Zelie Jacoulet (b), Fleur Vaucoret (s), Women's Pair, France, 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria / World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell

The conditions were hot, calm, fast and fair for the rowers at the 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. After the event was cancelled in 2020, expectations were high and new faces were aplenty.

The United States walked away with the most gold medals and a top place on the medals table after securing three golds. These came in the first medals race of the regatta, the women’s coxed four. The US then had to wait until the end of the rowing programme to win both the men’s and women’s eight. The men’s win came after strong competition from Germany who finished with silver and a late surge by Russia who took the bronze. For the women the United States dominated the race over Germany in second and Romania in third.

A regular on the junior medals table, Germany finished second overall with two gold medals but they also make claim to the most medals with a total of nine out of the 14 boat classes available. The German golds came in men’s quadruple sculls and the men’s double sculls. Germany’s Finn Staeblein and Adrian Groth led the men’s double from start to finish leaving behind them a very close race for silver. The silver went to France and Poland took the bronze.

The women’s four proved to be one of the closest of the day. Romania won it at the line with just over a second separating the four top boats. France took silver and Italy took bronze with the United States missing out on a medal by just 0.30 of a second.

A late sprint by Povilas Juskevicius of Lithuania won him the prestigious men’s single sculls race over Aaron Andries of Belgium and Isaiah Harrison of the United States who took silver and bronze respectively.

“Most of the race I was running in third place,” said Juskevicius after the race. “In the final quarter of the race I noticed I had a chance to overtake the leaders. I used all of my strength there. I am so proud and overjoyed to bring the gold back home to Lithuania.

For the women’s single, Switzerland’s Aurelia-Maxima Janzen won the gold ahead of Giulia Clerici of Italy and Evangelia Fragkou of Greece.

Overall the top medal spots went to United States followed by Germany and Romania. A total of 18 nations won medals