking system. Points were allocated as such; 1st = 6 points, 2nd = 4 points, 3rd = 3 points, 4th = 2 points PLUS 2 bonus points for fastest crew overall in these six races.
Points won in the first round determined the allocation of heats and lanes for the second round of heats. After both these rounds of heats, the crews’ points were added up to give a total. This determined which crews progressed to the quarterfinal rounds.
In the single sculls boat classes, the top 16 rowers progressed through to the quarterfinals. In the pair events, the top eight crews went through.
In the junior men’s single sculls there was quite a consistency with the performance in Sunday’s time trials. However, there were a few surprises. After placing second in Sunday’s time trial Kai Schaetzle of Switzerland kept his high performance up by winning all of his races and held the best time in one of the heats rounds. Schaetzle was followed by Ivan Brynza of Belarus and Australia’s Cormac Kennedy-Leverette who placed third.
Kennedy-Leverette commented after the race, “It’s a really interesting format because its so different. We train ourselves to be able to withstand the 2000m races the best possible, but with this format you don’t see all the big rowing nations winning all the time.”
Uruguay’s Martin Gonzalez Volkmann who placed first in the time trials, placed second in his first heat and then third in his second heat, which gave him a final ranking of ninth. Volkmann still goes through to the quarterfinals. Another surprise that occurred was seeing Wai Chun Wong from Hong Kong place sixth overall after winning one of his heats and then placing second.
The junior women’s single sculls saw the home favourite pleasing the crowd. Maria Sol Ordas of Argentina placed first in both of her heats and held the fastest time in both rounds, thus qualifying on top with 16 points. Taylor McCarthy-Smith of Australia followed closely behind by winning both of her heats with times less than a second behind Ordas. Mexico’s Mildred Mercado, who had finished ninth in the time trial, came fifth overall in the heats, winning one heat and placing second in another.
In the junior men’s pair, Felipe Modarelli and Tomas Herrera of Argentina managed to push ahead of the Loncaric brothers from Croatia to take first in the heats round. Both the Argentinean and Croatian pair won their heat rounds and respectively had a fastest time in one of the heats. These two pairs will surely battle it out leading up to the finals racing, but will need to keep an eye out for the Romanian pair who placed third overall only seconds behind the other two pairs.
After finishing seventh in the junior women’s pair time trials, the Czech Republic crew of Anna Santruckova and Eliska Podrazilova, finished first in the round of heats by winning both of their races and holding a best time in one of the rounds. An interesting twist took place for second and third place. The Greek pair came second in their first race and then placed first in their second race and held a best time in that round. Fighting alongside them was the Romanian pair who had won both of their heats races, however their overall time was 0.31 second slower than the Greek pair.
The next round of racing starts at 15:00 (local time, 9/10/18) with the JM1x quarterfinals followed by the JW1x quarterfinals. Later on during the day there will be the junior men’s and women’s pair semi-finals and finals.