Source: FSA Igor Meijer

Junior champions crowned and YOG qualification begins in Lithuania

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Five days of racing concluded with 13 new junior champion crews being crowned at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships in Trakai, Lithuania. This regatta also doubled as the main qualification regatta for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, YOG.

The United States revealed a new single sculling sensation with Clark Dean winning the men’s single sculls. The 17-year-old Dean also raced for his country in the men’s coxed four, but it was the single where he left his mark. Dean dominated the final with Moritz Wolff of Germany finishing second and South Africa’s Mmbudzeni Masutha in third.

The men’s single had the most number of countries entered at the regatta and the women’s single was the next biggest boat class. Spain’s Esther Briz Zamorani took gold in the women’s single finishing ahead of silver medallist, Megan Hancock of South Africa and France’s Margaux Bailleul who won bronze.

Croatian twins, Patrik and Anton Loncaric looked to emulate their senior counterparts, the Sinkovic brothers, by winning the men’s pair. They took gold over Romania and Turkey. Croatia also won gold in the women’s four – the new Olympic boat class. Croatia’s women’s four dominated their races throughout the week and in the final they stayed ahead of silver medallists, Romania and bronze medallists the United States.

Germany won gold in the men’s eight to defend their 2016 junior champion title. The Germans had to overtake Russia and then get ahead of the United States before they took the lead near the end of the race. The United States won silver with Great Britain in the bronze medal spot. The women’s eight was successfully defended by 2016 junior champions, the Czech Republic. Behind the Czech Republic, Germany took silver and Romania was the bronze medallists.

Medals went to 17 nations with the medals table being topped by Romania which won six medals including two golds, two silvers and two bronzes. The Romanian golds were in the women’s pair and women’s quadruple sculls. Great Britain took second with two golds and one each of silver and bronze. Croatia also had two gold medals to put them third on the medals table.

Finishing positions at this regatta earned spots for 21 countries at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games. These spots will still go through an approval process as this is the first step towards qualification for the YOG that will take place in Buenos Aires in October 2018.

The 2017 World Rowing season now moves on to the World Rowing Masters Regatta from 6-10 September in Bled, Slovenia and then the World Rowing Championships. The World Championships will take place in Sarasota-Bradenton, United States starting 24 September 2017.

Report courtesy of World Rowing