The world championships reserved for the elite, lightweight and para rowing categories began this morning in the waters of the Arena Labe in Racis (Czech Republic).
Initially six Swiss crews, two of which cleared the first hurdle giving them direct access to the quarterfinals. Both in the light weight category (maximum 72.5 kg). SC Zug, Andrey Struzina singles, FRC Morges’ Raphael Ahumada, SC Stanstedt’s Jan Schauble doubles. Singles Jennine Gmelin (3rd open classified), Elin Rohl (second in “light”), Jonah Plock, Marin Lange (fourth) and two without open singles player Scott Barlocher (fourth) repechage.
All as expected, or almost. Andriy Struzyna, bronze medalist at the recent European Championships in Munich, made his first battery look ridiculous. With an advantage of 0.19 over the Polish Sawicki and 2”09 over the British Flockhart, the rider from Zug was able to increase his advantage for the rest of the race. With 7’00” 27, Struzina achieved the second best time in the program’s 5 heats, ahead of the Greek Antonios Papaconstantino, the European champion. Among other batteries we find Australian Harding, Italian Saurus and Uruguayan Certaro Berriolo.
Even in double “light” everything is as expected. Ahumada and Schäuble sailed the entire route, skiing to Germany, Spain and China, tasked with competing for the remaining three spots in order to earn the pass needed for quarter-final entry. With 6’16” 70, the Swiss team achieved the second best time of the five scheduled series, before Irish and European champions Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan achieved an extraordinary 6’15. The other three batteries had the upper hand, Norway, France and Italy. won
After a coronavirus-forced stoppage at the Europeans in Monaco, hopes were high for Jeannine Gmelin’s return to competition. The Zurich native proved that she hasn’t completely lost the luster of her best days. But today, Germany’s Alexandra Foster, bronze medalist at the Munich Continental Championships, and France’s Emma Lunati, who led the race up to 1000m, would have been nothing. Transalpine, we remember, was sixth in the third regatta of the Lucerne World Cup and a member of the 4 sculls in Oberschlesheim, Munich. Dutch Florigin, Australian Rini and New Zealander Twigg won the other heats.
Tomorrow it will be a chance to redeem “light” female doubles, elite doubles, 4 without male, 4 male and female couples, as well as male single, 2 open and off open. Female “light” single.
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