For immediate release
Rio de Janeiro, 8 August 2015

One year out from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the 2015 World Rowing Junior Championships served as a test event for next year’s Olympic rowing regatta in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

On the waters of Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, the junior championships saw intense racing and testing for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on and off the water. President of the Organising Committee for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games Carlos Arthur Nuzman, Mayor of Rio Eduardo Paes attended the event along with many staff members of the International Olympic Committee.

FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland said the regatta gave a good impression of how next year’s Olympic rowing regatta would play out; “It was a very, very interesting regatta that helped us gather important information that will be necessary for the running of a successful Olympic rowing regatta.

“This (junior championships) is not the Olympic Games, but it was very good to test the key technical elements. Of course we can’t test everything, but we know the issues that we have to work with. It has been important to have face-to-face conversations with the relevant technical delegates that were here and so it was not just about written documents, but about the real impression of the event on the actual field of play.”

Overall the top country at the junior championships, by a large margin, was Germany. The Germans had boats in all of the 13 finals and earned an impressive 11 medals. Five of them were gold including a win in the junior women’s double sculls by Annemieke Schanze and Frieda Hammerling who led a field which included two-time junior World Champions Elena Logofatu and Nicoleta Pascanu of Romania. Logofatu and Pascanu were the silver medallists with Italy taking bronze.

Germany also managed to beat Romania in the men’s pair by a small 0.25 of a second.  Olaf Roggensack and Rene Schmela of Germany stayed ahead of Romania’s Constantin-Crist Hirgau and Alexandru Chioseau in a battle that continued through to the finish line. The Romanians finished fourth overall on the medals table.

Second on the medals table, Italy earned gold medals in the junior men’s single sculls and junior men’s double sculls and five medals in total. The men’s single race had attracted the highest number of entries and these rowers worked their way through five rounds of racing to reach the final. Giacomo Gentili of Italy overcame a fast start by Germany’s Henrik Runge to take gold. A late race sprint by Adam Bakker of Australia earned his country its sole medal.

The Netherlands finished third on the medals table with both of their medals being gold. Marieke Keijser won the junior women’s single sculls after favourite to win, Sofia Asoumanaki of Greece was not able to hold her early race pace. Desislava Georgieva of Bulgaria was third and her bronze medal was Bulgaria’s sole medal. The Netherlands’ second gold was in the junior men’s eight. The Dutch crew came through from behind to cross ahead of the United States and Germany. Germany was the winner in the other blue riband event, the women’s eight followed by Italy and then the United States.

Normally a five-day regatta, the junior championships had to be condensed into four days because the weather forecast for the final day showing heavy winds prompted the schedule change.

To compete in the World Rowing Junior Championships, rowers must be 18 years of age or under. An athlete can compete as a junior until 31 December of the year in which s/he reaches the age of 18. After that date s/he shall be classified an Under 23 rower.
Some participation at the World Rowing Junior Championships is subsidised by the rowers who take part in the World Rowing Masters Regatta where each rower donates 1 Euro of every Masters Regatta entry fee to support youth rowing.

Next on the World Rowing calendar is the 2015 World Rowing Championships. This event will be held in Aiguebelette, France from 30 August – 6 September.