World Rowing Championships countdown – The single sculls
The 2017 World Rowing Championships start at the end of this week and this preview of the men’s and women’s single sculls wraps up our countdown series.
Here are all the important bits on the men’s and women’s single sculls. New Zealand’s new star sculler Robert Manson set a new World Best Time in the men’s single at World Rowing Cup II while female sculler Magdalena Lobnig of Austria set a new World Cup Best Time at that same regatta.
WOMEN’S SINGLE SCULLS
The 2017 Season
- Closest Finish: At the European Rowing Championships, Great Britain’s Victoria Thornley crossed the line in 7:34.23, only 0.69 seconds ahead of Belarus’s Ekaterina Karsten – WATCH HERE.
- Fastest Final: At World Rowing Cup II, in Poznan (POL), Magdalena Lobnig from Austria won gold in a time of 7:13.26, setting a new World Cup Best Time – WATCH HERE.
- World Cup Winner: Lobnig heads the overall World Cup Standings with 18 points thanks to her two World Cup bronze medals and one World Cup gold medal. Switzerland follows with 16 points thanks to Jeannine Gmelin’s two World Cup gold medals, while Thornley assembled 15 points thanks to two World Cup silver medals and a fifth-place finish in Lucerne.
- Gmelin raced twice this season so far and has remained unbeaten. At World Rowing Cup III in Lucerne, she finished ahead of Canada’s Carling Zeeman and Lobnig – WATCH HERE. In Belgrade, the Swiss sculler beat Thornley and Lobnig – WATCH HERE.
- Other medallists this season included Karsten, with a European Championship silver medal and Annekatrin Thiele from Germany who took bronze at the Europeans – WATCH HERE http://www.eurovisionsports.tv/fisa/#dm9kOzY4MDU2. Karsten, now aged 45, is the greatest female single sculler of all-time and has won multiple world and Olympic medals in this event. Thiele has won multiple medals at world and Olympic level in various sculling events.
- China’s Jingli Duan raced to bronze at World Rowing Cup II – WATCH HERE. Jingli is the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist in this event.
The top three athletes in the women’s single sculls are undoubtedly Gmelin, Lobnig and Thornley. Gmelin is looking good, but has not yet raced this season against Duan who outclassed Gmelin in Rio. Zeeman and Thiele will also challenge for medals.
- 2016 Olympic Champion: Kimberley Brennan (AUS)
- World Best Time: 7:07.21 set by Rumyana Neykova (BUL) in 2002.
- Most Olympic wins: Romania tops the all-time Olympic medal time in the women’s single sculls thanks to three Olympic gold medals. Belarus follows with four medals, two of them gold, all of which were won by Karsten between 1996 and 2008.
- Most World Championship wins: since the inclusion of the women’s eight on the World Championship programme in 1974, Germany has assembled the highest number of medals. Belarus follows with a total of 11 medals, six of them gold, all of which were won by Karsten between 1997 and 2011.
MEN’S SINGLE SCULLS
The 2017 Season
- World Best Time & Fastest Final: Manson claimed gold at World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland, an incredible 7.93 seconds ahead of Fournier who crossed the line in silver position. The new World Best Time is now 6:30.74 – WATCH HERE.
- Closest Finish: At World Rowing Cup I in Belgrade, Serbia, Nico Stahlberg crossed the line to win gold a mere 0.42 seconds ahead of Croatia’s Damir Martin who won Olympic silver last year in Rio – WATCH HERE.
- Ondrej Synek from the Czech Republic, the multi World and Olympic medallist in the single, won his fourth European Championship title in this event this year – WATCH HERE.
- Switzerland heads the overall World Cup standings with 17 points thanks to Stahlberg winning one World Cup gold, one World Cup bronze and finishing fourth in Lucerne. Manson finishes in second position in the standings with 16 points thanks to his two World Cup gold medals. Fournier earned 12 points and a third position in the overall 2017 standings.
- Other medallists this season included Croatia’s Damir Martin who won silver at World Rowing Cup I and also silver at the European Rowing Championships, as well as Belarus’s Stanislau Shcharbachenia who took World Cup and European Championship bronze.
Manson must be the top favourite. He was unbeatable this season and his new World Best Time has placed him in rowing’s history books. Fournier had a consistent performance, finishing twice behind the New Zealander in both of his World Cup participations. Stahlberg demonstrated his new level of performance this season and if he has a good race he good well feature on the podium. Stahlberg should beware, however, of Shcharbachenia who has also shown medal potential.
Martin, one of last year’s favourites in this event, as well as the Czech Republic’s Ondrej Synek, have had inconsistent results and at World Cup level this season. Will they have reserved their best for the World Rowing Championships?
- 2016 Olympic Champion: New Zealand (Mahe Drysdale)
- The men’s single has been part of the Olympic programme since 1900. Since then, no nation has been able to out-do the Soviet Union who, between 1952 and 1980 collected an impressive seven Olympic medals, including five gold. Vyatcheslav Ivanov remarkably won three of those five Olympic gold medals.
- World Best Time: 6:30.74 set by Manson in 2017. The previous World Best Time had also been owned by New Zealand, when Mahe Drysdale had set it in 2009 at 6:33.35.
- Most World Championship wins: New Zealand, most of them won by Mahe Drysdale.