For immediate release
Bled, 10 May 2015

The 2015 rowing season has started with World Rowing Cup I in Bled, Slovenia.

Tight racing resulted in the World Cup regatta points trophy being shared equally between China and Germany. Germany won four gold medals. These came in the blue riband men's eight race as well as the men's double sculls and men's and women's quadruple sculls. The men's double sculls saw former single sculling champion Marcel Hacker team up successfully with Stephan Krueger to create a potentially winning new 2015 combination.

Scoring the most number of medals overall was China. The Chinese came to Bled with a large team and they won gold in both the lightweight women's double sculls and the lightweight men's pair. China won silver and bronze in the women's pair after getting five of their six entered crews through to the final. But it was the Dutch pair of Olivia van Rooijen and Elisabeth Hogerwerf who earned the gold. China also took silver and bronze in the lightweight men's four.

Belarus won two gold medals, one by 42-year-old Ekaterina Karsten in the women's single sculls. The six-time Olympian Karsten was a last minute entry in the single after her doubles partner had to withdraw due to injury. Belarus was also successful with gold in the men's four.

As well as the women's pair, the Netherlands won a second gold medal in the lightweight men's double sculls. Brothers Tycho and Vincent Muda kept the lead in a close race to the line which saw the silver and bronze medals decided by less than a second.

Poland picked up six medals overall to finish third on the points table. Poland's medals included gold in the women's double sculls following an impressive performance by Magdalena Fularczyk and Natalia Madaj.

Overall 20 nations earned World Cup points.

The World Rowing Cup series now moves to Varese, Italy from 18-21 June 2015 for World Rowing Cup II. Before that, European nations will be competing in the European Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland from 29-31 May 2015.

The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and consists of a series of three events. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after the third event. This year, the three stages of the series are Bled, Slovenia (9-10 May), Varese, Italy (18-21 June) and Lucerne, Switzerland (10-12 July). 

Results, race reports, photos and videos are available on www.worldrowing.com.