Romania spearheads inaugural European Junior Champs
The first ever European Junior Rowing Championships was held in Kruszwica, Poland with 23 nations and 386 athletes taking part.
Host nation Poland had the biggest team, 49 athletes, entering a crew in each of the 13 boat classes. Ukraine, Belarus and Romania also sent large crews.
The greatest medal haul went to Romania with four golds, two silvers and three bronzes going their way. Italy followed in a very close second also gaining four golds in addition to two silvers and one bronze. Belarus was third.
The junior men’s double sculls was the most popular event of the regatta with 15 countries entered. Slovenia’s Jan Kanduc and Jernej Markovic took an easy win over Hungary by five seconds in the final. Kanduc and Markovic raced together last year at the World Rowing Junior Championships where they finished seventh overall.
The women’s single sculls was the best represented women’s event having entries from 13 countries. Elza Gulbe of Latvia finished first over Elena Coletti of Italy. Both Gulbe and Coletti raced at last year’s Youth Olympic Games where Gulbe was fourth in the single and Coletti was fourth in the pair. The men’s single sculls, which attracted 12 entries, was won by Andrii Mykhailov of Ukraine. Mykhailov finished two seconds ahead of Boris Yotov, originally from Bulgaria, now rowing for Azerbaijan.
The biggest winning margin went to the Romanian women’s eight. They won by a huge 21 seconds over Belarus in second. Romania also won gold in the men’s pair and the men’s and women’s quadruples sculls.
The regatta was set in a two day format with the standard FISA progression system. The heats and repechages were raced on Saturday with semifinals and finals spread out over Sunday.
The spectacular venue of the natural glacial lake, Lake Goplo is situated in a landscape park that is protected by the Natura 2000 protection programme. It is one of the longest and deepest of the Polish lakes. Its average depth is six metres.
Organising committee member, Aneta Janeczek commented, “the first European Junior Rowing Championships in Kruszwica, which we had a great honour to organise, went really well and we hope everybody who took part in it had the same impression.”
The European Rowing Junior Championships is an initiative of the European Rowing Management Board and was established after requests were made by European nations to have a European event specifically for juniors. The European Rowing Junior Championships is now an annual event and the 2012 edition will be held in Bled, Slovenia combining with the Bled International Regatta. The Bled regatta course is the venue for the 2011 World Rowing Championships.
A number of countries used this event as a test before this year’s World Rowing Junior Championships to be held in Eton, Great Britain in August.
Event website: www.erjch2011.pl