Nielsen, who was seventh in the men’s single sculls at the 2018 World Rowing Championships, was among 1085 competitors that took to the rowing machines on 26 January. Cheering crowds lined the venue to encourage competitors from juniors all the way up to masters who could choose race distances from 500 to 2000m as well as relay events. Big names in rowing claimed the titles in the men’s and women’s open and lightweight 2000m events.

Italian rower Martino Goretti won gold in the lightweight men’s event, finishing in a time of 6:08.9. Goretti was on the podium last year at the on-water European Rowing Championships and World Rowing Cup III, claiming silver and bronze respectively. Mattias Tarbosky of Austria was second with 6:12 and third was Emil Espensen of Denmark. 

Danish rowing icon Fie Udby Erichsen won the women’s openweight race with an impressive 6:39.2. Erichsen has been on the international rowing scene for many years and is well-known for her silver medal in the women’s single at the 2012 London Olympics. She has taken several breaks in recent years to have children, but competed in the 2018 on-water season and looks to be on form this winter. Second was Czech junior rower Marie Jurkova and third was Denmark's Nina Hollensen.

2019 European Rowing Indoor Championships, women's open winners, Jurkova, Erichsen, Hollensen ©

Juliane Rasmussen claimed the title in the lightweight women’s race, finishing in 7:05.9. Denmark’s Rasmussen has had a similar trajectory to Erichsen, having made her international debut in 1999. This past season she competed in the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls, winning a silver medal at the 2018 World Rowing Championships. Rasmussen frequently competes at indoor rowing events and has several titles to her name.

The organising committee hailed the event as a success, with Head of the OC Hans-Henrik Kaaber saying, “most importantly, the participants seem to have liked the event. Both during the day and the day after we received a lot of positive feedback from participants. Nobody got hurt, we managed to keep the schedule, and competition was fair. Many volunteers put in the necessary effort before and during the day, and without them we couldn’t have done it. Overall, ERIC 2019 was a huge success from our point of view.”

The European Rowing Indoor Championships was first organised in this format in 2015 in Szczecin, Poland. The venue for the 2020 event is yet to be announced, stay tuned for more information.

Full results here.
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