World Rowing Championships Countdown – The pair
The countdown continues with World Rowing bringing you up to speed on the 14 Olympic boat classes that will be featuring at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota-Bradenton, USA.
Named “the hardest boat to row” here is everything you need to know about the pair. With just two rowers, two oars and a million ways to go wrong, many a brave rower has learned how to conquer this boat class.
The 2017 Season
- New Zealand (Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler) won two of the three World Rowing Cups after missing the first World Cup of the season.
- Great Britain, Denmark and the United States were also consistently on the medals podium.
- Fastest Final: World Rowing Cup II, New Zealand set a new World Best Time of 6:49.08 - WATCH HERE.
- Closest Finish: World Rowing Cup I – The Netherlands were just a second behind the British line-up that crossed in 7:11.29 - WATCH HERE.
- Romania won the European Rowing Championships with Madalina Beres and Laura Oprea - WATCH HERE.
The New Zealand crew has been deemed the ‘New Kiwi Pair’ and may be headed for similar success. They were unbeatable at the second and third World Rowing Cups. Great Britain no longer has Olympic Champions, Glover and Stanning, removing this nation as a top contender. Romania, Denmark and the United States are likely to be the closest challengers. They all stand a chance of standing on the podium. The young crew from Denmark, inspired by Danish medal success at the Olympics, will look to repeat that glory. The United States will definitely look to impress in front of home crowds.
- The first time the women’s pair was raced was in 1974 at the first Women’s World Rowing Championships.
- Most World Championship Wins: Germany* eight out of 32 possible.
- Most Olympic Wins: Romania with five golds out of ten possible.
- Rio 2016 Olympic Champions: Great Britain (Helen Glover, Heather Stanning)
- World Best Time: 6:49.08 set by New Zealand in 2017
- With four major events, this boat class saw four different gold medal winners: Great Britain, Italy, France, New Zealand.
- All A-finals have seen the three medallists finish within five seconds of each other.
- The Sinkovic Brothers (Croatia) finally made their appearance at the 3rd World Rowing Cup (after having switched from winning Olympic gold in the men’s double sculls). They finished second in a time of 6:35.67 - WATCH HERE.
- France and Serbia have both been on the podium three times, although Serbia was never in the gold medal position, they carry two silvers and a bronze from this season.
- Fastest Final: World Rowing Cup II, France (the Onfroy brothers) won in a time of 6:21.19 - WATCH HERE.
- Closest Finish: World Rowing Cup III, the Sinkovics lost to New Zealand by 1.17 seconds.
The Sinkovic brothers made a bold claim that they would be able to match their performance from the double in the men’s pair. However, they will face strong challenges from New Zealand, Italy, France, Great Britain and Serbia. Following the retirement of New Zealand’s Bond and Murray, this boat class has opened its doors to new champions and many countries have stepped up to the challenge. Even at this late stage of the season, this boat class is too hard to call.
- The men’s pair was first raced at the first World Rowing Championships in Lucerne in 1962. It has been part of the Olympic programme since 1904.
- Most World Championship Wins: Germany* with ten golds out of 35 possible.
- Most Olympic Wins: Great Britain with six golds out of 23 possible.
- Rio 2016 Olympic Champions: New Zealand (Eric Murray, Hamish Bond)
- World Best Time: 6:08.50 set by New Zealand in 2012
*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).