Medal haul for Germany at European Junior Champs
Five gold medals secured Germany as the top nation at the 2016 European Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania.
Germany won medals in 11 of the 13 boat classes contested including gold in both the men's and women's eight. The German men's eight was won by a comfortable margin while the silver and bronze medals went to the line with the Netherlands just ahead of Romania by 0.30 of a second. The German women's eight also had a comfortable win, while silver and bronze turned into a tight finish between Belarus and Romania. Belarus finished less than half a second ahead of Romania.
Italy finished second on the overall medals table with six medals, three of them gold. The Italian golds came in the women's pair, men's four and men's coxed four. The Netherlands was third overall in the medals. A total of 15 countries won medals.
Both the men's and women's single sculls races saw promising individuals with local sculler, Armandas Kelmelis winning for Lithuania in the men's single and Karolien Florijn of the Netherlands winning the women's single. Kelmelis finished fifth at last year's World Rowing Junior Championships. Florijn raced in her nation's eight at last year's World Rowing Junior Championships where her team finished fifth. Florijn also raced in June at World Rowing Cup III in the women's single.
Conditions were mild with slight wind and spells of rain on the first day of the two-day regatta. On the second day, which included both semifinals and finals, it was sunny with temperatures in the high teens.
This year's entry turnout saw record numbers with 32 countries competing and over 500 athletes racing. Prior to this, the 2015 European Rowing Junior Championships held the record with 31 nations and 481 rowers.
For the majority of these athletes it was their first-ever international regatta and this meant a real buzz of enthusiasm. Norway, Denmark and Germany all came with large contingents of supporters, rounded out by the home crowds from Lithuania.
Usually the European Junior Rowing Championships occurs earlier in the season, in May. The regatta was delayed this year to July so that it could be used as a preparation regatta for the 2016 World Rowing Junior Championships which is being raced this year at the end of August. The different schedule in 2016 is largely due to the Olympic Games.
The 2017 European Rowing Junior Championships will take place in Krefeld, Germany from 21-22 May. Krefeld is near Dusseldorf and the regatta course in on Lake Elfrath. The venue regularly holds local regattas and it is the home of one of Germany's most successful clubs, Crefelder Rowing Club.
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