This regatta has been looking good so far for local hero Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland. Gmelin isn’t a fast starter and is more into building through the race so it was surprising to see her back in fifth at the start. Instead it was the reigning World Champion Sanita Puspure of Ireland moving the quickest. Pacing Puspure was Fie Udby Erichsen of Denmark. Erichsen won silver at the 2012 Olympics and has had mixed results since then.

Puspure continued to lead at the half way point with Denmark on the pace. Then Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig and Gmelin was fighting it out for third as Gmelin started her trade-mark race plan of working through the field. Puspure had just over a boat length lead as Gmelin continued to close the gap on the leader. Puspure was at 35 with Gmelin now overlapping at 35. Then Lobnig put down the hammer as came up to challenge Gmelin. When would the finish line come? Then the 2012 Olympic Champion Mirka Topinkova Knapkova came flying. Puspure had won with a new European Best Time of 7:23.18. Gmelin grabbed second and Knapkova had the bronze medal.


Sanita Puspure, Ireland, Gold
“The plan was to go off really hard at the start and I was really having to hang off the blades as Jeannine was coming and the Swiss crowd was really loud. It was only in the last five strokes that I thought I was going to be able to win. I haven’t been feeling the best shape so I’m delighted with this win.”

Jeannine Gmelin, Switzerland, Silver 
“That race was really tough but I want to say a really big thank you to my crew that helped me get here! It’s been a really hard past two months so I owe them a lot of thanks.”

Miroslava Topinkova Knapkova, Czech Republic, Bronze
“I really enjoyed that race but it was really hard as all the girls out there are really fast! I believed in myself and in my sprint so I’m really happy to come away with a medal.”

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Victoria Thornley of Great Britain is an Olympic medallist from the double sculls and she soon had the lead over France’s Marie Jacquet. Ukraine then came through to take second. But this race was all about Thornley who spent the race moving further and further away from the rest of the field.