Norway and Italy met in today’s final for the first time at this regatta. Kristoffer Brun of Norway won one semifinal yesterday and Italy’s Andrea Micheletti won the other. Brun took bronze at the Rio Olympics in the lightweight double and all eyes were on how he would transition to single scull racing.

At the start it was Switzerland’s Michael Schmid in the lead. Schmid took silver at the World Rowing Cup I earlier this month and he held a very slight lead over Brun and Peter Galambos of Hungary through to the middle of the race. Schmid still was in the lead going through the third 500 with a slightly higher rating over his competitors. Schmid held the lead until Galambos, who was first at World Rowing Cup I, overtook. Schmid didn’t let Galambos get away. It was a photo finish at the line. Schmid had done it. Galambos was 0.13 seconds back and Belgium’s Niels van Zandweghe came storming through to take bronze. Schmid’s time of 6:51.72 had matched the European Best Time.


Michael Schmid, Switzerland, gold

“I knew the race was going to be really fast. There is a strong tail wind. I tried to hold on for the start and push hard at 1000m. In the last 500m, I just sprinted. I had a rough preparation, so I am really happy to do well in the heats and semis leading up to this race.”

Peter Galambos, Hungary, silver
“I am absolutely tired. I was very focused on the second thousand metres. It was very tough and I was very tired for the 500m finish.”

Niels Van Zandweghe, Belgium, bronze

“I was not even hoping for it! In the semifinal it was already very fast. I didn’t know if I could be within 5 seconds of the best. But I made a few changes in my boat and here I am, it went well. I am very happy because I am closing the chapter of the single scull because I am rowing again in the double sculls after this.”


The European Champion for 2016, Lukas Babac of Slovakia found himself in today’s b-final after finishing fourth in yesterday’s semifinal. France’s Stany Delayre had to pull out for medical reasons, so the race was down to five scullers. Slovenia’s Rajko Hrvat (European bronze medallist in 2016) got away the quickest and led for the first half of the race. No one could hold Hrvat’s pace as he led the way with an open water lead. Hrvat kept the pace on until the line, going up to 42 strokes per minute in the last 200m.