World Rowing Championships countdown – The double sculls
The 2017 World Rowing Championships are just around the corner. In the weeks leading up to rowing’s pinnacle event, World Rowing is presenting you with an overview of the 14 Olympic boat classes and top boats that will be featuring at Sarasota-Bradenton, USA.
Here are all the important bits on men’s and women’s double sculls in which New Zealand has excelled with new combinations at recent international regattas.
WOMEN’S DOUBLE SCULLS
The 2017 Season
- New Zealand won two World Rowing Cup regattas with Brooke Donoghue and Olivia Loe. This is their first season together as a combination
- Fastest Final: At World Rowing Cup II, New Zealand won gold in 6:39.13 setting a new World Cup Best Time - WATCH HERE.
- Closest Finish: World Rowing Cup I – Two boats from The Netherlands raced in the women’s double sculls A-final. They crossed the line in gold and silver with a time difference of only 0.77 seconds - WATCH HERE.
- The Czech Republic medalled twice so far this season. Athletes Kristyna Fleissnerova and Lenka Antosova claimed the European Championship title (WATCH HERE) and won bronze at World Rowing Cup I.
- Two crews from France medalled at World Rowing Cup III behind New Zealand and ahead of a talented field – Helene Lefebvre and Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino took silver nearly five seconds ahead of Noemie Kober and Marie Le Nepvou in bronze – WATCH HERE.
- Other medallists this season included China, Australia and Italy.
The New Zealand duo of Brooke Donoghue and Olivia Loe are top favourites. France’s Helen Lefebvre and Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino who won silver in Lucerne and finished fifth at the Olympic Games last year are also expected to be among the best in the field. A variety of other nations could also feature on the podium, including reigning European Champions Kristyna Fleissnerova and Lenka Antosova from the Czech Republic, Australia’s Olympia Aldersey and Madeleine Edmunds, bronze medallists at World Rowing Cup II, as well as China’s Ling Zhang and Xinyue Zhang who took silver at that same stage of the World Rowing Cup. If they have a good race, Lithuania and the United States could also be strong contenders.
- 2016 Olympic Champions: Poland (Magdalena Fularczyk-Kozlowska, Natalia Madaj). They are not competing in 2017.
- World Best Time: 06:37.31 set by Australia (Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey) in 2014.
- Most Olympic wins: since 1976 Germany* with three Olympic golds and four silvers.
- New Zealand’s Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell won gold in the women’s double at two consecutive Olympic Games in 2004 and 2008. At Beijing 2008 their winning margin was 0.01 of a second, one of the closest finishes in Olympic rowing history.
- The first time the women’s double was raced at the World Rowing Championships was in 1974.
- Most World Championship wins: Germany* (11 golds out of a possible 25 since 1974).
MEN’S DOUBLE SCULLS
The 2017 Season
- Poland did not miss a single podium this season in the men’s double sculls, albeit with a variety of combinations. The Poles won four medals at four regattas: two silvers, including at the European Rowing Championships, and two World Cup bronze medals.
- Although having competed at only two regattas so far this season, New Zealand accumulated an equal number of World Cup points in the men’s double as Poland – a total of 16.
- John Storey and Christopher Harris of New Zealand won gold at the second and third stages of the World Rowing Cup series. In Lucerne, their winning margin over Poland was a mere 0.68 of a second – WATCH HERE.
- Fastest Final: World Rowing Cup II, New Zealand finished ahead of the field in 6:06.89 - WATCH HERE.
- Closest Finish: The final at World Rowing Cup I was the closest one so far. Lithuania and Switzerland crossed the line in gold and silver within 0.67 of a second of each other – WATCH HERE.
New Zealand may seem unbeatable, but Poland chased hard at World Rowing Cup III. The Kiwis should plan for a tough duel with the Poles at the World Rowing Championships. Italy’s Luca Rambaldi and Filippo Mondelli are this year’s European Champions and won bronze in Lucerne. Expect the Italians to be in the fight for medals along with Switzerland. Swiss athletes Barnabe Delarze and Roman Roeoesli medalled twice this season and finished fourth in Lucerne. Watch out too for Norway – if they have a good race, Olaf Tufte and Kjetil Borch could also make the podium.
*For simplicity, these numbers include the results of both the former East Germany (GDR) and West Germany (FRG) as well as those of the current unified state of Germany (GER).
- The men’s double sculls have been part of the Olympic programme since 1904 with the United States having won the most Olympic medals – 11, six of them gold.
- Most World Championship wins: Norway (7 golds out of a possible 35 since 1962)
- 2016 Olympic Champions: Croatia (Martin & Valent Sinkovic). They are racing the pair in 2017.
- World Best Time: 5:59.72 set by Croatia’s Sinkovic brothers in 2014.