Hosted by the Shanghai Water Sports Centre, venue for the 2021 World Rowing Championships, China brought the biggest team with 52 rowers. The biggest teams from Europe was Great Britain (40 athletes) and Italy (32 athletes). Both China and Italy entered crews in all boat classes. Italy has doubled up some athletes into more than one boat class, hence the smaller crew numbers.

On the first day of racing rowing conditions were perfect with flat water and no wind at all. The very high humidity, however, of 57 per cent and the temperatures of 33°C made it a bit of a challenge to row. Luckily a light breeze came up towards the end of the morning session and made the conditions slightly more pleasant.

The first race of the day – heat 1 of the Men’s Pair - got under way after a delay of almost 20 minutes caused by the Indian team being late at the start and receiving a yellow card, followed by a false start by China. The delay was still at ten minutes for the first heat of the Men’s Single Sculls but with minimizing the race intervals, the delay became smaller and smaller and was eliminated by the start time of the Lightweight Men’s Four. The last race of the day, the repechage of the Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls was then also delayed by seven minutes due to a rower being late at the start.

The grandstand began to fill up during the morning session, with supporters from all over the world cheering for their teams. The Canadian women’s eight had the biggest group of supporters.

Summary of races

Men’s Pair - heats
The race was an easy one for Harry Glenister and Sholto Carnegie from Great Britain, qualifying straight for the a-finals. The second heat was clear for Jakob Gebel and Marc Leske from Germany. Qualifiers for the repechage: AUS, CHN, CRO, CZE, EST, IND, ITA, SRI, USA

Women’s Pair – heats
The field of the women’s pair heats were very spread out with Ilaria Broggini and Veronica Calabrese (ITA) clearly winning heat 1 and  Dora Polivka and Eszter Kremer winning heat 2. Both crews qualified directly for the a-finals. Qualifiers for the repechage: AUS, CHN, GBR, NED, IND

Women’s Single Sculls – heats
Lucie Zabova (CZE) clearly won the first heat of the women’s single and qualified for the a-finals, as well as Baukje Zaaijer (NED) who came second. Heat 2 was dominated by Cara Grzeskowiak (AUS), with a gap of 13 seconds to the second place (Julia Leidig – GER, who are both going to the a-final. Qualifiers for the repechages: CHN, GBR, EST, IND, ITA

Men’s Single Sculls – Heats
The winners of each heat qualified straight for the a-final. This time it was FIN to dominate the field in heat 1, followed by CZE and GER fighting for the second place. GBR easily won the second heat. Qualifiers for the repechages: AUS, CHN, CZE, GER, IND, ITA, MON, RSA, USA

Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls – Heats
The lightweight men’s single is the boat class with the highest number of entries at this year’s FISU World University Rowing Championships, with 15 teams from all over the world (ARG, AUS, CHN, CRO, EST, GER, HKG, IND, ITA, NED, NZL, SRI, SUI, SVK, USA), rowing in three heats. This caused a progression system with the first three boats of each heat qualifying for the semifinals and the rest qualifying for the repechage which took place today as well. Qualifiers for the semifinals: AUS, CHN, CRO, EST, GER, HKG, ITA, NED, NZL, SUI, SVK, USA

Men’s Four – Heats
Canada won the first heat, qualifying directly for the a-final. Italy showed a strong performance in the second heat and won the race with the best time of all, going straight to the a-final. Qualifiers for the repechages: CHN, CRO, GBR, IND, USA, SUI.

Women’s Four – Heats
Winning their heats, the crews from ITA and GBR are going straight to the a-finals. Qualifiers for the repechages: CHN, NED, IND, SUI, USA.

Women’s Double Sculls – Preliminary Race
With six entered boats in this boat class no repechages or semifinals are required which resulted in a preliminary race. CHN and CAN fought for the first place but in the end CHN was the strongest crew, crossing the finish line in 7:17.50 and CAN coming second in 7:19.12. Other qualifiers for the finals: NZL, ITA, CZE, EST.

Men’s Double Sculls - Heats
In this boat class the crews had to come second in order to qualify for the a-finals directly. This was reached by RSA and CZE in heat 1 and POL and ITA in heat 2. Qualifiers for the repechages: AUS, CHN, NED, SUI, USA.

Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls – Preliminary Race
Five crews rowed in the preliminary race in this boat class, with POL winning in 8:00.03. Other qualifiers for the finals: ITA, CHN, CZE, IND.

Lightweight Men’s Four – Preliminary Race
This preliminary race was clearly dominated by HUN, crossing the finish line in 6:24.72. Other qualifiers for the finals: USA, NED, ITA, CHN, SRI.

Lightweight Women’s Four – Preliminary Race
Only ITA and CHN entered in this boat class so only a preliminary race was needed. This was won by CHN in 7:44.43, followed by ITA in 7:55.01.

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls - Heats
Two heats were rowed in the LW2x with the first crews to cross the finish line (ITA and CHN) qualifying for the a-finals. Qualifiers for the repechages: AUS, CAN, CZE, GBR, GER, IND, NED, POL, SUI, USA.

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls - Heats
Being winners of their heat, CZE and ITA qualified directly for the a-finals. Qualifiers for the Repechages: CRO, CHN, EST, GBR, GER, IND, POL, RSA, USA

Men’s Eight – Preliminary Race
Another preliminary race was rowed with six crews getting to know the regatta course. GBR was the fastest crew on the way. Other qualifiers for the finals: NED, POL, USA, ITA, CHN.

Women’s Eight – Preliminary Race
Five boats rowed in the preliminary race and GBR was the fastest crew in 6:36.75. Other qualifiers for the finals: USA, CAN, ITA, CHN

All results can be found here.

Start lists can be found here.

Timetable can be found here.