Who to Watch: 2016 World Rowing Junior, Under 23 and Senior Championships
The combined World Rowing Junior, Under 23 and Senior Championships starts on 21 August in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. With nearly 1900 entries from 70 countries, the programme is jam-packed. Read on to find out who could be the stand-out athletes.
World Rowing Championships - International Boat Classes
In the women’s four, the three nations that medalled last year will be racing again. World Champions the United States retained one rower from 2015, Kristine O’Brien, as has the 2015 silver medal boat from Great Britain with Holly Norton. China will be featuring a new line-up in the hope of doing just as well as last year, when they won bronze.
The experienced and multi-medalled cox Henry Fieldman will be aiming to lead yet another British boat World Championship gold in the men’s coxed pair. But straight from racing in the men's pair at the Olympics, Roel Braas and Mitchel Steenman of the Netherlands may be hard to beat in their home country. Watch out too for Georgi Bozhilov and Kirstian Vasilev of Bulgaria who also raced in Rio in the men's pair.
In the lightweight women’s single sculls, the impressive reigning World Champion and World Best Time holder Zoe McBride from New Zealand will attempt to claim yet another world title, while two medallists from 2015 will again line up in the lightweight men’s single sculls: Rajko Hrvat, the silver medallist from Slovenia, and Milos Stanojevic, Serbia’s bronze medallist. Rio Olympian Paul O'Donovan of Ireland is coming straight from Brazil to Rotterdam. In Rio O'Donovan win silver in the lightweight men's double sculls and set a gold standard for interviewing skills.
Great Britain is sending their 2015 World Champion line-up in the lightweight men’s pair. Joel Cassells and Sam Scrimgeour have already become European Champions this year and are the favourites to take out the top spot in this boat class.
In the lightweight women’s quadruple sculls, Germany will send two of its World Champions from last year to Rotterdam combined with two fresh additions to the boat, while Great Britain will have only one change compared to last year’s silver medallist boat.
The French will be attempting another World Champion feat in the lightweight men’s quadruple sculls by sending a nearly identical line-up to 2015. Only one rower has changed. The now Olympic Champion in the lightweight men’s double sculls, Pierre Houin has been swapped by François Teroin.
World Rowing Championships – Under 23
The Junior World Champion from 2015 in the women’s single sculls will be lining up in the under-23 lightweight women’s single sculls. Marieke Keijser from the Netherlands already won two World Cup medals at the senior level in the single this season and she will aim to make her home crowd proud.
The under-23 lightweight men’s single sculls has a number of scullers who have rowed internationally. Samuel Mottram of Great Britain was fourth in the lightweight men's quadruple sculls at last year's under-23 championships. Federico Gherzi of Italy was eighth at this year's Varese World Rowing Cup, in the lightweight single. Local rower, Lennart van Lierop was fourth last year in this boat class at the under-23 champs.
In the under-23 lightweight men’s pair, two of last year’s medalling crews are back again this year. Turkey will once again be represented by 2015 silver medallists Mert Kaan Kartal and Fatih Unsal. Greece will send last year’s bronze medal athletes Stefanos Ntouskos and Ioannis Petrou.
The under-23 women’s single sculls will be hotly contested as all three of last year's medallists are in Rotterdam. Will this year’s podium resemble that of 2015? Lithuania’s Ieva Adomaviciute won gold, Sweden’s Lovisa Claesson won silver and Switzerland’s Pascale Walter took bronze.
In the under-23 men’s single sculls, look out for Belarus’s Pilip Pavukouwho is the reigning under-23 World Champion. Germany’s Tim Ole Naske will be one of Pavukou’s major rivals. The German is the under-23 World Champion in the men’s double sculls and the 2014 Youth Olympic Champion in the men’s single. Poland’s Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk won bronze last year in this event and will once again be reaching for the medals following his Rio Olympic single sculling experience.
The United States is the reigning under-23 World Champions in the women’s pair and last year’s World Champion Georgia Ratcliff will be racing this year with new teammate Kendall Chase. In the men’s pair, Serbia will send the same line-up that crossed the line in bronze last year - Viktor Pivac and Martin Mackovic.
In the under-23 women’s double sculls, Romania won gold last year and the stroke seat remains unchanged with IoanaVrinceanu. In the under-23 men’s double sculls, Norway will send the same bowman as last year (Martin Helseth), while the Dutch line-up of Amos Keijser and Abe Wiersmawill be identical to the one that won bronze a year ago.
Romania scored gold last year in the under-23 men’s four and this year they will be sending the exact same athletes with the aim of successfully defending their title. Great Britain retains two athletes from last year’s silver medal winning crew while Canada will see just one change compared to the line-up that won bronze in 2015.
Watch out for the New Zealand line-up in the under-23 lightweight women’s double sculls. One of last year’s under-23 World Champions, Jackie Kiddle, will be racing again, this time with a new teammate, Lucy Jonas. In the under-23 lightweight men’s double sculls the Italians are showing up with the familiar faces of last year’s bronze medallists Antonio Vicino and Lorenzo Galano.
All three nations that medalled in the under-23 lightweight men’s four at last year’s World Rowing Under 23 Championships will be back in Rotterdam with similar line-ups. Under-23 World Champions Italy have retained two of their athletes, as have silver medallists Germany. The British line-up that won bronze, however, is unchanged compared to 2015.
In the under-23 women’s quadruple sculls, Poland will send the same line-up that claimed the World Championship title in 2015. No doubt inspired by their senior counterparts who recently claimed Olympic bronze, the youthful athletes will aim for the top spot once again.
In the under-23 men’s quadruple sculls half of the gold and silver crews from last year will race again in Rotterdam, with only two changes to each boat. Canada is the reigning under-23 World Champions while New Zealand will no doubt aim to go one better than silver.
Similar line-ups as last year’s will be seen in the under-23 women’s eight. Half of the United States boat that won gold remains unchanged and six athletes of the Russian silver-medal winning crew are racing again in Rotterdam. Similar athletes will also be seen in the under-23 men’s eight, with four of Germany’s under-23 World Champions racing in Rotterdam and five from Russia’s bronze medallist boat.
World Rowing Championships – Junior
Nearly 800 junior athletes will line up in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, to race at the World Rowing Junior Championships. That is an incredible 200 athletes more than last year. There are 59 nations represented at the junior level, a five-country increase compared to 2015.
Of the 13 boat classes on the programme, the men’s double sculls has the most entries with 30 boats lining up. On the women’s front, the event with the most entries (25) is the single sculls.
Most junior athletes travelling to Rotterdam will be racing at their first ever World Rowing regatta. This leaves the prediction of results wide open. However, a handful of gold medallists from last year’s World Rowing Junior Championships will be contesting the championships once again. These include Ekaterina Glazkova,18, of Russia, who was part of the junior women’s pair last year; Joshua Armstrong, 18, from Great Britain who raced in the men’s quadruple sculls; and also Marieluise Witting,17, and Lynn Artinger,17, from Germany’s women’s eight.
The youngest competitor entered is coxswain Andrei-Valentin Malis, who will race in Romania’s junior men’s coxed four at the age of 13. The youngest rower is Tamar Rukhadze from Georgia, aged 14, who will be competing in the junior women’s quadruple sculls.
The three nations sending the biggest team are Germany, Italy and the United States. They are each sending 49 athletes and 13 crews.