Tears, tulips and World Best Times at the Under-23s
Choosing an extra layer of clothes for racing was the order of the day as finals got under way at the 2011 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. With cool temperatures, intermittent rain and a stiff tail wind, the rowers in these finals had to prove their prowess in adapting to these conditions.
World Best Times fell like the rain on the Bosbaan regatta course as crews took advantage of the tail wind conditions. As much as nine seconds got knocked off World Best Times to set the new standard and medals and tulips were handed out to enthusiastic and emotional winners.
Lightweight Women's Single Sculls (BLW1x) - Final
Great Britain’s Katherine Copeland set out has she planned to finish – rating high and racing her own race. Copeland had come through this regatta as the one to watch despite racing against the reigning under-23 World Champion, Alena Kryvasheyenka of Belarus. Copeland already has pedigree in this event, finishing second at the Munich Samsung World Rowing Cup at senior level. She was fourth in the Under 23 event in 2009, before moving to the double last year. This year, the single was hers.
By the middle of the race Copeland had a handy lead over Kryvasheyenka who had now pushed into second. The leading order remained the same as Canada’s Patricia Obee did her best to shake off Sweden to get into a medal position. With 300m left to go Copeland made a move to really stamp her mark on this race, rating 38.
But the race was not over. With about 100m left to row Kryvasheyenka attacked catching Copeland off guard. Copeland shortened up and took her rating to 42. Kryvasheyenka could not better that. Copeland had won and set a new World Best Time by eight seconds, at 7:30.19.
Results: GBR, BLR, CAN, SWE, NED, BEL
Katherine Copeland (GB) –Gold
"I was dying out there, I was just holding on and counting stokes."
Alena Kryvasheyenka (BLR) -Silver
"I did not know the other competitors when I came here. During the races I learned I might win a medal. It was silver and that’s ok."
Patrica Obee (CAN) -Bronze
“Amsterdam is awesome: next year I want to try out for the senior team and come back here in 2014. I don’t mind the weather, cause it reminds me of winter training back home in Victoria.”
As a lightweight female single sculler, coming in under eight minutes in a 2000m race is always an accomplishment, but with the added bonus of these tailwind conditions, times were fast and five of the six rowers went under eight. At the front of the field Cyprus’s Anna Ioannou held off Gabriela Mosqueira of Paraguay for more than 1000m before Mosqueira slipped past and finished comfortably in first. Mosqueira’s quick time of 7:44 showed the wind advantage.
Results: PAR, CYP, FRA, BUL, RSA, SUI
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (BLM1x) – Final
This can only be called a complete domination. Maybe he loves tail wind conditions. Maybe he has done everything right in training this season. Maybe it’s simply that his time has come, but Jeremie Azou of France did everything right in this race. Two other crews, Greece and Bulgaria, managed to stick with Azou for a short time. That, however, was it. By the middle of the race Azou had already pulled away and going through the second half of the race, Azou opened up a huge gap.
The rest of the field would have to race for silver. Andrew Campbell Jr was going head to head with Panagiotis Magdanis of Greece for this spot. In the final sprint Azou was so far out in front that the cameras following the race had to pan right back to find Magdanis and Campbell. Campbell had a slight edge before Magdanis attacked. Taking his stroke rate to 37 Magdanis got his nose ahead of Campbell and kept on going. Silver to Magdanis.
At the line a new Under 23 and Senior World Best Time is now owned by Azou. His time of 6:46.93 knocked nearly nine seconds off the previous age group time, and a second off the previous standard set by senior Olympic Champion, Great Britain's Zac Purchase.
Results: FRA, GRE, USA, PER, BUL, SLO
Jeremie Azou (FRA) –Gold
"It was amazing. Winning here with a world record is amazing. Now I will go to Bled to try win a medal in the LM2x"
Panagiotis Magdanis (GRE) -Silver
"I wanted to be quick at the start but I was only 4th. I managed to pass Bulgaria and later USA, and I really had a good sprint at the end but it was not enough for gold."
With the help of a supportive crowd, Franciscus Goutier of the Netherlands brought his boat through from the back of the field into first. Goutier rowed last year in his country’s quadruple sculls and at the finish he looked very happy to be the B-final winner. This victory denied Sid Boudina of Algeria of a first place finish after leading for most of the race and at the end there was no denying Goutier’s superiority.
Results: NED, ALG, CRO, DEN, CZE, AUT
Men’s Pair (BM2-) – Final
The word is now out. George Nash and Constantine Louloudis of Great Britain are really fast. The duo came together earlier this season after competing against each other in the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race. As a warm-up for this regatta Louloudis and Nash got to compete at the senior World Rowing Cup earlier this month. They finished a solid seventh overall.
Reigning Under-23 World Champions, South Africa knew that the British would be good, so David Hunt and Lawrence Brittain of South Africa jumped out to an early lead. By the middle of the race however, Hunt and Brittain had lost their advantage. Nash and Louloudis then moved clean away, by two or three lengths. There was little that the South Africans could do against the might of the British.
At the line Nash and Louloudis earned the World Champion title and set a new World Best Time of 6:20.43 – five seconds inside the previous record. South Africa, looking tired and unhappy at the line, held on to silver and Germany’s Anton Braun and Bastian Bechler took bronze.
Results: GBR, RSA, GER, ROU, ARG, POL
George Nash (GBR) –Gold
"We knew we had speed, we had beaten South Africe in Lucerne, although that was a different combination. We knew we could beat them with a good race. And 6.19 - yeah, it's pretty fast out there."
David Hunt (RSA) -Silver
" We knew Great Britain were going to be fast, so we raced hard at the start to get in front and hold them off, but had to let them go in the middle 1000."
Lawrence Brittain (RSA) Silver
"Hopefully in 2014 we will come back for the Senior World Championships. We only raced in this boat since Monday, beause we were in different boats for the Senior Squad".
Anton Braun (GER) -Bronze
"We are satisfied with this result. We knew we could get a medal here, and started as quickly as possible".
France’s Julien Robinet and Romain Traille rowed liked they owned this race, having more that a boat length lead through the middle of the race. But Bulgaria and Turkey had other ideas. In the final sprint, Turkey took their stroke rate to 39 and closed the gap with Bulgaria also sprinting to a photo finish with France. At the line the French had done it, albeit only just, by half a second over Bulgaria.
Results: FRA, BUL, TUR, SLO, USA, ESP
Women’s Double Sculls (BW2x) - Final
Stroke of the German double Mareike Adams has a rowing pedigree that is hard to better. Adams already owns two Junior World Champion titles and an Under-23 World Champion title. Her partner, Daniela Schultze is in her first year on the German national team. Today, together they proved their worth and Adams finished with World Title number four.
Adams and Schultze came first by leading from start to finish with only Romania’s Mihaela Petrila and Ioana Craciun even anywhere close to striking out at the Germans. Last year Germany won this event and Romania finished fourth. Petrila and Craciun were bringing their country up a notch. As a veritable procession crossed the finish line, Germany, out in front, had earned a new World Best Time of 6:51.58 by two seconds. A happy Romania came through in second and Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig and Lisa Farthofer took third.
Results: GER, ROU, AUT, GBR, NOR, BLR
Daniela Schultze (GER) –Gold
"After some of our team mates set a World Best Time yesterday, we were hoping to not only take the gold, but a World Record as well and we did."
Mihaela Petrila (ROU) -Silver
"It is gold or nothing, that is our spirit. But we are still happy with silver, we were very cold, and our time is not as fast as we expected."
Lisa Farthofer (AUT) -Bronze
*We have had a good experience here in Amsterdam. We won a medal here back in 2006 when we were still Juniors. Tonight we deserve a party."
Magdalena Lobnig (AUT) -Bronze
"We had a tough year and made progression in the World Cups. We are excited to be here and win bronze."
The rough water was evident when leaders, Ekaterina Potapova and Maria Krasilnikova of Russia caught a crab a couple of strokes before the finish line. Luckily they recovered quickly and remained in first. France, in second, were a bit too far back to take advantage of the Russian fault. Potapova and Krasilnikova finish seventh overall giving Potapova a positive result at her first ever international regatta.
Results: RUS, FRA, USA, HUN
Men’s Double Sculls (BM2x) – Final
Lauris Sire and Dairis Adamaitis of Latvia have done it again. The duo won this event last year and then earlier this season raced to bronze at the senior World Rowing Cup level. The statuesque Sire and almost as tall Adamaitis have been on their country’s national team since their junior days and they show no signs of slowing down.
At the start the Netherlands took the lead, but this did not last long, as Latvia, Germany and Slovenia overtook them. By the middle of the race Latvia was in front but Hagen Rothe and Sebastian Peter of Germany was right on their tails. So was Ales Zupan and Grega Domanjko of Slovenia. Sire clearly called a huge piece around the 1200m mark and moved completely away from Germany. Despite Latvia’s relatively low rating of about 33, they were still making good speed, with Germany a couple of pips higher.
Coming into the line there was little Germany could do against the powerful Latvians. Latvia got themselves up to 36 strokes per minute, while Germany hit 39. Sire and Adamaitis hold on to their World Champion title and also earn a new World Best of 6:08.43. This time was six seconds better than the previous time.
Results: LAT, GER, SLO, LTU, FRA, NED
Lauris Sire (LAT) –Gold
"Our dream is to qualify for London. We were defending World Under 23 Champions so we felt the pressure. Our first race was not good but we grew in the tournament. We are used to training in these conditions in Latvia."
Sebastian Peter (GER) -Silver
"Last year I raced in the double as well, and this was my final chance to race at the World Championships so we are happy that we got a medal. It is great to do it with Hagen, as we also raced together at the 2007 Junior Championships."
Ales Zupan and Grega Domanjko (SLO) -Bronze
Grega: The first 500m was hard, but then we noticed we could have a shot for the medals and really started moving, focusing on the rowing.
Ales: We were not a favorite here.
As the rain continued to fall, Croatia’s Mijo Rudelj and Tomislav Rubinjoni left the start with Norway in hot pursuit, The Norwegians, wearing black arm bands, stuck with Croatia as Italy joined in the chase to win this race. As Norway began to run out of steam, Italy and Croatia went head-to-head into the finish. Croatia, rating 38, really wanted this one and at the line Rudelj and Rubinjoni had pulled off a first.
Results: CRO, ITA, NOR, SUI, BLR, BEL
Lightweight Men’s Four (BLM4-) – Final
What a race and what a disaster for the Germans. These six crews had already knocked out the reigning under-23 World Champions from the final and the times separating these crews was not great. With about 40 strokes rowed the boats remained tightly packed, a time of less than two seconds separating them. Surprisingly the slowest was 2010 silver medallists, Italy. But the Italians fought back from this position and by the middle of the race had fought their way into the lead using an aggressive stroke rate.
Germany then did a huge piece in the third 500 to get into the lead with Italy remaining close at hand. Coming into the final sprint Italy took their stroke rate up to 42 and came back on the Germans. Germany held on with Spain now coming through. Italy then gave a little more. Their stroke rate went to 44 then 48 in the scramble to the line. Somewhere in the excitement of the sprint a boat-stopping crab was caught in the German boat less than 100m from the line. The Germans were out of the medals and the French were flying. Making the most of Germany’s misfortune France had come up on the Spanish and closed on Italy.
At the line three crews were extremely happy – Italy, France and Spain. Germany looked absolutely destroyed.
Results: ITA, FRA, ESP, GER, POL, HUN
Luca De Maria (ITA) –Gold
"WOW…. We were not in the semi final with all four crews going under the WR, but we were confident to win here and so we did."
Clement Duret (FRA) -Silver
"Awesome race: 1500m of very intense racing with Germany, Italy and Spain, until the Germans made a mistake. Unfortunately Italy beat us, but they deserve it."
Marc Franquet Montfort (SPA) -Bronze
"We are very happy. We have only been rowing for a month in this composition, and we had to work hard to get together, but in this field a medal is really something."
The reigning under-23 World Champions, Great Britain has just one change to the 2010 winning crew. But a tight finish in the semifinals yesterday saw the British miss out on racing in the A-final. Instead they made the best of the B-final, leading from the start and moving cleanly away from the rest of the field. Clegg, Preston, Fletcher and Kirkwood of Great Britain kept the pressure on, despite being out in front and at the finish they had recorded a time that came in less than half a second off the World Best Time – a consolatory result.
Results: GBR, AUS, USA, CAN, CHI, NED
Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (BLW2x) – Final
Greece’s Triantafyllia Kalampoka and Christina Giazitzidou have done it again… and again. At the finish line today Kalampoka and Giazitzidou added under-23 World Champion title number three to their collection and also picked up a new World Best Time. Kalampoka and Giazitzidou led from the start with Spain the closest crew. Veronica Garcia Mulet and Laura Terradas of Spain raced together at the Under-23s last year and finished seventh. This year they are doing everything right and the Greeks must have been quite surprised to see that it was Spain giving them the most grief.
As Spain stuck closely to Greece, New Zealand’s Alyce Pulford and Julia Edwards were working their way through the field and trying to get into a medal position. Rating in the high 30s Pulford and Edwards moved into the bronze medal spot and tried to hold off the Netherlands.
In the ending sprint Greece, rating a rather sedate 34, looked the picture of comfort. Spain kept the pressure on to earn silver and the high rating New Zealanders took bronze. The Greek’s finishing time of 6:59.31 was a new World Best Time by four seconds.
Results: GRE, ESP, NZL, NED, GER, USA
Triantafyllia Kalampoka (GRE) – Gold
"We had a very strong race, starting hard and not giving it away anymore."
Christina Giazitzidou (GRE) - Gold
"We were determined to take the gold, since this is the last year we could compete at Under 23 level, so it was all or nothing for us."
Laura Terradas (ESP) -Silver
"We were very nervous, we knew we could not beat the Greek girls, but we did not know whether we would be strong enough to beat the rest. We are happy and proud"
Romania’s Mihaela-Adnana Costanceanu and Alexandra Bizom started out at the back of the pack and methodically picked their way through the fleet to go after Belarus in the lead. Yet, Alesia Snarskaya and Irina Liaskova of Belarus had such a big lead that Romania could not close it by the finish. Belarus finish first.
Results: BLR, ROU, CAN, AUT, IRL, ITA
Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (BLM2x) – Final
Right from the word go the Germans grabbed this race and never looked back. Christian Hochbruck and Matthias Arnold have both raced before at the under 23 level but not together. Arnold finished fourth in the double last year, while Hochbruck was a finalist in the single. Coming through the heats and semifinals it was clear that Hochbruck and Arnold were the favourites. After a quick start the Germans began to pull away from the rest of the crews. This left France’s Damien Piqueras and Alexandre Pilat and Daniel Sigurjorsson Benet and Arnau Bertran Sastre of Spain going head to head for the lesser medals.
Germany continued to keep a leaders margin and the French and Spanish continued to row on top of each other through the third 500. The Spanish were fifth in this race last year while Piqueras and Pilat came together this year after Piqueras graduated out of juniors and joined with senior World silver medallist Pilat.
Coming into the line Hochbruck and Arnold remained comfortable and in the lead and setting a new World Best Time of 6:14.98 which betters the previous World Best Time by two seconds. France came through to take second and Spain earns its second medal at these championships with a bronze.
Results: GER, FRA, ESP, AUT, GRE, ITA
Matthias F. Arnold (GER) –gold
"It's very nice to take the gold here. It was a nice experience to race at the Bosbaan, on a real rowing course, where we usually race on a lake."
Damien Piqueras (FRA) -Silver
"It was tough out there. We went for the gold but we have lost too much in the first 500m to be able to compete."
Arnau Bertran Sastre (ESP) -Bronze
"Spain is really doing well this Championships, we did so much hard training and it pays off. We hope to see a bit of Amsterdam, after a week of hard training and constantly watching our weight."
Last year Great Britain took silver in this event. This year the new combination of James Coombes and Gavin Murty rowed for Great Britain in the B-final. After overtaking Portugal, Great Britain moved into the lead and remained there for the body of the race. As the finish line came into view Daniel Matyasovszki and Bence Pozsar of Hungary took the stroke rate up and charged for the line. Great Britain tried to hold off the flying Hungarians as the double moved closer with every stroke. Just one stroke before the line Matyasovaszki and Pozsar overtook Great Britain to finish first.
Results: HUN, GBR, CZE, BEL, SUI, POR
Men’s Quadruple Sculls (BM4x) – Final
First a yellow card went to the Czech Republic for being late to the start. Then Ukraine took off out of the starting blocks just a fraction too soon and caused a false start. Were these two crews playing psychological games with each other? Once the crews had lined up again, the starting gun sounded and Ukraine took off. The Czech Republic appeared a little sluggish but soon drew up next to Ukraine with Germany back in third.
This event has been dominated by Croatia for the last couple of years and these crews must be happy that the senior World Champion Croatian crew have moved out of their age groups. Of the crews here Ukraine had done the best with a 2010 bronze medal, while the Czech’s finished just behind them in 2010 in fourth.
Through the middle of the race Ukraine and the Czech Republic continued to tussle with each other on the same stroke rate of 36 and matching each other’s stroke. The Czechs then got a slight advantage and, still rating 36, tried to hold it to the end. But Ukraine had other ideas and upping the rating they moved up on the Czechs then moved past. The Czech Republic had nothing left to give. Ukraine took gold, the Czechs silver and a distance back the Germans took bronze.
Ukraine take over as World Best Time holders clocking in at 5:39.62, four seconds better than the previous World Best Time.
Results: UKR, CZE, GER, USA, ITA, LAT
Ivan dovgodko (UKR) –gold
"I am dead…"
Jan Andrle (CZE) -Silver
"Our philosophy is to enjoy it and then the result will follow. After yesterday`s semi finals we knew it would be a intense race, since we were only 0.01 sec faster than them. We knew that all six could win: it was anybody`s game. Very nice race."
Martin Menger (GER) -Bronze
" I could only think of staying out of the buoys.."
Often Russian crews have a good start but then run out of steam in the second half of the race. This was not the case for Ustselemov, Bashkitov, Pribyl and Mikhaylevskiy of Russia. They came through from the back of the field to be in the lead with 500m left to row. A solid sprint gave them the win using a 36 stroke rate. Mention must be made of Poland who led for the first half of the race but, a crab meant that Kamil Zajkowski could not row towards the end. Despite this Poland still held on to fourth.
Results: RUS, EST, NZL, POL, ESP, SUI