Taking the direct route to Youth Olympic Games
Junior rowers from 48 nations are getting ready to compete in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Nanjing, China. The YOG will run from 16 to 28 August with the four-day rowing regatta going from 17 to 20 August.
The rowers aged 17-18 years old will take part in four rowing events: the men’s and women’s single and the men’s and women’s pair, with 24 crews in each of the singles events and 12 crews in each of the pairs events.
A number of medallists from the 2014 World Rowing Junior Championships, held last week in Hamburg, Germany, are already on their way to Nanjing, some travelling directly from the junior championships. These medallists have given insight into the action that will take place in Nanjing.
Germany finished at the top of the medals table at the juniors and they are sending three of their gold medallists to Nanjing.
At 18, Tim Ole Naske is already an experienced sculler. A two-time Junior World Champion, Naske won gold in the men’s double sculls for Germany in 2013 and this year he crossed the line first in the men’s single sculls. He will provide serious competition to the rest of the field in the single at the Nanjing regatta venue.
Naske should look out though for New Zealander Jack O’Leary. The Kiwi sculler also has two World Rowing Junior Championships under his belt and medalled twice in the men’s quadruple sculls with one silver and one bronze. Another sculler coming out of the men’s quadruple sculls and moving into the men’s single sculls for Nanjing is Great Britain’s Chris Lawrie who won silver at the junior worlds a few days ago. Daniel De Groot, Canada’s 2014 junior world silver medallist in the men’s single sculls, will also be one to look out for in Nanjing.
On the women’s front, Carlotta Schmitz and Bea Bliemel were part of Germany’s 2014 Junior World Champion eight. Together they will be lining up in the women’s pair at the Youth Olympic Games. Some of their main opponents will include Romania’s Cristina Georgiana Popescu and Denisa Tilvescu as well as Larissa Werbicki and Caileigh Filmer from Canada. Popescu medalled twice last year at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania, winning gold in the eight and silver in the pair. Canada’s Filmer and Werbicki are this year’s junior world silver medallists in the pair. Also on the list of crews to watch out for are Dana Moffat and Marlee Blue from the USA – they took silver in the women’s four this year in Hamburg.
In the women’s single sculls, this year’s junior world silver medallist Camille Juillet from France is expected to lead the field in Nanjing. Serious contenders will include Anna Thornton from Great Britain, a bronze medallist at this year’s junior worlds in the women’s quadruple sculls and Athina-Maria Angelopoulou of Greece who won world bronze this year in the double.
The Czech Republic will be counting on golden boys Lukas Helesic and Miroslav Jech to also medal in Nanjing. Building on their racing experience from last year’s Worlds, the duo crossed the line ahead of the field in the men’s pair in Hamburg. They will notably be facing Italy and Austria. Italy’s Riccardo Mager and Riccardo Peretti were both part of the bronze medal-winning eight at the Juniors last weekend, while Austrians Ferdinand Querfeld and Christoph Seifriedberger are this year’s world bronze medallists in the junior men’s pair.
Stay tuned to www.worldrowing.com and to Facebook at www.facebook.com/WorldRowingJunior during the Youth Olympic Games. World Rowing will provide race summaries and features throughout the rowing regatta.
The Youth Olympic Games is a sporting event for young people, balancing sport, culture and education. The YOG was established by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a way to inspire young people to take up sport, learn about the Olympic values and also to help create a community between the youth of the world. There are 28 sports at the YOG.
The qualification for the YOG rowing regatta began at the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championships where 28 countries earned spots. It continued with the continental qualification regattas in Africa, Asia and Latin America which added 16 more nations. The allocation of universality spots added six more countries with a re-allocation bringing in Belgium and the Czech Republic based on their performance at last year’s Junior Worlds. The final two qualification spots came from the re-allocation of unused host country places and they were given to Canada and Croatia.
To be eligible to row at the YOG athletes must be in the 17-18 year old age group at the time of the Games. A total of 96 rowers will compete over a 1,000m distance at the Games rowing regatta venue of the Nanjing Rowing-Canoeing School.