Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Finals
Recording almost identical times in the heats two days ago was the 2012 Olympic Champion, Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic and Lisa Scheenaard of the Netherlands. Scheenaard normally races in a team boat and came into the single at the last minute. She is the Dutch champion in the single and has also raced internationally in this boat. Scheenaard took off in the lead with Knapkova in hot pursuit. At the back of the field was the great Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus who is aiming for her seventh Olympic Games next year.
Scheenaard continued to lead through the middle of the race with very little between Knapkova, China’s Yan Jiang and Bulgaria 1 of Desislava Georgieva. Jiang then moved into second. Jiang has been racing internationally for several years now and raced at the 2016 Olympics in the women’s quadruple sculls. Jiang was now challenging Scheenaard as Knapkova tried to hold on. Scheenaard got to the line first in these increasingly difficult head wind conditions. Jiang got the silver and Knapkova earned the bronze medal.
Results: NED1, CHN, CZE, BUL1, SRB, BLR
Lisa Scheenaard, Netherlands, Gold
“I was prepared for quite a long race with the gust coming in but I was able to get through this well. It’s a really cool feeling as I’ve never won a World Rowing Cup before, plus my preparation was mainly for the Double Sculls.”
Yan Jiang, People's Republic of China, Silver
“There was a strong head wind but I followed my race plan. I feel really good about the result as this is the first time I have been competing in the single.”
Miroslava Topinkova Knapkova, Czech Republic, Bronze
“This is my first international race back in the single since Rio. I’m very happy to be on the podium. I haven’t been able to train as much since I’ve had a baby. But I’ll be staying in the single for the rest of the season”
It was a quick start for all three boats with Bulgaria 2 of Madlen Markova putting just a bit more into it. Markova and Kirsten Wielaard of Netherlands 2 had been incredibly close in yesterday’s repechage and it was expected that these two boats would be challenging each other for the entire race. Wielaard raced in the women’s eight here in Plovdiv at last year’s World Rowing Championships and she looked like she was pacing herself sitting back in second and at a lower stroke rate. Markova had the better race and crossed the line comfortably ahead of Wielaard.
Results: BUL2, NED2, MDA