Testing begins for German hopefuls
Testing on the indoor rowing machine and 6000m time trials made up the menu for the German national team hopefuls at their season trials opener in Leipzig, Germany.
Time trials took place in singles and pairs. Barely off the plane from racing on the other side of the world in Sydney, Australia at the World Rowing Cup I, Annekatrin Thiele was first equal with Carina Baer in the women's single sculls. Baer was part of the German women's quadruple sculls at Sydney while Thiele raced in the double sculls. Thiele has won the singles trials for the last couple of years.
Behind Baer and Thiele was Julia Richter. These three scullers were part of the World Champion 2013 quad. Fourth member, Britta Oppelt finished fifth at these trials, one behind Mareike Adams.
Marcel Hacker continued to dominate the men's single sculls trial finishing in a time of 22:02, six seconds ahead of Stephan Krueger with Krueger's doubles partner, Eric Knittel in third. The closest time to Hacker's, however, was in the lightweight men's single sculls when Lars Hartig finished in a time of 22:04. Hartig won the lightweight single last year at these trials and his 2013 season was spent in the lightweight men's double sculls with Konstantin Steinhuebel. Steinhuebel finished this 6km time trial in fifth.
Six seconds down on Hartig and second in the lightweight single was a dead heat between Lars Wichert and Julius Peschel. Wichert rowed in the German lightweight men's four in 2013 while Peschel was in the lightweight men's quadruple sculls along with Jason Osborne who finished ten seconds behind Wichert and Peschel.
Anja Noske was first in the lightweight women's single sculls by a handy margin over Leonie Pless in second. Noske's 2013 bronze medal lightweight doubles partner, Lena Mueller was fourth, just behind Judith Anlauf.
The women's pair was won by Kerstin Hartmann and Kathrin Marchand. Hartmann has been in Germany's pair since 2009 with Marlene Sinnig. This year Sinnig has made the switch to sculling with Hartmann now teamed up with Marchand in the pair. Hartmann and Marchand finished with a handy eight second margin over Julia Lepke and Ronja Schuette in second. Sinnig raced in the women's single and finished ninth.
The men's pair had Richard Schmidt and Felix Drahotta at the head of the field. The duo finished in a time of 20:58, four seconds ahead of Anton Braun and Bastian Bechler in second. Schmidt and Drahotta made up seven and six seat of the silver medal men's eight in 2013 while Braun was in five seat. Bechler, 23, raced last year in the men's coxed pair and won silver.
The rowers enjoyed near perfect rowing conditions for the time trial on the Leipzig Canal.
Next up for the athletes is a selection regatta in Cologne in late April which will be raced over 2,000m, again in small boats. The team will then compete at the Wedau Regatta in Duisburg (16-18 May) before the team for the European Rowing Championships in Belgrade (30 May-1 June) is selected.
For full results: http://www.rudern-in-leipzig.de/index.php/regatta