The day started with little rain which picked up during the final races. The cloudy grey sky was offset by a quartering tailwind that also picked up at the second half of the racing session but then died off for the last races. Nevertheless the water conditions remained generally rowable and fair most of the time

Summary of races

Men’s Pair – Final
The rain just set in for the first final of the day. The water conditions were again good and made it easy for Harry Glenister and Sholto Carnegie (GBR) to lead this race from start to finish. In fact they won gold in 6:34.70. Jakob Gebel and Marc Leske (Germany) and Raffaele Giulivo and Andrea Maestrale (ITA) were neck and neck for the silver medal, with Germany crossing the finish line second by only 0.7 seconds to Italy. Gold: GBR, Silver: GER, Bronze: ITA

Sholto Carnegie (GBR) – Gold: “This race was really good even though the first half was pretty hard. We have only been rowing together for two and a half weeks but we rowed together already when we were juniors so we have known each other for a long time which definitely helped. We would like to thank Lottery Funding for their help to getting us here.”

Marc Leske (GER) – Silver: “This race was incredibly hard. It was more a battle with our rental boat to which we could not really get used to. It was like a little lady. But luckily Jakob and I have been rowing together for quite a while so that we know each other and row well together. Also the crew from Great Britain has our respect – they had to get used to the rental boat as well but they still rowed a fantastic time.”

Women’s Pair – Final
Good start for Dora Polivka and Eszter Kremer (HUN), who were leading the race from the beginning but Frances Russell and Susannah Dear (GBR) as well as Ilaria Broggini and Veronica Calabrese (ITA) were a big threat. In the end the first three boats crossed the finish line only by seconds apart, with Hungary winning gold, Great Britain silver and Italy bronze. Gold: HUN, Silver: GBR, Bronze: ITA

Dora Polivka (HUN) – Gold: “The race was hard but we did what we had to do. We are very happy with the result and now want to enjoy another three days in Shanghai and two days in Beijing.”

Frances Russell (GBR) – Silver: “We had a really good start. Our race yesterday was rather bad but today we smashed it as much as we could.”

Women’s Single Sculls – Final
What a race! Lucie Zabova (CZE) and Cara Grzeskowiak (AUS) were neck on neck for the gold medal, being apart by only a second for the first 1500 metres. It was only in the final spurt that Lucie could extend her lead. Baukje Zaaijer (NED) easily won the bronze medal. Gold: CZE, Silver: AUS, Bronze: NED

Lucie Zabova (CZE) – Gold: “I thought about my coach and my friends during the race which motivated me a lot. This is the first time I win a big race and I would like to thank all my friends and my coach for their support.”

Cara Grzeskowiak (AUS) – Silver: “A fantastic race! It was a nice battle for the first 1500 metres. Lucie and I raced at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in Rotterdam in 2016 and hopefully we two will have more races to come.”

Baukje Zaaijer (NED) – Bronze: “The race was ok. I expected more wind and the race to be quicker. “

Men’s Single Sculls – Final
The rain picked up during this race which caused the wind to die down. This did not stop Charles McKeown (GBR) from taking the lead even though Joel Naukkarinen (FIN) was pretty close. It was only by around 1500 metres that Charles could make his advantage clear. Zhi Chen (CHN) suddenly pushed himself on second position and those two clearly lengthened their lead to the rest of the field. Joel pushed hard for the third place and was almost overtaken by Guido Ciardi (ITA) but in the end the bronze medal went to Finland. Gold: GBR, Silver: CHN, Bronze: FIN

Charles McKeown (GBR) – Gold: “My start was good and according to my plan - I had half a length advantage by 250 metres. At the 500 metres mark all the others were still near me and I thought ‘Damn!’ Zhi Chen was always far behind me and then suddenly turned on the engine. Amazing! I have been eating dinner with Joel all week so I knew he was going to be fast.”¨

Zhi Chen (CHN) – Silver: “I was the second last in the first half of the race and my thought was to fight hard for the spirit of China’s collegiate students. I am very proud.”

Joel Naukkarinen (FIN) – Bronze: “I am usually very strong in the last 500 metres so I was planning to win with a good final sprint. But my first 500 did not go well, if I had rowed them better, I could also have achieved more with my sprint. I did not row my best time but this is definitely my best result so far. “

Men’s Four – Final
Pouring rain for the Men’s Four crews! Nevertheless Great Britain and Italy stayed focused and were very close together in the first 1000 metres. When the field approached the grandstand, the spectators were great in cheering for the crews, especially the spectators from Great Britain and Canada. At the final spurt Great Britain and Italy were way apart from the rest of the field, with Great Britain clearly crossing the finish line first and Italy winning silver. Switzerland and Canada fought then hard for bronze with Switzerland making it! Gold: GBR, Silver: ITA, Bronze: SUI

Rory Gibbs (GBR) – Gold: “Our start was slow and we managed to push through at 250 metres. I am happy about the result. It was hard with the rain to hold on the blades, especially when the stroke rate went up.”

Federico Garibaldi (ITA) – Silver:” Our race was pretty good, we managed to keep the rhythm and the pace.”

Marius Merkt (SUI) – Bronze: “Great race. After the first 500 metres we were still one length behind the Canadian boat so we had a sprint at 1000 metres to get away from them. In the last 250 metres we managed to increase the gap even more.”

Women’s Four – Final
The rain did not stop for this race. Great Britain was very fast at the start, leading for the first 500 metres, followed by the Netherlands by only a margin. Italy was in third position. These three crews remained in this order also until 1000 metres. By 1500 metres, Great Britain’s lead was almost 10 seconds to the rest of the field, making no doubt that the gold medal would be theirs. The Netherlands and Italy had also no problems to maintain their positions. Gold: GBR, Silver: NED, Bronze: ITA

Rebecca Edwards (GBR) – Gold: ”We did not expect the boats from the Netherlands to be so quick and to stay with us for so long. Great race.”

Kim Janssen (NED) – Silver: “We are really happy! This was the best race and we gave everything we could. The weather was not the easiest today but we are used to this from the Netherlands. Some parts of the course were tricky but we managed to stay focused. Jocelyn joined our team only two weeks before this event and she fitted in very well.”

Sarah Caverni (ITA) – Bronze: “It was good. We had a quick start and could keep the pace. Our race plan was to have several sprints to keep up and it all worked out.”

Women’s Double Sculls – Final 
The wind strongly picked up for this race so the times were definitely faster than at the previous ones. The race was delayed by four minutes due to a false start from China. The crowd went crazy as Yiqing Zhu and Shuxian Zhang (CHN) took the lead in the final sprint and crossed the finish line first. Yara Ensminger and Kristina Walker (CAN) showed a stable performance and could push the boat from the third to the silver position. Italy and New Zealand fought hard for the bronze medal but Amy Mills and Georgia Allen (NZL) finally won it by only 0.2 seconds. Gold: CHN, Silver: CAN, Bronze: NZL

Yara Ensminger (CAN) – Silver: “This was all even. We wanted to give the best we can and were hoping to get a medal.”

Georgia Allen (NZL) – Bronze: “The best moment of the race was the start, it was much faster than we normally go. And then we just boosted at the finish.”

Men’s Double Sculls – Final
Luca Chiumento and Andrea Cattaneo (ITA) and Mateusz Swietek and Patryk Przekopski (POL) were only apart by a second at the 1000 metre mark with the wind once again causing a fast race. It was only by the last 500 metres that Italy was able to get away from the rest of the field, catching gold with a big advantage. Bronze was sitting with Bradley Betts and Mzwandile Sotsaka (RSA) for almost the entire race and they secured this with a very strong finish. Gold: ITA, Silver: POL, Bronze: RSA

Andrea Cattaneo (ITA) – Gold: “The tricky conditions on the course did not really bother us and did not affect our technique. It was great.”

Patryk Przekopski (POL) – Silver: “The best part were the last 500 metres even though the water conditions were rather tough in the second half of the course. We are totally happy to win this medal. My only thought at the finish line was ‘Thank god it’s over!’”

Mzwandile Sotsaka (RSA) – Bronze: “I was extremely excited at the finish. This is my first international medal and my third international race. Hopefully one day I can be part of the Senior team of South Africa. It is such a privilege to represent your country.”

Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls – Final
Giulia Mignemi (ITA) and Katarzyna Welna (POL) were in the race for the gold medal and giving some excitement as their order constantly changed through the race. In fact it was Katarzyna in the lead by 1000 metres, increasing the gap to almost two seconds by 1500 metre and making her winner of the gold medal. Kristyna Neuhortova (CZE) seemed to keep her position for the bronze medal but then Rumeng Peng (CHN) overtook her in the last 250 metres and took the medal. Gold: POL, Silver: ITA, Bronze: CHN

Katarzyna Welna (POL) – Gold: “I’m excited! It was so important for me to come first. I have been in the Polish team since six years and these are my second University Championships. I struggled a bit with the hot weather in the previous days but today was just perfect for me.”

Giulia Mignemi (ITA) – Silver: “I am very proud about my good result and to compete so well against Katarzyna. She is such an experienced rower and I am still very young.”

Rumeng Peng (CHN) – Bronze: “I was very excited but also nervous before the race. Great result!”

Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls – Final
This was another exciting lightweight race with one of the tightest fields of the day. Harrison Somerville (NZL) and Joachim Agne (GER) were only apart by less than one second for almost three quarters of the race. In the last 500 metres Harrison finally kicked away and made a decisively move, ensuring the gold medal with one length over Germany. Jayden Grey (AUS) was in the third position for a long time but was chased by Alfonso Scalzone (ITA) who in the end had more remaining power to go for bronze. Gold: NZL, Silver: GER, Bronze: ITA

Harrison Somerville (NZL) – Gold: “My race plan was to stick with the field and to have the quickest start. I concentrated on the last half of the race and let the last 200 metres take care of itself. My general goal is to make it to the Olympic Games in 2020.”

Joachim Agne (GER) – Silver: “All in all I am content. It could have gone better but the conditions on the second half of the course were not easy. And I did not dare to keep up with the pace of Harrison. My next step is the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, our goal there is definitely a medal.”

Alfonso Scalzone (ITA) – Bronze: “I am happy with my race. I had a slow start and stayed behind for a while but could keep up with the rest of the field. I put all my strength then in the last 500 metres. I preferred the rain today over the heat from the last days.”

Lightweight Men’s Four – Final
The crew from the Netherlands was in a clear lead in the first 500 metres. Italy and the USA were fighting hard for the silver medal but then the boat from Hungary appeared, putting themselves in the third position by 1000 metres. It seemed that the Netherlands would take gold and Italy silver, when Hungary suddenly made a boost in the last 500 metres to be in the gold position. With an incredible final spurt Hungary created a huge gap between them and the Italian crew with every stroke. Italy constantly kept the silver position and the Netherlands fell down to the bronze position. Gold: HUN, Silver: ITA, Bronze: NED

Kalman Furko (HUN) – Gold: “What an amazing feeling! We really wanted to win a gold medal. Our first 500 metres were pretty slow but we did well to increase the stroke rate in the second half of the race.”

Pietro Cappelli (ITA) – Silver: “Our race plan was to stay with the fastest boats from the field and to not let go. This worked well, especially in the last metres.”

Ruben Houkes (NED) – Bronze: “I feel terrible but also very content. This race was so hard. We messed up our race for lanes the other day but today went great – we had a good start and could maintain the rhythm and pace. Congratulations also to the other crews, this was one of the most exciting races of my life.”

Lightweight Women’s Four – Final
The lightweight women’s four presented the smallest entries of these championships and only two crews – Italy and China - found together at the start. Italy was in the lead straight from the beginning and won the race comfortably over the Chinese crew. Gold: ITA, Silver: CHN

Lara Maule (ITA) – Gold: “My only thought during the enter race was ‘Oh my god – maybe the Chinese crew gets faster and overtakes us.’ So we had a sprint every 500 metres to keep them afar. We arrived only five days ago in Shanghai and we struggled a little bit with the jetlag and the tiredness. The conditions were tricky today even though the wind direction was definitely good for lightweights.”

Qijun Tang (CHN) – Silver: “We are incredibly proud. We only started rowing six months ago and two months ago we did the 2000 metres in 8:18.0. Now we rowed them in 07:40.71, this is a total break through for us.”

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls – Final
The conditions were very fast with the wind pushing the boats towards the finish. Arianna Noseda and Paola Piazzolla (ITA) and Rose Beasley and Jillian Robert (AUS) were fighting for the first place in the first half of the race but Weixiao Zhang and Weimiao Zhang from China would not let go. The boats from Italy, China, Australia as well as Marion and Johanna Reichardt (GER) crossed the 1500 metre mark only three seconds apart. China was especially dominating in the final 250 metres and easily caught the gold medal while Australia was successfully sprinting for silver. The battle for bronze between Germany and Italy was won by Germany by only 0.3 seconds. Gold: CHN, Silver: AUS, Bronze: GER

Weixiao Zhang (CHN) – Gold: “We knew we had the ability to win gold and we made the most of it. Our next goal is the National Championships next month. We have been rowing together for three years now. We are twins so we know each other pretty well which is very helpful in this boat class.”

Rose Beasley (AUS) – Silver: “Today were pretty tough conditions so we are proud about the result. This is my first international regatta and I hope to represent Australia in the Under 23 National Team next year.”

Marion Reichardt (GER) – Bronze: “At the beginning of this season our double went horrible and we didn’t find to each other at all. Over the winter we both had been training a lot in the single sculls and I was sick for a while so Johanna got stronger which caused a slight imbalance. We rowed in the quad at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships and that training helped us a lot to get back together.”

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls – Final
Being the fastest  crew in the heats, Jan Fleissner and Jan Hajek (CZE) looked particularly strong in the first half of the race but died off in the last metres. Jonathan Schreiber and Julian Schneider (GER) were doing a strong battle to come up with the crew from the Czech Republic by the 1500 metres mark and also Leone Barbaro and Piero Sfiligoi (ITA) were following very closely. Even though the boat from Germany made a big move in the third 500 metres the Italian crew was the dominating one, catching gold by only 0.6 seconds advantage. Ryan Delaney and Christopher Mittendorf (RSA) also pushed tight and their effort was paid off by the bronze medal. Gold: ITA, Silver: GER, Bronze: RSA

Piero Sfiligoi (ITA) – Gold: “This race was difficult but despite the conditions we managed to control the boat and make long strokes so we are happy. The first part of the race was complicated but the second half was perfect. In general the competition was very nice.”

Julian Schneider (GER) – Silver: “We rowed a good race. Our first races here in Shanghai were not ideal and we were surprised how strong the other crews were. Today we could make the most of it. This is my last year in the Under 23 category so it’s a nice ending of it. My goal for the future is to enjoy rowing.”

Christopher Mittendorf (RSA) – Bronze: “We really focused on our race plan and to stay close to the rest of the field. We were not stressed about the other teams ahead, Italy was too far away anyways and we are happy we managed to get back in the medal position after being in the fourth place for a while.

Women’s Eight – Final
The crews from Great Britain, the USA and Canada were very tight together right from the start and left the rest of the field clearly behind. The athletes of the team from Great Britain took the lead and could even extend it to two seconds over the USA at 1500 metres. Canada then showed an amazing sprint in the last 500 metres, pushing the boat in the silver position and leaving the bronze medal to the USA. Gold: GBR, Silver: CAN, Bronze: USA

Rebecca Edwards (GBR) – Gold: “This was tight! Canada and the USA stuck with us for so long and our cox called for us to be brave at 1000 metres. For five strokes the shouted ‘Great Britain’ and that made the difference. We feel great.”

Mikayla Arends (CAN) – Silver: “We had an amazing sprint in the end that saved us. We managed to execute the race plan very well and we are totally happy.”

Meaghan Faucher (USA) – Bronze: “What a crazy feeling. We only started training together on June 2nd and if someone had told me by then that we stand on the podium today I would not have believed him.”

Men’s Eight – Final
The boat from Great Britain had the best start and was leading at the 500 metres mark already, followed by Poland and the Netherlands. The strong tailwind caused a fast race and by 1000 metres Great Britain was still in the lead, whereas Italy was able to bring themselves in the bronze position. Great Britain pushed themselves towards the gold position with every stroke and won with a huge advantage. Poland comfortably won the silver medal and Italy took the bronze medal. What a great achievement for Italy since the entire crew had doubled up and already raced in other boat classes today. Gold: GBR, Silver: POL, Bronze: ITA

Matthew Hnatiw (GBR) – Gold: “We had a good row and felt that we dominated the race straight from the start. It was raining a lot but that was better than the heat and the sun in the previous days. I am retiring now so this is a nice ending of my career.”

Mariusz Koziol (POL) – Silver: “We made a great achievement since we only had six training sessions together. In fact our first session in this boat was here in Shanghai. After the first race we thought it might be possible to win a medal. During the race today I thought ‘No way! We are in the second place!’”

Federico Garibaldi (ITA) – Bronze: “Our start was really slow and all the other boats were gone. We had a fast sprint at 1000 metres which brought us back on track and in the last 500 metres we could increase our advantage.”

This championship was originally scheduled for Argentina, but was moved to Shanghai relatively late and it was the first edition to be held outside of Europe. Attracting 391 participants from 23 countries and 147 universities, the Championships were a success for FISU, the University Sports Federation.

Nick Garratt, the Team Manager and coach from the Australian team explains: “For many rowers from my team this is their first international experience. So far everyone gets on fine and it’s great to see the friendship on and off the water amongst the rowers from all the different countries. Everyone is helping each other and you can see that politics from everyone’s home country simply don’t matter here. The Organising Committee has made a great effort to make us come here.”

For Elisa Mondelli from the Italian team it was especially interesting to find out the cultural difference between Italians and Chinese, when chatting to her volunteers. Quentin Antognelli from Monaco liked to be outside of Europe. “It is nice for a change”, he said.

The newcomers from India were happy. For the first time ever, the team consisting of ten male and ten female rowers, participated in this event. The team from India did not have much practice before the Championships, as the athletes had been noticed only one month ahead of time. Two weeks before departing to Shanghai, the team went to a training camp.

Shanghai Water Sports Centre has been used for several national and international water sport events, among them 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympic Qualification regattas and the 2003 Dragon Boat World Championships. The next big event will be the 2021 World Rowing World Championships for which several amendments will be made, starting straight after the University Championships. The constructions will include a renewal of the grandstand, the timing huts and the start tower.

In 1980 the constructions of the venue began and the first event to be held on it were the 1983 National Sports Championships. Only few people in China had knowledge about building rowing courses, in fact the Shanghai Water Sports Centre was the first water sports centre for rowing opened in the country. Therefore several delegations were sent abroad in order to gain knowledge and experiences in building and organization of rowing venues.

The 2,250 metres long, 150 metres wide and 4 metres deep artificial rowing course is according to international standards and connected to Shanghai’s largest fresh water lake, Dianshan Lake. It consists of the actual racing course and a warming up course just next to it.

All results can be found here: http://wuc-rowing2018.sjtu.edu.cn/en/results/