Under 23s all about times, Germans and firsts
The boats are all packed up and travelling back to the 50-plus nations from where they came.
The regatta course in Trakai, Lithuania is quiet again. The 2012 World Rowing Under 23 Championships has come to and end and the medals from 21 events are heading to 23 countries.
Germany who, along with the United States, brought the largest contingent of athletes to Trakai left with the most number of medals. The German team won an impressive 15 medals. Despite this large tally their gold medal haul was down on last year, from six to four. The German women took three of these with gold medal wins in the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls, lightweight women’s double sculls and women’s single sculls.
An upset in the men’s single sculls meant one less gold to Germany and the first under-23 title to Azerbaijan. Aleksandar Aleksandrov win for Azerbaijan meant that reigning Under-23 Champion, Hubert Trzybinski of Germany was denied the gold. Trzybinski still managed silver to add to Germany’s tally.
Another first came in the lightweight women’s single sculls when Anna Ioannou of Cyprus won the first ever World Championship rowing medal for her country. Canada’s bronze in the women’s single sculls for Carling Zeeman also set a chord. The last time Canada took a heavyweight women’s sculling medal at the world championship level was 16 years ago.
Second on the medals table was Italy with six medals, three of them gold. The Italians dominated the lightweight men’s events taking gold in the lightweight men’s four, pair and quadruple sculls.
Coming in third on the medals table was the United States with two gold medals and a sliver. The two golds came in the men’s and women’s eight with the United States defending their 2011 title for the men and moving up from bronze last year to gold this year for the women.
Over the five days of racing the conditions on the Lake Galve regatta course were variable and often dominated by a light to brisk head wind. This did not stop a new under-23 World Best Time being set and it was done in a repechage by Australia’s women’s quadruple sculls. Breaking the time by just over half a second, Australia then went on to win the gold in the final against defending champions, Germany.
The 2012 World Rowing Under 23 Championships was a very suitable warm up as rowing now turns its attention to the next big feature on the rowing calendar, the London 2012 Olympic Games. Rowing will start on 28 July 2012 on the Eton Dorney Olympic regatta course.