PRESS RELEASE: Italy takes top spot at 2012 European Rowing Championships
A record number of 36 nations took part in the 2012 European Rowing Championships, and today 18 of those nations were represented on the medals podiums.
Racing at the European Rowing Championships took place from 14 to 16 September in Varese, Italy, with A-finals being raced today in perfect and sunny conditions. Host nation Italy finished with the highest number of medals, winning a total of six medals, two of them gold and four of them silver. The Italians successfully defended their European Championship title in the lightweight men's four and also scored a first European gold in the lightweight women's double sculls, along with silvers in the men's and women's eights to the delight of the nearly 10,000 cheering spectators along Lake Varese.
Lithuania proved its force in the single sculls with Donata Vistartaite winning gold in the women's event and, in the men's event, Mindaugas Griskonis adding a third European title to his medal collection. Greece also claimed two gold medals in today's A-finals, retaining their title in the men's four and crossing the line with a surprise victory in the lightweight men's double sculls.
Camelia Lupascu and Nicoleta Albu of Romania made it a double-header today, collecting their third consecutive European title in the women's pair and then racing to bronze a couple of hours later in the women's quadruple sculls. In the men's pair, it was Rogier Blink and Mitchel Steenman who won their nation's single medal, a gold, at the 2012 European Rowing Championships.
Finishing with a fourth place at the Olympic Games in London, Estonia's crew in the men's quadruple sculls raced again, finishing ahead of the field in first ahead of Ukraine and Slovenia. The Olympic Champion crew from Ukraine, with just one change to their London line-up, won gold in the women's quad, thus prolonging their multi-year winning streak at European level in this event.
Croatia's 2012 Olympic silver medallists from the men's quadruple sculls raced in two different boat classes in Varese. Brothers Valent and Martin Sinkovic competed in the men's double sculls, finishing with gold, while Damir Martin took silver in the men's single sculls.
Belarus won one medal at the European Rowing Championships, and it was gold in the women's double sculls. After winning bronze this summer at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships, Tatsiana Kukhta and Katsiaryna Shliupskaya proved their talent at senior level.
Romania has been unbeatable in the women's eight at European level. Today, with their boat including multi Olympic Champions Viorica Susanu and Georgeta Andrunache, they raced to European gold in dominating fashion for the sixth consecutive time. In the men's eight, Poland won their second consecutive European title.
Next year the European Rowing Championships will be held in the spring for the first time, from 31 May to 2 June in Seville, Spain.
Today's finals can be viewed again in our video archive, here.