On the final day of the 2022 World Rowing Championships, eight more World Champions were crowned. Once again, we spoke with several of the medalists to get their reactions after the races.
The first final of the day was the PR1 men’s single sculls and it was so close at the line for the three medalists. Giacomo Perini, who recently became European Champion in this boat class was content with silver on this occasion;
It was an exciting race, a battle until the end with GB and Ukraine. I had a great feeling on the water, I wanted the gold medal, but I am happy with silver. It has been a great season, now I want to focus on the next steps- towards Paris 2024.
Meanwhile, Great Britain’s Ben Pritchard was also pleased with bronze, his first medal at a World Championships;
It means so much, to get GB back there on that level in the PR1 men’s single, it is great. The goal was to get the gold, but this is the closest I have been to the others this season. We will get there.
In the women’s PR1 single sculls, it was a World Championship Best Time by six seconds for Birgit Skarstein of Norway, defending her World Championship title, but she was kept honest by Nathalie Benoit and Anna Sheremet. Skarstein said;
The ladies were very close to me and started really fast. So I was really nervous about being able to hang on there and not get stressed.
Whilst Benoit was happy with her surprise silver;
Huge joy for me, that was a bit unexpected. I thought I was third, I only knew I was second when I got back at the pontoon. It has been a difficult year, with injuries, covid, but I am so, so delighted with this medal.
In the women’s double sculls, the gold and silver medalists, Romania and the Netherlands were both to be seen again later on in the eights final. It was bronze for Ireland and Zoe Hyde spoke of racing with former World Champion in the single scull, Sanita Puspure;
Very tight race, very good, all the way to the line. I thought we came fourth, it was just an amazing season. Sanita is a legend in the rowing community, I have been so glad to being able to race with her.
The much anticipated men’s eight final provided a real showdown, as it often does. It was gold for Great Britain, and crew member Sholto Carnegie was very happy with his crew’s performance
It feels incredible. We kept building our speed throughout the season. We knew the other crews would come out very hard. Credit to the Netherlands, they pushed us to the limit. But we managed to stay ahead.
The Netherlands took silver and Abe Wiersma indicated how close the race was;
I did not have a clue where we were in the field. Then at 1500m I saw we were in the second position, maybe, maybe aiming for gold. It was tough and fun race.”
Bronze went to Australia, and Jackson Kench also commented on the tight margins the boat class provides;
Crazy race, the Men’s Eight is always a spectacle. We had to double check where we finished. Such a high quality field, anyone could have finished in the medal. It’s pure happiness, we worked pretty hard, we’re a pretty young crew, bronze is great!
Karolien Florijn has been unbeatable in the women’s single sculls this season and today was no exception,
I still haven’t realised I have won. It means so much to me. I respect Emma [Twigg] so much and the other single scullers. It is surreal, I am so happy.
Meanwhile, Olympic Champion in this boat class, Emma Twigg credited Florijn with her performance;
I have to be happy with that. Credit to Karolien, she led from start to finish and had a great race. I am still very happy with this one.
Bronze medal winner Tara Rigney of Australia was also happy with her performance in a competitive boat class.
Tough race, I have to give it to the Chinese sculler, she pushed me to the limit. This race was exactly the nature of the World Championships, with hard, intense racing. This season has been a bit of a surprise, I didn’t know what to expect so obviously it’s a huge achievement.
With 40 competitors narrowed down to the six finalists, we knew the men’s single sculls was going to provide an epic showdown, and the competitors did not disappoint. Germany’s Oliver Zeidler took gold and was very pleased to have made a comeback after the disappointment at the European Championships;
I wanted to do better than Munich of course, I felt really sorry to all the amazing people there, that I couldn’t deliver. I worked very hard the last few weeks, I went to see a lot of doctors, it was unusual for me to die in the last few meters. My father played a big role, always told me I could do it. It gave me the confidence that I could do it.
Dutch sculler Melvin Twelllaar, who won gold at the European Championships would have liked to beat Zeidler again, but was happy to take silver on this occasion;
It was really tough, I tried several times to compete with Zeidler, his start was really good. Of course he is world champion. I was going for my best and maximum race and I am happy with that. But of course I was hoping for a bit more.
Great Britain’s Graeme Thomas was not only very happy with his bronze medal, but also with the overall performance of the British team;
The magnitude of that race… it is the hardest race I have been involved in. Oli and Melvin are a class above me right now, and I never had the belief I could compete. To come in the single for the first time and get that medal… also, what a great job Great Britain has done here. I am absolutely over the moon.”
The last race of the Championships was the women’s eight and it saw a win for Romania. This was particularly impressive as Simona Radis was a last-minute medical substitution and had raced (and won gold) in the women’s double scull just an hour earlier. Speaking after the race, Radis said;
I am tired but happy with this great result. The first gold was the one I most wanted, but the second one means much more because in less than one hour, I got two golds and that is pretty incredible in itself. I am looking forward to the future, and who knows which boat I might take the gold in.