World Rowing Championships countdown – The four
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.
The four is the most recent addition to the Olympic programme on the women’s side and there has been a marked resurgence in this boat class throughout the 2017 season. Great Britain has historically dominated on the men’s side, but will they manage to do so again this year?
The 2017 Season
- Australia won two World Rowing Cup regattas with Lucy Stephan, Katrina Werry, Sarah Hawe and Molly Goodman. World Rowing Cup III – WATCH HERE.
- Fastest Final: At World Rowing Cup II, Australia won gold in 6:22.65 - WATCH HERE.
- Closest Finish: Also at World Rowing Cup II – The United States pushed Australia to the line finishing just three seconds behind.
- Romania made their star appearance at the European Championships, claiming the gold medal ahead of Poland and the Netherlands.
- Other medallists this season included Belarus, Russia and Canada.
The front runners this season look to be Australia. Winning the second and third World Rowing Cups (the only two events in which they participated) puts them at the top of the field. However, with America’s strong women’s sweep programme and on home territory they will be looking to impress. Poland and the Netherlands have also featured frequently on the podium and will be looking to land a spot there again. This new Olympic boat class is starting to heat up.
- World Best Time: 6:14.46 set by New Zealand in 2014.
- Most World Championship wins by the United States. They hold seven out of a possible 26 gold medals.
- The women’s four first appeared on programmes in the 1970s and 1980s. It will be raced for the first time at the Olympics in 2020 in Tokyo.
The 2017 Season
- Great Britain has had historical success in this boat class and they made the podium at all three World Rowing Cups.
- However, Great Britain did not manage to medal at the European Rowing Championships, where Italy took the gold ahead of Romania and Russia. – WATCH HERE.
- Australia’s crew beat the British at the second World Cup finishing in the fastest time this season – 5:44.34.
- All four races this season finished with less than two seconds between gold and silver. The closest was at the second World Cup. Great Britain was just 1.23 seconds behind Australia. – WATCH HERE.
- Other medallists this season include The Netherlands, Spain, and Germany.
It is too close to call between these boats. While Great Britain took gold at two World Rowing Cups, Australia’s crew beat them at one World Cup. Rio Olympic medallists, Italy should not be counted out considering their silver medal at the third World Cup and their European Championship win. The Netherlands has stacked their four and are seeking a medal. Watch out for tight finishes at the World Rowing Championships.
*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 four has been part of the Olympic programme since 1900 with Great Britain having won most Olympic golds (nine out of 24, since 1908).
- Most World Championship wins: Great Britain (nine out of 35 since 1978)
- 2016 Olympic Champions: Great Britain
- World Best Time: 5:37.86 set by Great Britain (Pete Reed, Tom James, Andrew T Hodge, Alex Gregory) in 2012.