Medals to a mix of nations at under-23 championships
The first round of finals at the 2012 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Trakai, Lithuania saw a medal spread of 11 countries out of the eight finals raced. Germany led the way with six medals, two of them gold. Italy got two golds and a silver with the help of their lightweight crews. Australia scored a gold in their women’s quad to add to the World Best Time that this crew set earlier in the regatta and also took two silvers.
Weather conditions on the Lake Trakai regatta course saw choppy water with a cross-headwind. This meant that for fairness reasons there was a re-allocation of lanes. The top crews were thus placed in the inside lanes rather than the centre lanes.
Women’s Four (BW4-) – Final
Qualifying through the repechage obviously wasn’t deterring New Zealand who took off in the lead of this first final for the 2012 World Rowing Under 23 Championships. But by the half-way point Canada (Roper, Grainger, Copson and von Seydlitz-Kurzbach), who qualified with the fastest time from the heats on Wednesday, had pushed into the lead. Canada, rating 36, remained in the lead from the opposite side of the course and in the favoured lane from New Zealand (Green, Perry, Prendergast and Munro) who were holding on strongly.
As the last 300m came into sight, Canada pushed the rate to 39 with New Zealand on 38 as they saw the Australian’s charging down the middle. At the line Canada had got there first and took the first gold medal of this regatta. Australia (Travers, Albert, Bateman and Stephan) sprinted through to second and, practically out of nowhere, Russia, who had the fastest sprint of all of the crews, came through to take bronze.
Results: CAN, AUS, RUS, NZL, ROU, USA
Germany won this event last year but as the standard continues to advance at the under-23 level, they found themselves racing for seventh place. With that, Germany led the field and by the half-way point the Germans had a handy lead and luckily they were clear enough that a bit of trouble with their steering did not impact on the other two crews. Ukraine and Denmark battled hard with each other with Ukraine getting the edge in the final sprint.
Results: GER, UKR, DEN
Men’s Coxed Four (BM4+) – Final
The reigning Under-23 Champions in this event are Serbia and they have returned today with three of the same members as their 2011 crew. All six crews got away together and by the first timing marker, at the 500m point, there was only just over a second separating all six boat with Germany having a marginal lead. Germany finished second in 2011 and they were managing to keep their stroke rate higher than other boats.
By the half-way point Serbia (Aleksandar Filipovic, Jovan Jovanovic, Igor Lucic, Luka Djordjevic and coxswain Mateja Josic) and the United States were in front with nothing between these two boats. Serbia and the United States remained absolutely level and matching each other stroke for stroke for the next quarter of the race with Australia, New Zealand and France all level with each other. With just 500m left to row it was going to be a six-boat sprint to the line.
In an incredibly tight finish Serbia had managed to just edge out the United States who take second with New Zealand winning the battle for bronze. Serbia had successfully defended their World Champion title.
Results: SRB, USA, NZL, FRA, AUS, GER
Belarus jumped out so convincingly at the start that they had a full boat-length lead with just 500m rowed. Belarus has one member from the 2010 coxed four in the boat, but essentially the crew is relatively new. A big piece by Italy at the 1300m mark, at a 38 stroke rate, helped them close the gap on Belarus. The Italians continued to fight and went to 43 in the final sprint. Lucky for Belarus they had enough of a lead to hold off the Italians at the line.
Results: BLR, ITA, UKR, LTU
Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Sculls (BLW4x) – Final
In the preliminary race two days ago, Italy had proved to be the fastest, but only just over Germany. In the different water conditions today it was a clean slate. Italy, however, looked like they could handle anything and they took off in the lead with Germany chasing hard. Going through the middle of the race Italy – Denise Zacco, Cecilia Bellati, Eleonora Trivella and Elena Coletti – still had the lead with the Germans continuing to challenge. Then disaster struck for the United States. Sarah Giancola caught a crab and the boat had to stop before they could get going again.
Meanwhile the Germans had managed to overtake Italy, but the Italian’s were not giving up. These two boats charged for the line. Germany’s Judith Anlauf, Fabienne Knoke, Carolin Franzke and Franziska Kreutzer gave it their all and at the line they had held off the Italians. Germany had the gold medal, Italy took silver and the Netherlands had the bronze.
Results: GER, ITA, NED, USA
Lightweight Men’s Pair (BLM2-) – Final
Italy leapt out to take an early lead in this very competitive event with Francesco Schisano and Vincenzo Serpico of Italy giving it their all. But there was very little in it with five crews spread by just one small second in time. Even through the middle of the race it was hard to distinguish between the different crew positions. Italy still had an ever-so-small margin with France, Great Britain and Germany right with the Italians. As Great Britain and Germany began to drop back a bit, the battle between Italy and France (Augustin Mouterde and Edouard Jonville) remained intense.
Italy then took their stroke rate to 41. France tried to hold on with 37 and Germany followed also on 37. Serpico and Schisano had done it. They move from a 2011 fourth place to being the 2012 Under-23 Champions. France took second and Germany’s Can Temel and Tobias Franzmann were third.
Results: ITA, FRA, GER, GBR, HKG, CZE
This race started off very tight through the first quarter. Always a competitive event, by the middle of the race there was still just three seconds between the top four crews. Switzerland, although rating lower than the other crews, had the lead. Guillaume Sommer and Nikolas Blumenthal, 18, are racing at their first international event. Argentina, however, had paced the race well and in the third 500 Juan Natal and Juan Zanghi of Argentina took the lead.
Results: ARG, BLR, IRL, SUI, LTU, USA
Women’s Pair (BW2-) – Final
Great Britain won one heat and New Zealand won the other. Today it was these two crews that were out in front and they together they broke clean away from the rest of the field. In the New Zealand boat Kayla Pratt and Kelsey Bevan were part of the under-23 eight last year where the faced Caragh McMurtry and Olivia Carnegie-Brown in the British eight. At the beginning McMurtry and Carnegie-Brown had the edge but Pratt and Bevan soon took over in the front and then chipped away at the lead by using a higher stroke rate.
The gap was now enormous between the leading two crews and the rest of the field. Coming into the final sprint Pratt and Bevan were over-rating Great Britain at a 37 stroke rate and now really moving away. At the line Pratt and Bevan had won by a full five seconds over Great Britain with Germany a long way back taking the bronze.
Results: NZL, GBR, GER, CZE, NOR, NED
This three-boat B-final was led by Latvia’s Anete Risa and Vineta Moca through the first half of the race. Surprisingly the reigning Under-23 Champions in this event, the United States sat in second with their best result chances now being a seventh place overall. Coming through the second half of the race the United States tried to overtake the Latvian’s. Risa and Moca responded well and, despite rating lower, they remained easily in the lead.
Results: LAT, USA, HUN
Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls (BM4x) – Final
The Italians have been proving today that rating high really works if you want to win races and their lightweight quad did exactly that by over-rating the rest of the field at the start then staying at a 38 stroke rate pace, 2- 3 pips above other crews. But not everything was going the Italians way with France’s Gaborieau, Piqueras, Lecomte and Jaunet starting off in the lead. By the half-way point France still had a very small advantage with Italy sitting in second.
France finished fourth last year in this event, while Italy were fifth. What order would it be this year? Coming into the final sprint France still had a slight advantage, but, as had been the case throughout this race, Italy continued to rate higher than France and it was finally having the desired effect.
It took every stroke of the 2,000m race, but at the line Italy (Provenzano, Pegoraro, Barbaro and Mulas) had done it. France had to settle for silver with Germany taking bronze. Last year’s Under-23 Champions, Denmark finished in fourth and were thus unable to defend their title.
Results: ITA, FRA, GER, DEN, AUT, NED
In slightly choppy conditions these eight-oared sculling crews raced to be place seven to 11 in the world. Switzerland had the best showing at the start and continued to hold it over attacks from Great Britain. Coming through to the final sprint the Swiss (Hegglin, Gallot-Lavalee, Giorgis and Roth) had moved to an open water lead with Great Britain being overhauled by Brazil. At the line Switzerland remained comfortably in first with the Brazilian’s looking absolutely joyous after crossing the line in second. Watch out for these Brazilian rowers as rowing in Brazil is getting a big boost as they move towards the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Results: SUI, BRA, GBR, USA, TPE
Women’s Quadruple Sculls (BW4x) – Final
In the heats two days ago Germany and Poland had been the two top boats. All other boats had to race a repechage including Australia who set a new under-23 World Best Time in theirs. Today the fastest qualifier from the heats, Germany took off in the lead with Australia following very closely behind. Germany are the defending Under-23 Champions and two of the crew are the same as the gold medal 2011 crew.
Going through the middle of the race Germany (Toerpsch, Sievers, Arnold and Adams) remained in the lead over Australia with Poland in third. But New Zealand were challenging the Poles very aggressively and it looks as though positions could well change in the second half of the race. And it did.
A push in the third 500 accelerated Australia into the lead with Germany hanging on. This battle between Australia and Germany had moved these two crews away from the rest of the field. In the sprint to the line Australia were looking more and more confident with New Zealand attacking Poland by using a 42 stroke rate pace. At the line Australia had become the new Under-23 Champions. Germany had to accept silver and a very happy New Zealand took the bronze.
Results: AUS, GER, NZL, POL, ITA, ROU
This is a favourite boat for Ukraine and currently their senior women’s quad is on track for an Olympic medal, but today the under-23s had to contend with a b-final race. Ukraine made the best of it and they took off at the head of the field, maintaining it through the middle of the race. Russia followed closely behind, so close in fact that coming into the final sprint there was very little between these two crews. Both Ukraine and Russia raced to the line at a 33 stroke rate. Ukraine held off the Russians.
Results: UKR, FRA, RUS, USA, SUI, LAT
Men’s Four (BM4-) – Final
The defending Under-23 Champions came through to this final from winning one of the heats, but they did not do it with the fastest qualifying time. Instead it was Australia and Great Britain recording practically identical times. At the start Germany had the edge over Australia with the United States in third. By the middle of the race Germany and Australia were holding their own battle at the head of the field with a second battle going on behind them between the remainder of the field. Then Germany did a push to take half a boat length on the Australians with the United States well within attacking distance.
After a full-on sprint Germany’s Kuhnert, Schroeter, Bock and Bechler had successfully defended their title. Australia had put up a great fight but Symington, Hicks, Snelson and Masters had to settle with silver. A huge finish by Great Britain got the ahead of the United States and into the medals.
Results: GER, AUS, GBR, USA, ESP, NZL
This race was extremely tight as the standard of racing showed some very good crews racing here. Going through the middle of the race three boats were level – Canada, Croatia and the Czech Republic with perhaps a very slight advantage to Canada. The Canadian’s were keeping their stroke rate at a high 37, a couple of pips above their competition. But it didn’t seem to do the job as Croatia got their nose in front with a huge push that took them to nearly a boat-length lead. Prnjak, Piton, Cakarun and Ledenko of Croatia pushed on and took first. An amazing sprint effort by Norway got them into second across the finish line.
Results: CRO, NOR, CAN, CZE, IRL, UKR