Robert Ven of Finland 1 stepped up a notch when he recorded the fastest qualifying time in yesterday’s semifinals. Ven has been racing internationally for over a decade and is yet to medal at the World Cup. Would this be his day? Ven was up against Olympic silver medallist in the single, Damir Martin of Croatia. And it was Martin that had the fastest start. This regatta is Martin’s comeback regatta after his 2018 season was cut short due to injury. Martin was the first to cross the 500m mark and Ven was last.

Through the middle of the race Martin pushed away to two boat lengths lead over Pilip Pavukou of Belarus who had moved into second. Ven had moved up and into fourth, just behind Aleksandar Aleksandrov of Azerbaijan. Martin now had a huge open water lead over the field leaving everyone else to race for the lesser medals. Pavukou looked comfortably in silver with Ven charging through to third. Belgium now started to charge. Ven would have to hold him off. Ven was able to. The medals had been decided.

Results: CRO, BLR, FIN1, BEL, AZE, BUL

Damir Martin, Croatia, Gold
“I found that surprisingly hard today but I knew my biggest opponent was myself. Last year lots of things were going through my mind but this year I’m all focused on rowing. My times this year are quick so I’m satisfied that I’m going the right direction.”

Robert Ven, Finland, Bronze
“That was a tough one! The wind was tricky and so I decided to start a bit slower, which was smart because I power at the end. The next step will be the European Rowing Championships and then the goal to qualify at the World Rowing Championships.”

Re-watch the race here!


The fastest start went to Dusan Slavinic of Serbia 2. Slavnic was up against Ryuta Arakawa of Japan 1 who recorded the fastest time in yesterday’s semifinals. Through the start of the race it was very close. But then Slavinic looked like he’d run out of steam and Arakawa led the way over Mexico’s Juan Carlos Cabrera through the middle of the race. Rating 32 strokes per minute Arakawa remained in front. Then Cabrera charged and went to 37 strokes per minute. Arakawa responded, but Cabrera was too strong. He finishes seventh overall.

Results: MEX, JPN1, FIN3, SRB2, JPN2, FIN2