Under 23s dish out 19 new World Best Times
The 2011 World Rowing Under 23 Championships will be remembered best for the setting of new World Best Times – one after another, after another. The championships, held in Amsterdam, the Netherlands laid on cool weather but with speedy tail wind conditions that played into the hands of the technically talented.
At the end of the two days of finals 19 of the 21 events had new World Best Times. One of the most impressive was the United States’ Grace Luczak and Felice Mueller racing in the women’s pair. Luczak and Mueller whopped a big nine seconds off the World Best Time which was set just a year ago by Mueller and her former rowing partner. Luczak and Mueller then joined their country’s eight the next day helping to row the boat to their second medal for the regatta, this time bronze.
Ahead of the USA in the women’s eight was New Zealand in silver with Canada winning gold. This is the first time that Canada has ever won gold in the eight and they added to their celebrations by owning the new World Best Time of 6:03.23.
Katherine Copeland, Kieren Emery and Peter Chambers of Great Britain received an extra bonus after their gold medal results – a chance to represent Great Britain at the senior level at this year’s World Rowing Championships. Copeland finished first in the lightweight women’s single by an impressive margin and Emery and Chambers were first in the lightweight men’s pair.
The United States now own the World Best Time at the senior and under-23 level in the men’s eight. The Under-23 crew, coached by former national team head coach Mike Teti, finished in a time of 5:24.31. This is just five seconds outside of the record at the senior level. Behind the US, the Czech Republic finished second and Great Britain was third.
At the end of the five days of racing – extended by one day due to the record number of entries – Germany had been the most dominant country. They raced in 17 finals and won a total of 13 medals, six of them gold. This put Germany at the top of the medals table.
One of the golds for Germany came in the men’s single when former junior champion, Hubert Trzybinski finished in front. The 203cm Trzybinski out-raced Georgi Bozhilov of Bulgaria and Rolandas Mascinskas of Lithuania to win gold and set a new World Best Time of 6:46.61. Germany also won gold in the women’s and men’s four, women’s double, lightweight men’s double and women’s quadruple sculls.
Second on the medals table was France with five medals. France’s best result was in the lightweight men’s single sculls with Jeremie Azou taking gold and also taking nearly nine seconds off the previous Under 23 World Best Time, and also squeezing inside the Senior World Best Time, previously held by Zac Purchase. Following France in the medal tally were three nations, all with four medals each – Great Britain, the United States and Italy.
Next year the World Rowing Under 23 Championships will be held in Trakai, Lithuania.
The World Rowing racing calendar now moves to Eton, Great Britain for the World Rowing Junior Championships from 3 – 7 August. The regatta also acts as a test regatta for the 2012 London Olympics.