An under-23 World Best Time for Italy and new champions crowned
Italy reset the standard in the women’s coxed four when they set an under-23 World Best Time in the first final at the 2019 World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, USA.
World Best Times are usually set in tail wind conditions, but the Nathan Benderson Park regatta course was calm for today’s finals races. Conditions were great for rowing with flat water and sunny skies. Temperatures were in the high 20’s degrees Celsius.
Women’s Coxed Four (BW4+) – Final
In the preliminary race three countries were incredibly tight at the finish – Italy, France and Australia. This boded well for an exciting final today. It was a clean and crisp start from all crews. Then France started to lead going through the 250m mark. They were rating 38. France was still leading with 500m gone, but Italy was gaining. The Italians then did a push that got them ahead of France and these two crews moved away clear of the chasing pack. This saw Australia and Canada battling it out for the bronze position. Italy then managed to get a boat length over France with Canada and Australia still neck-and-neck. A huge closing sprint by Australia saw them move clean away from Canada and nearly catch France. The French only just held on to second. The Italian crew of Destefani, Pelacchi, Faravelli, Meriano and coxswain Diverio had won and not only that, they had set a new under-23 World Best Time. The new time of 7:02.22 was 0.38 of a second faster than the time set by the United States in 2018.
Results: ITA, FRA, AUS, CAN, USA
Claudia Destefani (b), Italy, Gold
“We had preliminaries yesterday, and those were quite close, so we expected a competitive race today but we also really wanted to have fun and race our race, focus on ourselves.”
Pauline Lotti (b), France, Silver
“We had the preliminaries yesterday, and so we knew we had to start out in front. We tried to hold it, but Italy got us. It was a great race, lots o fun.”
Alexandra Nothdurft (s), Australia, Bronze
“Water was good and we all stayed calm out there and stay strong. It’s been really exciting here racing here. It’s our first time racing internationally but our coach prepared us well.”
Men’s Coxed Four (BM4+) – Final
Italy and Australia were the two crews that had made it directly to today’s final with Italy recording the fastest time. Today they faced each other to go after the World Championship title. At the start it was Australia who got away the quickest. But there was nothing in it with 500m races as less than two seconds separated the entire field. The reigning under-23 world champions were looking good in second. Then Italy did a push as the crews began to spread out going into the middle of the race. Australia’s crew of Hooper, Dawson, Canham, Bakker and coxswain Hockings had now got nearly a boat length lead over the field. There was nothing between the chasing five. There was no doubt, this race was going right to the line.
With 500m left to race New Zealand, who had been rating 40 for the majority of the race, started to close on the leaders. Italy went to 40 then up to 41, 42, 43. Australia hit 42 and so did Great Britain. It was a photo finish. Australia had won by just 0.09 of a second. The British took second and Italy was in third, just half a second behind Australia. What a finish!
Results: AUS, GBR, ITA, NZL, RSA, USA
Adam Bakker (s), Australia, Gold
“We went in feeling confident after our performance in the heats. We executed our race plan well and held off the others. I thought they had gotten us in the end, but no! Some of us will be aging out next year, so hopefully we’ll get to continue to try to make the senior team.”
Scott Cockle (c), Great Britain, Silver
“We worked a lot on our start today and we pushed hard in the last 500 meters. It went nearly exactly as planned and I’m really happy with the finish.”
Filippo Wiesenfeld (c), Italy, Bronze
“We pushed really hard during the race but Great Britain had a bit more than us at the end. I really enjoyed the experience here.”
This was a two boat race between Germany and Ireland. These two have already raced each other twice at this regatta. Coming through the halfway mark, Ireland are leading a length ahead of Germany. Through the 1500m, Ireland increase their speed and gain another second on Germany. Germany turned it up to 41 going into the last 250, trying to close that gap, but Ireland countered and crossed the line first.
Results: IRL, GER
Lightweight Women’s Pair (BLW2-) – Final
With just five countries entered in this boat class, the crews had raced on Thursday in a preliminary race. The United States had come out on top. Who would win today? The Americans were the reigning under-23 World Champions with Sarah Maietta remaining from the 2018 crew. She was now rowing with Emily Molins. Four crews got away well with only Mexico off the pace. Italy’s Sofia Tanghetti and Ludovica Costa then got a bit of a leading edge. Costa raced last year in the junior double while Tanghetti was on the junior team in 2017.
Italy was holding a 35 stroke rate a couple of pips below the United States, but were still managing to push away from the US. Costa and Tanghetti moved into the second half of the race with an open water lead. They retained a very steady pace and let Australia, United States and Germany battle for the silver and bronze medal. In the final sprint the US was able to close on Italy with a 42 stroke rate sprint. The Italians, however, had too much of a lead. It gave Molins and Maietta silver with Germany getting the better of Australia to take bronze. Italy’s finishing time was just a second outside of the under-23 World Best Time.
Results: ITA, USA, GER, AUS, MEX
Maria Ludovica Costa (s), Italy, Gold
“We started quite slow but we pushed really hard in the middle and started to make a lot of distance compared to the others. This is our first A-Final so we are all so happy!”
Sarah Maietta (s), United States of America, Silver
“That last sprint was really tough! 500 meters to go we really just went for it. This whole project has been really fun and challenging.”
Antonia Michaels (s), Germany, Bronze
“In the middle thousand we thought we were out of medal contention. But then at the last 400 we knew we had a strong sprint and knew we had a shot. The Aussie’s moved and we went with them, it was all or nothing. I’m very happy to take away bronze here. Now time for vacation!!”
Lightweight Men’s Pair (BLM2-) – Final
During the heats on Wednesday, Hungary had recorded the fastest qualifying time. They came directly to today’s final along with Australia, Italy and Mexico. Germany’s Julius Wagner and Henning Sprossmann took the leading edge at the start with Italy chasing hard. All boats remained in the high 30’s stroke rate as they headed through the middle of the race. Italy and Germany then broke away from the rest of the field taking over a boat length lead over the chasing Australia and Hungary. Then Riccardo Italiano and Raffaele Serio of Italy broke clean away from the field. They now had open water over Germany. Serio had finished third in this boat class in 2018 while Italiano is the under-23 world champion from the lightweight quadruple sculls.
Australia had now got their nose ahead of Germany with Hungary in hot pursuit. With Italy still well in the lead Australia, Germany and Hungary threw down the sprint of their career. A 44 stroke rate for Wagner and Sprossmann earned them the silver, but by just 0.09 of a second over Hungary. Australia had missed out on the medals by less than a second.
Results: ITA, GER, HUN, AUS, MEX, USA
Riccardo Italiano (b), Italy, Gold
“Our heat was not so good, so today we wanted to do better. We had a good start and were with GER. We were strike for stroke through the middle and managed to break away coming into the finish.”
Julius Wagner (b), Germany, Silver
“Last year we were in the same combo in Poznan, so we wanted to improve, we wanted a medal. That was our goal. The heats were so-so, but we’ve been getting better for then, and saved the best for last.”
Bence Szabo (b), Hungary, Bronze
“That was a tough race! The start was good but our middle 1000 meters was a bit slow. We trusted in our sprint and the last 200 meters we were strong. I’m very happy, this is the first World Rowing Under 23 Championship medal for Hungary since 2009.”
The Brazilians were out in front at the start, but there was little to split them from the Greeks and Portuguese. Greece begin to overhaul Portugal for 2nd position. Portugal has already taken a silver this season, in the 2019 World Rowing Cup III in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The Greek brothers were now moving into first. Brazil tried to hang on. Greece took the win.
Results: GRE, POR, BRA, MDA
Women’s Pair (BW2-) – Final
Yesterday’s semifinal had seen Greece’s Christina Bourmpou and Maria Kyridou set a new under-23 World Best Time. What would they do in today’s final? Bourmpou and Kyridou are the 2018 Youth Olympic Champions and they have also done well at the senior level. The Greeks got out into the lead, but only just over Tayla-May Bentley and Jessica Schoonbee of South Africa. Greece and South Africa had raced each other in the heats on Wednesday with Greece winning. Then Bentley and Schoonbee won their semifinal yesterday. These two crews were not going head-to-head through the middle of the race. Both were maintaining a 37-38 stroke rate through the body of the race and neither was conceding an inch.
Meanwhile Russia was having a great race. The crew of Elena Danikiuk and Ekaterina Glazkova was holding on to third and within striking distance of the two leading crews. It was open water back to the rest of the field. In the final sprint Bourmpou and Kyridou proved their power and pushed away from Bentley and Schoonbee who were being challenged by Russia. The South Africans held off Russia to maintain silver.
Results: GRE, RSA, RUS, USA, NED, NZL
Christina Bourmpou (s), Greece, Gold
“It was tougher than we expected. We were struggling with our breathing because of the hot conditions. We didn’t have a fast start but at 1000 meters we started to feel ok and changed the rhythm to make a push. We’re both very happy with the result.”
Tayla-May Bentley (b), South Africa, Silver
“We had no expectations for this race - we didn’t want to overestimate or underestimate anyone. We were level off the start, and then stuck to our plan : every time someone makes a move, go with them, and make sure we’re in medal contention going into the last 500.”
The French were the early leaders, but coming up to the 1000m, Great Britain had moved out in front, with the Aussies on their heels. At a 37 stroke rate, with a small steering blip, the Brits continue to lead. Then the Japanese overtook the French and started working through Australia. Great Britain were still in first, but struggling with their steering. Evreryone brought up their rates coming into the final buoys. The British stayed in front.
Results: GBR, JPN, FRA, AUS, ITA, GER
Men’s Pair (BM2-) – Final
Lithuania and Romania had come directly to this final from the heats. All other crews had had to race the repechage this included the under-23 reigning world champions, South Africa. At the start it was Dumitru-Alexandru Ciobica and Florin-Sorin Lehaci who took the lead. The Romanian’s are the under-23 silver medallists from 2018 and as the South African crew had changed by one person, Romania must have been the favourites. As Romania continued to lead a battle went on behind them between Lithuania’s Stankunas and Juskevicius and Greece’s Kalandaridis and Palaiopanos. These two boats were absolutely locked together and both rating 38-39 strokes per minute. There was now no challenges to the top three spots.
In the final sprint Lithuania and Greece both went to 42 with Romania at 43. Romania had won with Lithuania having the better sprint over Greece to grab silver.
Results: ROU, LTU, GRE, RSA, FRA, GBR
Dumitru-Alexandru Ciobica (s), Romania
“The race was really good. We really wanted this medal as we lost gold on the line last year. Since then we’ve trained a lot and we saw this in the race. A big thanks to all of our coaches!”
Mantas Juskevicius (s), Lithuania
“It was a very good race! With 400 meters to go I was dead and so we needed a good finish. Two months ago I was injured so this is a great gift.”
Athanasios Palaiopanos (s), Greece
“We were going for gold, but we knew we weren’t the fastest crew out there after the heats. There were 4 boats around the same time. We knew that the Romanian and Lithuanian crews were both really fast from the heats. We were head to head with the Lithuanians for a good while in the race.”
Germany was out in front and leading the Netherlands. These were the top 2 pairs in Thursday's semifinals. The Netherlands dropped their rate a bit, but their speed went up and they closed the gap on Germany. The United States were in third, with Switzerland just a length behind them. In front, Germany and the Dutch were bowball-to-bowball going for the line. Germany held the lead.
Results: GER, NED, USA, SUI, NOR, EGY
Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Sculls (BLW4x) – Final
Five nations had entered this boat class and they raced in a preliminary race on Thursday. Italy proved to be a notch above the other crews. Would the same scenario pan out in this final? Then Mexico withdrew for medical reasons leaving four boats to race. The United States had a quick start using 48 strokes per minute, but it was Italy that got to the first 500m marker in the lead. Germany was chasing hard and slotted into second. The race then turned into a procession with Italy’s Mignemi, Martinelli, Crosio and Noseda moving further and further away from the rest of the field. Germany was easily in second with the United States in third. The spread was so wide that no position was likely to change. Still, Italy gave it their all and at the line they had recorded a time just one second outside of the under-23 World Best Time.
Results: ITA, GER, USA, FRA
Silvia Crosio, Italy, Gold
“We had a great start but Germany were near us. At the 1000 meters we pushed hard and broke away. It was an incredible race!”
Katrin Volk (s), Germany, Silver
“The race was really hard. We tried to have a good start but our main focus was just to have fun.”
Emma Starr (b), United States of America, Bronze
“From what we can remember.... well we were doing this for us. It’s been a long summer, and we just wanted to get out there and race. We stuck to our plan, we kept our heads in the gunwhales, and stayed in a good mental state. We weren’t too internal or external, we just stayed in our boat, our race.”
Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls (BM4x) – Final
This boat class had attracted participants from six countries and they raced in a preliminary race on Thursday. Ireland finished in the lead but was closely followed by France. All bets were off for today’s final. At the start the reigning under-23 world champions, Italy jumped out into the lead. The Italian crew of Acernese, Squadrone, Costa and Zamariola is completely new from the 2018 winning crew. Did they not play all of their cards in the preliminary race? Italy continued to lead through the middle of the race with France slotting into second ahead of Ireland. This left a very, very close battle between United States and Germany and Austria.
Coming through to the final sprint the order looked rather sorted. Italy had more than a boat length lead over France who were being challenged by Ireland but was holding them off with the United States now dropping back. France held 38 through to the end of the race and closed on Italy who rated in the low 40s with Ireland also in the low 40s. Italy had won.
Results: ITA, FRA, IRL, USA, GER, AUT
Alberto Zamariola (s), Italy, Gold
“The race was really fast and I didn’t expect this result. With 1000 meters to go, I looked to my left and we were in front and started to believe that we could be the 2019 world Rowing Under 23 Champions. The last 500 meters was the best feeling of my life.”
Ferdinand Ludwig (s), France, Silver
“There’s a small headwind out there, that and it’s REALLY hot. For our preliminary race we weren’t too in shape, but we thought we could take on any of the crews, but not too sure about Italy. We took this regatta race by race, and it payed off”
Miles Taylor (s), Ireland, Bronze
“It was really tough out there. That and it’s really hot, which makes it hard to stick to your race plan. We had a good preliminary race. Today, we fell behind off the start.”
Women’s Quadruple Sculls (BW4x) – Final
Germany and the Netherlands came directly to this final from Wednesday’s heats, the Netherlands had the faster time. But also in the mix was the reigning under-23 world champions, Romania. The Romanian boat still had two members of the 2018 boat – Logofatu and Pascanu. At the start of the race the Netherlands took the lead with Great Britain chasing hard. These two crews moved together through the middle of the race. Behind them Germany and Romania were locked together and fighting it out for the bronze medal. Germany then dropped back slightly with Romania within striking distance of the two leading crews.
The sprint was on to the line. Romania and Germany went to 40 with Great Britain and the Netherlands at 39. Then disaster struck the leaders. The Dutch caught a crab with 25m left to row. Great Britain had won. Anderson, Toa, Harding and Glover of Great Britain were the world champions.
Results: GBR, GER, ROU, SUI, NZL, NED
Lucy Glover (s), Great Britain, Gold
“That was a really hard race but we did everything we said we would! I don’t really remember the last 500 meters, we just went for it.”
Maren Voelz, Germany, Silver
“We wanted a medal, SO much. At 1000m, we were far behind. So we gunned it for our sprint, pushed the rate and power up, and it was so good.”
Elena Logofatu, Romania, Bronze
“This feels great. At the start we just wanted to concentrate on our best. We kept our rate and power high, and felt confident. We’ll be going to Linz and hope to get on the podium there. This is the biggest dream.”
At the haflway, the Czech Republic was leading with Poland in second and Canada in third. The Canadians were the fastest yesterday of these five crews, so was surprising to see them out of the lead. Canada then kicked it up and came back on Poland. The Czechs then tried to react to Canada's surge. Canada had momentum on their side and they overtook the Czechs. Canada was at 35 and underrating everyone but they had the fastest speed.
Results: CAN, CZE, CHN, POL, USA
Men’s Quadruple Sculls (BM4x) – Final
Yesterday’s semifinals saw the reigning under-23 World Champions, Great Britain record the fastest qualifying time. This time was also just one second outside of the under-23 World Best Time. The British were back today to defend their title. Germany took off and were in the lead at the 100m mark. They got to the 500m mark in the lead. But there was very little in it with just over one second separating the top five boats. Great Britain’s Bourne, Haywood, Armstrong and Meijer was matching Germany’s pace. The British have retained three members of the 2018 team and must have been the favourites.
With Germany still just in the lead over Great Britain, the field remained tight between the top five boats. Only New Zealand was a bit off the pace. Then the British did a push and got their nose ahead of the Germans. Italy and Romania held the pace and the sprint was on to the line. Germany and Italy were at 40 strokes per minute with Great Britain at 42-43. The British had defended their title.
Results: GBR, GER, ITA, ROU, CZE, NZL
Matthew Haywood, Great Britain, Gold
“This has been a brilliant race. This is the year that we’ve wanted and I feel on top of the world!
Moritz Wolff, Germany, Silver
“We recognize we were going to have to race against the wind. We thought we could take the British. To win would have been fantastic but congratulations to the British. They took it today.”
Emanuele Giarri (s), Italy
“We couldn’t have done better today as we did our very best! We were only prepare for this race within two weeks so we are very happy with the result.”
Moldova had a rough start to the race, but came back into the running, overhauling the early leaders of Switzerland who sat in first through the 1000m. Moldova were at a 36 and were the fastest moving on the water. Poland in the centre lane, made a charge for it, but Moldova was setting the pace. Poland did get ahead of Switzerland with the Swiss fighting back.
Results: MDA, SUI, POL, FRA, HUN