In the test race two days ago Russia proved to be the fastest. Today the same crews lined up again to go for the European Championship title. Italy had a very high rating off the start and they found the lead within the first 200m. But it was Russia that then nosed ahead of Italy with a quarter of the race gone. But the margins were tight and just two seconds separated the field. Italy continued to attack the Russian crew with the Czech Republic doing their best to keep up with the fight at the front of the field. This saw three boats move away from the rest of the field. In the final sprint Italy went to 46 strokes per minute. Would Russia hold them off? The Russians had done it, crossing the line just 0.14 of a second ahead of Italy with the Czech Republic holding on to third.

Results: RUS, ITA, CZE, TUR, HUN 

Aleksey Vikulin (s), Russia, gold
“It felt very difficult coming into the race. We had plenty of training and power in the last year and we feel like this win was a good comeback for us. We are happy with this victory.”

Martino Goretti, (s), Italy, silver
“Today is one of the most competitive events of Europeans and the world. It was a very interesting race. Very close until the end.”

Jan Hajek (b), Czech Republic, bronze
“Today is a unique occasion for us. It is the first time we race in front of a home crowd. I wish every rower to race in such conditions. It was our best race in this combination and I’m sure it boosted us to be in front of the home crowd.”