Lena Gresens (b), Anni Koetitz (s), Women's Pair, Germany, 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria / Detlev Seyb/MyRowingPhoto.com

Having reflected on the U23 Season last week, this week, we look back at the international season for Junior rowing.

2021 World Rowing Junior Championships

Plovdiv in Bulgaria played host to the 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships in the middle of August, with 43 nations sending their best junior rowers to compete. There were full teams from Germany, the United States and Italy, with entries in all 14 boat classes.

The Championships was the first World Rowing event for some time to allow spectators, following strict Covid-19 measures. It was clear that the atmosphere made a difference to the junior rowers as their parents and supporters filled the stands to cheer the crews on.

With 18 of the 43 nations taking home medals, it was the United States at the top of the medal table at the end of racing, with four medals overall, three of which were gold. Germany racked up a total of nine medals, ranking second in the table having secured two golds.

Lena Gresens (b), Anni Koetitz (s), Women’s Pair, Germany, 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria / Detlev Seyb/MyRowingPhoto.com


The USA picked up gold in both the women’s and men’s eight, pushing Germany to silver both times. Romania was also impressive at this year’s championships, picking up a gold in both the men’s pair and women’s four, and also a bronze in the women’s eight.


Stephen Warming (b), Julian Thomas, John Patton, Aidan Murphy, Ryan Link, Miles Hudgins, Tyler Horler, Jordan Dykema (s), Adam Casler (c), Men’s Eight, United States of America, 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria / World Rowing/Benedict Tufnell


Povilas Juskevicius secured Lithuania’s only medal when he sprinted to the line to take gold in the men’s single sculls, overtaking Aaron Andries of Belgium and the hot favourite, Isaiah Harrison of the United States. Meanwhile, Switzerland’s Aurelia-Maxima Janzen, who by now was becoming a well-known face on the international scene, went one better than her performance at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships, taking gold in the women’s single sculls, leading Giulia Clerici of Italy and Evangelia Fragkou of Greece. These scullers are certainly all names to keep an eye on in the future.


Povilas Juskevicius, Men’s Single Sculls, Lithuania, 2021 World Rowing Junior Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria / Detlev Seyb/MyRowingPhoto.com


The women’s double sculls was the biggest boat class at this year’s World Rowing Junior Championships with 23 boats entered. The Dutch duo, Lotte van Westreenen and Phaedra van der Molen grabbed the gold, beating France’s Gaia Chiavini and Jeanne Roche by just 0.26 seconds. It was a notable win for van Westreenen as her older sister, Fien, won the same boat class the last time the World Rowing Junior Championships was run, in 2019.

2021 European Rowing Junior Championships

The 2021 Junior Season was rounded off on the 9-10 October at the Olympic Regatta Centre in Munich, Germany, when 500 rowers from 27 nations arrived to contest the European Rowing Junior Championships.

18 of the 27 entered nations took home medals with Romania maintaining its position at the top of the medal table for a second consecutive year, picking up an impressive five gold medals and one silver. Although Romania was pipped to the gold by an impressive Belarussian women’s eight, they did take gold in the men’s eight, crossing the line two seconds ahead of Russia.

Cosmin Iulian Plesescu (b), Eduard Angel Moldovan, Andrei Hemen, Cornel-Traian Ieremciuc, Andrei-Vlad-Robert Vatamaniuc, Alexandru-Gabriel Stetco, Constantin Emanuele Sterea, Marian Stefan Dunca (s), Gavril Dumbrava (c), Men’s Eight, Romania, 2021 European Rowing Junior Championships, Munich, Germany / Detlev Seyb/MyRowingPhoto.com

Belgium’s Aaron Andries turned the result of the World Rowing Junior Championships around, beating Povilas Juskevicius of Lithuania to the gold, whereas Swiss single sculler Janzen matched her world’s performance to pick up gold again in the women’s single sculls.

Turkey had a 50% return on medals with two of their four entries making it to the podium. Their women’s sculler, Deniznur Baykarad won the B-final convincingly. First onto the medal podium for Turkey was the junior women’s pair of Aslihan Akkay and Ruken Ulgey, who had earned bronze. This was followed by gold for the men’s four, with an impressive win over Italy. However, Italy had already had a successful championships, winning gold in both the women’s and men’s coxed four and picking up a further two silver and two bronze medals.

2022 Calendar

Many of this year’s junior rowers will make the step up to the Under 23 level next season. For some of them, they will get the chance to take part in the joint World Rowing Under 19 and Under 23 Championships in Varese, Italy, in July. The European Rowing Junior Championships will take place earlier next year and will be held 21-22 May in Sabaudia, Italy.