This boat class started off with 26 nations. Now down to the final six the two semifinal winners were Michal Plocek of the Czech Republic and Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk of Poland. These two scullers have been competing against each other for years and they knew each other well. Plocek tried to qualify for the Rio Olympics in the double earlier this season, while Wegrzycki-Szymczyk raced in the single to a seventh-place finish in Rio. But it was Tim Ole Naske of Germany who was the first to show. Ole Naske absolutely flew out at the start and already had an open water lead with just 500m rowed. Could the German maintain this pace?

Sweden was in second, as Plocek and Wegrzycki-Szymczyk started to move up. Side-by-side, Plocek and Wegrzycki-Szymczyk moved together and they started to move up on Ole Naske. Ole Naske had a go at making his country’s Olympic double earlier this year and now in the single he remained up in the lead with 500m left to row. Plocek and Wegrzycki-Szymczyk were still neck-and-neck vying for second. In the final sprint Ole Naske still looked like he had more to give. Plocek was now just ahead of Wegrzycki-Szymczyk. At a 34 stroke rate Ole Naske remained in the lead. But at 38, Wegrzycki-Szymczyk had moved into second. The youngest of leaders had done it. Time Ole Naske is the under-23 World Champion. Wegrzycki-Szymczyk took silver and Plocek earned bronze.


Tim Ole Naske, Gold, Germany
“Winning gold was my goal for today. The other races had gone really well so far, but in the semifinal I had a really though race. I barely made it and I’m not used to being in a position like that. I think it only gave me a more aggressive racing style for today.”

Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk, Silver, Poland
“It was a really good race for me, but Tim was just to fast. I’m very pleased with this result because my main race was two weeks ago in Rio, it was just really nice to race here. I had a lot of fun!”

Michal Plocek, Bronze, Czech Republic
“I was hoping for gold, but I am very happy to end my career like this. And now I have the entire collection: Gold, Silver and Bronze.”