World Rowing Championship medals were awarded today for the first time since 2019. Racice hosted the much-anticipated finals for Para and International boat classes. As the grandstands began to fill with supporters from around the world, the crowds were treated to some exciting finals including photo finishes, capsizes (and recoveries), and a few surprises.
PR2 Men’s Single Sculls (PR2 M1x) – Final
In the first final of the 2022 World Rowing Championships, the European Champion in this boat class, Cornelis De Koning of the Netherlands got out fast and held on to the lead throughout to finish in a time of 8:52.37. Italy’s Gian Filippo Mirabile held on to a comfortable second place to take the silver medal whilst Paul Umbach of Germany worked his way through the field to take the bronze medal.
Result: NED, ITA, GER, UZB, USA, ESP
PR2 Women’s Single Sculls (PR2 W1x) – Final
This boat class saw four athletes racing for three medals. The reigning World Champion, Kathryn Ross of Australia won the preliminary race earlier in the week, but it was Ireland’s Kate O’Brien that got out first on this occasion. O’Brien took bronze back in 2019 but this year was able to hold off Ross and took the gold. Ukrainian Anna Aisanova maintained third place throughout and secured the bronze medal.
Result: IRL, AUS, UKR, USA
PR3 Men’s Pair (PR3 M2-) – Final
Great Britain’s Oliver Stanhope and Edward Fuller, who will also race in the PR3 mixed four, won the preliminary race and maintained their position for the final today. Great Britain’s time of 6:53.68 very nearly beat the World Best Time of 6:52.08, which was set earlier this year. Behind Great Britain, Australians Nicholas Neales and James Talbot, who had finished fourth in the preliminary race stepped on today and took a strong silver medal. Andrii Syvykh and Dmytro Herez of Ukraine bagged the bronze medal.
Result: GBR, AUS, UKR, FRA, JPN
PR3 Women’s Pair (PR3 W2-) – Final
The other half of the Great Britain mixed coxed four was in action in this race and promptly followed suit. We were soon to hear the anthem of Great Britain for the second time as Francesca Allen and Giedre Rakauskaite rowed at the front of the field to a win of over 12 seconds ahead of Australia. With just three boats contesting this race, only two medals were to be awarded.
Result: GBR, AUS, ITA
PR3 Mixed Double Sculls (PR3 Mix2x) – Final
There was all sorts of drama in this race. One of the favoured boats, Brazil, caught a huge crab in the early stages after clipping a buoy. They quickly recovered, and got themselves back into the race, but the strong and experienced duo from France, Elur Alberdi and Laurent Cadot remained and the front of the field and despite the attack from the Brazilians as they got themselves back into the race, the French claimed the gold medal. There was a photo finish however, and it was a second bronze for Ukraine with Dariia Kotyk and Stanislav Samoliuk finishing just 0.02 seconds behind Brazil. What a finish!
Result: FRA, BRA, UKR, ISR, USA, AUT
Lightweight Men’s Pair (LM2-) – Final
It was clear from the outset that we weren’t in for a repeat of the preliminary race, which Turkey had led from the start. In this final, Italy’s Alessandro Durante and Giovanni Ficarra got out fast and took their position at the front of the field ahead of Turkey’s Ahmet Ali Kabadayi and Alper Sevket Eren. As the race progressed, although the Italians maintained their position at the front of the field, the rest of the positions continued to change hands and the roars from the grandstands were steadily increasing along with the excitement in the voices of the commentators. Hungarians Bence Szabo and Kalman Furko, who had been slightly slower off the start, worked their way through the field to put themselves into silver medal position whilst, to the delight of the locals, the duo from the Czech Republic went with them. Jiri Kopac and Milan Viktora were in fifth position at 500m, but worked their way into bronze medal position by the finish.
Result: ITA, HUN, CZE, EGY, TUR, USA
Lightweight Women’s Pair (LW2-) – Final
Following on from the success of their men’s pair in the previous race, the Italians, Maria Zerboni and Samantha Premerl absolutely flew off the start, and there was no stopping them. With four boats, it was a race not to be last as nobody wanted to be the one crew to miss out on a medal. The Italians continued to dominate the race, with clear water between them and the American pair of Solveig Imsdahl and Elaine Tierney. Behind them, there was a reversal of the order from the preliminary race with Germany’s Sophia Wolf and Eva Hohoff claiming the bronze and the Brazilians missing out.
Result: ITA, USA, GER, BRA
Lightweight Men’s Single Sculls (LM1x) – Final A
Thirty scullers had been narrowed down to these six finalists and now the race was on for World Championship medals. The final was close and dramatic, classic lightweight racing. European Champion in this boat class, Antonios Papakonstantinou flew off the start and held the lead to 500m where Italy’s Gabriel Soares made a move and took control of the race. There was disaster for European bronze medalist Andri Struzina of Switzerland 700m into the race when a dodgy stroke caused him to capsize and the race got away from him. Meanwhile, the experienced Slovenian sculler, Rajko Hrvat, had worked his way through the field and eventually moved into bronze medal position, displacing Uruguay’s Bruno Cetraro Berriolo in the process. After the top five had crossed the line, huge applause began in the stands for Struzina who had got back into his boat to complete the course – respect!
Result: ITA, GRE, SLO, URU, FRA, SUI
Lightweight Women’s Single Sculls (LW1x) – Final A
Another fiercely competitive line-up for this final with plenty of experience among them. Kiwi Jackie Kiddle, who was a 2019 World Champion in the lightweight women’s double sculls, got out of the start fastest, ahead of the Dutch sculler, Martine Veldhuis. However, whilst the top three looked fairly set, the order among them certainly wasn’t. Romania’s European Champion in this boat class, Ionela Cozmiuc, may have been a bit slower off the start, but the positions were all changed in the final quarter of the race. Kiddle couldn’t match the boat speed of the other two and even the huge cheers from the Dutch supporters just weren’t enough to enable Veldhuis to match the final sprint from Cozmiuc. It was gold for Romania.
Result: ROU, NED, NZL, RSA, GRE, ITA
Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls (LM4x) – Final
These boats had all raced each other already in the preliminary race earlier in the week so had an idea of each others form. The Italian crew, with the U23 World Champion, Niels Torre on board, flew off the start at 49 strokes per minute. China, who clocked 54 strokes per minute off the start and was still at 50 by 100m into the race, couldn’t quite match the boat speed of Italy once they had settled into their race pace. Whilst Italy continued to lead, the battle for silver between China and Germany was incredible. China had beaten Germany by two seconds in the preliminary race and Germany were out for revenge! It came all the way down to the line with China only managing to hold off Germany by 0.2 seconds on this occasion. Positions four and five were also unchanged from the preliminary race.
Result: ITA, CHN, GER, ESP, USA
Lightweight Women’s Quadruple Sculls (LW4x) – Final
With just two boats entered, it really was all to play for as only one medal would be awarded. The positions were unchanged from the preliminary race – the Italian crew, which had three defending World Champions on board, got out in front and led the USA to the line. Both crews improved on their time from the preliminary race.
Result: ITA, USA
More finals will be raced tomorrow. Racing starts at 10:00 with the first medal race scheduled for 13:05.