World Rowing Championships countdown – the eights
The 2017 World Rowing Championships are just around the corner and World Rowing is presenting you with an overview of the 14 Olympic boat classes and top boats that will be featuring at Sarasota-Bradenton, United States.
Here are all the important bits on the men’s and women’s eights.
The 2017 Season
- Fastest Final & Closest Finish: At World Rowing Cup II, New Zealand crossed the line in 6:01.27, 1.04 seconds ahead of Great Britain – WATCH HERE.
- The Romanians raced twice this season, claiming gold both times. They are the 2016 Olympic bronze medallists and this year, only three athletes have changed compared to last year’s boat. In Lucerne, at World Rowing Cup III, they won ahead of New Zealand – WATCH HERE. In Racice, at the European Rowing Championships, the Romanians beat the Netherlands at the line – WATCH HERE.
- New Zealand heads the overall World Cup standings with a total of 14 points. The Kiwi crew raced at two stages of the 2017 World Rowing Cup series, winning gold at World Rowing Cup II and silver at World Rowing Cup III.
- The United States has been unbeaten at World Championship and Olympic level from 2006 until 2016. This year at World Rowing Cup II, however, they had to settle for bronze behind New Zealand and Great Britain – WATCH HERE.
- Great Britain won Olympic silver last year in Rio behind the United States. This year, they fielded an entirely new crew and won two medals at World Cup level – silver in Poznan and bronze in Lucerne.
Romania are a strong and experienced crew. They beat New Zealand at the Olympics in Rio and again this year in their only face-off in Lucerne. Will the Romanians manage to again beat the Kiwis at the worlds? Look out for the United States – they will have learnt from their defeat in Poznan and will benefit from home advantage. If they have a good race, Great Britain and the Netherlands will also be podium contenders.
- 2016 Olympic Champions: The United States
- World Best Time: 05.54.16 set by the United States in 2013.
- Most Olympic wins: On the Olympic programme since 1976, the United States top the all-time Olympic medals table with six medals overall, including four golds. Romania follows in second position with nine medals overall, three of them gold.
- Most World Championship wins: Since inclusion on the World Championship programme in 1974, the United States and Romania have both won an overall of 21 medals. The United States rank first, however, in terms of number of gold medals – ten compared to Romania’s seven.
The 2017 Season
- Germany retain four of the nine boat members who won silver in Rio. In 2017, they won gold each time they raced – at World Rowing Cup II and III and at the European Rowing Championships. In Poznan, they shattered the field with a winning margin of 4.52, setting the new World Best Time at 5:18.68 – WATCH HERE.
- Closest Finish: In Lucerne, Germany crossed the line just half a second ahead of Australia - WATCH HERE.
- At the World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Australia retained three of the athletes that finished fourth in Poznan and managed to cross the line nearly level with Germany after recording the fastest time in the heats – WATCH HERE.
- The Netherlands got two boats to the Lucerne final, showcasing their strong men’s rowing programme. Their first boat took bronze, with five of the athletes that won Olympic bronze last year in Rio. At the 2017 European Rowing Championships, they also took bronze behind Poland (silver) and Germany (gold) – WATCH HERE.
- Great Britain is fielding a new crew this year compared to last year’s Olympic Champion crew. They raced at all four World Rowing regattas and medalled twice – at World Rowing Cup I with silver and at World Rowing Cup II with bronze.
- New Zealand retained four of its athletes from Rio and won silver in Poznan, behind the World Best Time-setting German boat. In Lucerne, however, they encountered disappointment with a B-final finish.
Germany has been unbeatable this season. However, Australia has proven that they are able to get very close to the feisty German boat and will pose a real threat to German dominance. The Netherlands showcased their talented men’s squad and will have a number of athletes to choose from to form their fastest combination. In all likelihood, the Dutch will decorate the podium in Sarasota-Bradenton. Do not discount New Zealand, Poland and Great Britain. If they have a good race, they can go fast. Untried but likely to shine will be the United States. They have the home advantage and a long eights legacy to live up to.
- 2016 Olympic Champions: Great Britain
- The men’s eight has been part of the Olympic programme since 1900. Since then, the United States has accumulated the most medals, with a total of 16, including 12 gold medals. They last won an Olympic medal in 2008 – bronze.
- World Best Time: 5:18.68 set by Germany in 2017 at World Rowing Cup II (Poznan, Poland).
- Most World Championship wins: Germany* (16 golds out of a possible 35)
*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).