The 2018 World Rowing season continued with World Rowing Cup II in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria. The venue for the 2019 World Rowing Championships and first qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the event was an important test for teams and the event organisers.
The regatta saw medals spread among 21 countries with Italy topping the medals table after taking four golds, two silvers and three bronze medals. The golds came by way of a double header in the lightweight men’s and women’s double sculls: Stefano Oppo and Pietro Ruta held off Olympic medallists from Norway, Ari Strandli and Kristoffer Brun to win for the men, while Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini stayed ahead of the Netherlands and the World Champion Romanians to take gold for the women. The Italian sculling success continued with gold won in the men’s quadruple sculls and the lightweight men’s quadruple sculls.
Coming second on the medals table was the Netherlands who took away three golds, four silvers and a bronze from the three days of racing. The Dutch women’s eight sprinted away from the rest of the field to win the gold with New Zealand taking silver and Australia in bronze medal position. This race also saw the World Champions Romania miss out on a podium finish. The Netherlands’ other gold successes came in the para-rowing boat classes where they won the PR2 mixed double sculls and the new event, the PR2 men’s single sculls. Having won the PR2 men’s single, Corne de Koning then joined with partner Annika van der Meer to win the PR2 mixed double.
Germany took out the third spot on the medals table with three golds, three silvers and five bronze medals. This gave Germany the most medals overall with a total of 11 and also the top spot on the World Cup points table, thanks in no small part to their gold medals in the women’s quadruple sculls and men’s eight. The men’s eight came back from having to progress through the repechage and then get beaten by Great Britain in the repechage before putting it all together to win the final.
Germany finished with 50 World Cup points followed by Great Britain and New Zealand who both earned 43 points. Great Britain picked up gold with their men’s double sculls of Angus Groom and Jack Beaumont while New Zealand, in their first showing of the 2018 World Rowing season, won three golds including the women’s pair and double sculls and the men’s single sculls. Single sculler Robbie Manson had to get through two German scullers to win the gold. Tim Ole Naske and Oliver Zeidler took silver and bronze respectively in a close fought race.
The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and consists of a series of three events. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after the third event. This year, the three stages of the series are Belgrade, SRB (1-3 June), Linz-Ottensheim, AUT (22-24 June) and Lucerne, SUI (13-15 July).
Results, race reports, photos an