Rio 2016 waters tested at South American Rowing Championships

16/05/2013 - 16:00:00

The Rio 2016 Olympic Rowing Regatta course was put through its paces recently with the running of the 2013 South American Rowing Championships.

The venue, Lagoa Rodrigo da Freitas is a freshwater lagoon in the centre of Rio de Janeiro. For these championships the temperatures were around 25°C with no wind and calm water.

The championships attracted over 200 athletes from eight countries - Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela – with Argentina ending at the top of the points table. Argentina won 15 events and took medals in a total of 24 events out of the 25 contested. Categories raced included junior, lightweight and senior races. There were also two para-rowing races, AS women’s single sculls and AS men’s single sculls.
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Brazil was second overall with five golds and a total of 23 medals while Chile finished third and was the top country in the junior categories.

London Olympians Gabriela Best and Maria Laura Abalo helped Argentina with its medal tally by winning the women’s double sculls, women’s pair and occupied two seats of the winning women’s quadruple sculls. Surprisingly Best, who has spent much of her rowing career in the single, finished second in the women’s single sculls. This upset result was caused by Brazil’s Bianca Miarka. Best was eight seconds down on Miarka with Soraya Jadue Arriaza of Chile back one second in third.

The men’s single sculls was won by Argentina’s Brian Rosso ahead of Eduardo Linares Ruiz of Peru and Emanuel Dantas Borges of Brazil. Rosso also raced with Olympic finalist, Cristian Rosso, to finish first in the men’s double sculls.

The championships are run as an inter-disciplinary event, so as well as the rowing races this regatta is an opportunity for umpires to improve their skills.

Raul Poletti, president of South American Rowing, explains, “The South American Confederation has a team of more than 60 umpires (14 are women). We ran exams and as a result we have six new FISA umpires (in addition to the 12 existing from South America).”

The Annual Ordinary Congress was held and host countries for future South American Rowing Championships were confirmed though to 2019.

Also at the regatta a coastal rowing pilot was launched. This is scheduled to take place in Lima, Peru in November. This will be open to participants from all Latin American countries and will include singles, doubles and quads.

The South American Rowing Championships have been running for 68 years with their beginnings in 1945 after they developed out of the former regatta, the Rio de la Plata, which dates back to 1915.  

Next year there will be two major South American rowing events. In March the South American Games (which includes rowing) will be held in Valparasio, Chile for senior and lightweight categories. Then in April the South American Rowing Championships for junior and under-23 rowers will be held in Montevideo, Uruguay.