The year that was – the single sculls
There were two new faces on top of the podium at the 2018 World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv in the single sculls. Sanita Puspure of Ireland and Norway’s Kjetil Borch saved the best for last. They both worked their way up the ranking in the single sculls, refusing to give up. It paid off. Take a look back at the 2018 season in the single sculls.
Women’s single sculls
Biggest Surprise: Sanita Puspure (IRL). Puspure impressed the world by beating the un-beaten Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland in the final of the World Rowing Championships. However, it is arguably not a surprise. Puspure finished with silver at two World Rowing Cups, and pushed Gmelin to the line on her home waters in Lucerne.
Best performance: Jeannine Gmelin (SUI). Looking at the season as a whole, Gmelin really stands out. She was undefeated in the finals, taking three World Cup golds, a European Championship title and winning the women’s single at the Henley Royal Regatta. She rowed a valiant effort at the World Championships and was bested by another excellent sculler, Sanita Puspure.
Fun Fact: The World Best Time in the women’s single sculls is 7:07.71. It was set back in 2002 by Rumyana Neykova from Bulgaria. It is the longest-standing World Best Time in a boat class that is still raced at the World Championship level today.
Quote of the Year: “This was always the goal, all I wanted was the gold and it’s finally happened.” - Sanita Puspure, Ireland, gold, World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Must watch: The final of the women’s single sculls at World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland: https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/fisa/#A1DI093U4B
Men’s Single Sculls
Biggest Surprise: Kjetil Borch (NOR). What a year for Borch. After struggling during the World Cup season, he found his magic. Borch blew away the field by winning at the European Championships and everyone wondered if he could do it again in Plovdiv. He certainly could. Do we have the next Olaf Tufte in our midst?
Best performance: The German and New Zealand single scullers. Hats off to the four top-class scullers from Germany and New Zealand. Both countries held their national selection during the World Cup season and both countries managed to have both their scullers in the final. It was a sight to see and certainly a top-notch performance by Kiwis Robert Manson versus Mahe Drysdale and Germany’s Oliver Zeidler versus Tim Ole Naske.
Quote of the Year: “That was really hard out there, Ondrej (Synek) took off and I just stepped it up progressively throughout the race but was able to ease off towards the end. This is one of my favourite places to row so it’s great to have won here.” Robert Manson, New Zealand, gold, World Rowing Cup III, Lucerne, Switzerland
Must watch: The final of the men’s single sculls at the World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria: https://www.eurovisionsports.tv/fisa/#A3QDL71Z2B