Erfolgreichster Ruderverein Österreichs

Der Erste Wiener Ruderclub LIA wurde 1863 gegründet und ist damit der älteste Körpersport treibende Verein Österreichs. ...



Mittwoch, 21. Juli 2021


Vorschau auf die Olympische Regatta



It has taken five years, but moment has arrived. The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games rowing regatta starts on 23 July 2021 at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo, Japan. Throw out all of your predictions, this has been one of the toughest rowing regattas to foresee. Some of these rowers have not raced internationally since August 2019. Some of these rowers are competing at their first Olympic Games and some of these rowers are the first to for their country to have a rower at the Olympic Games.

We’re going out on a limb here and making some bold predictions. Here are the rowers to watch at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Lightweight men’s double sculls (LM2x)
There is one stand-out crew: the Irish. Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy have come as close as it gets to being undefeated in a lightweight category. They stamped their mark by winning the 2019 World Rowing Championships and have gone on to win every race they’ve competed in since then. But this is the Olympic Games and nothing is done and dusted.

Watch out for the other top crews: Germany, Italy and Norway. These three combinations have traded places on the podium over the last few years. Germany and Italy secured second and third at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, with

Norway’s Ari Strandli and Kristoffer Brun just missing out. The Norwegians, however, have been strong so far in 2021 and are the most stable crew of the bunch having medalled at the Rio Olympics.

Lightweight women’s double sculls (LW2x)
A few weeks ago Marieke Keijser and defending Olympic Champion Ilse Paulis of the Netherlands reset the World Best Time, shaving four seconds off the old record. That race secured their position as the crew to beat come Tokyo. This became more secure after the 2019 World Rowing Champions from New Zealand, withdraw their crew several months ago. That means next in line may be the World bronze medallists from 2019, Great Britain.

The British duo of Emily Craig and Imogen Grant picked up gold at the second World Rowing Cup of 2021 and finished second at this year’s European Rowing Championships behind Italy. The Italians came storming into the 2021 season, winning the European title, after finishing 7th at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. Keep an eye too on Romania, France and Canada. Sitting in the Canadian boat is Jennifer Casson who owns the World Record on the indoor rower.

Men’s single sculls (M1x)
There are 32 men competing in the single, but just three spots on the podium and just one Olympic gold. The podium has been hotly contested in this category between three top scullers: Oliver Zeidler of Germany, Sverri Nielsen of Denmark and Kjetil Borch of Norway. Looking back to 2019, Zeidler was unstoppable, becoming both World and European Champion. He went on to win the majority of races so far this season, until the final World Rowing Cup in June.

Nielsen managed to get the better of Zeidler in Sabaudia, Italy. Has Nielsen peaked too early? Nielsen, however, might have the upper-hand in windy conditions having greater experience over the Zeidler who turns 25 during the Olympics. Keep an eye too on some of the unexpected candidates. Damir Martin of Croatia is making a massive comeback and has the experience of a Rio Olympic silver medal. Watch out for the young gun from Canada Trevor Jones and the seasoned Mindaugus Griskonis of Lithuania.

Men’s pair (M2-)
All eyes will be on the Sinkovic brothers, Martin and Valent. They are the reigning World and European Champions, and the Olympic Champions in the men’s double sculls from 2016. Who has the best shot at beating them? There are several options.

Australia – Sam Hardy and Joshua Hicks – is back with their bronze medal winning crew from the 2019 World Rowing Championships. They will certainly be itching to race again having not been able to since the World Champs. Italy has put back together their bronze-medal winning crew from Rio 2016 in the hope of securing another medal in this boat class. Keep an eye too on Serbia. They have been on the podium a few times this season. And don’t rule out the New Zealanders and Canada who regularly do well in this boat class.

Women’s pair (W2-)
This is going to be a nail-biter of a race with an absolutely fantastic field. We have to look back to the 2019 World Rowing Championships as the top crews in this boat class are mainly non-European and have not competed internationally in the last two years. The New Zealand duo of Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler must be favourites. They are defending World Champions and hold the World Best Time.

New Zealand will have to contend with Australia, Canada and the return of Great Britain. Australia’s duo of Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison are 2019 silver medallists and Canada (Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens) won bronze at that event.

The big surprise, however, could be Great Britain. Their boat sees the return of 2016 Olympic Champion Helen Glover paired together with Polly Swann. The pair won the 2021 European Rowing Championships, showing they are certainly contenders in Tokyo.

Men’s double sculls (M2x)
The favourites are probably Zhiyu Liu and Liang Zhang from China. They are defending World Champions from 2019 and showed their speed is still intact by winning at the second World Rowing Cup in Lucerne just over one month ago. Zhang is one of the most experienced rowers on the Chinese team having raced at the 2012 Olympics.

The rest of the field is incredible difficult to call.

The Irish (Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne) are 2019 silver medallists and they managed to pick up another silver medal behind China at the second World Rowing Cup in 2021. This is despite limited training time due to Doyle’s recent work as a doctor. Then there’s the French crew of Matthieu Androdias and Hugo Boucheron who are the 2018 World Champions and 2021 European Champions. The Dutch are 2020 European Champions and Poland has a stack of medals to their name. There’s no doubt about it, making it into the A-final will be a feat in itself.

Women’s double sculls (W2x)
This is one of the boat classes that has seen a big shift during the ‘extra’ coronavirus year. The young Romanian combination of Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis have had time to solidify their dominance. They are the silver medallists from the 2019 World Rowing Championships and have won every race in which they have competed since then.

New Zealand is the defending World Champion, but they have made a switch in their line-up. Hannah Osborne comes out of the women’s quadruple sculls to join Brook Donoghue. It will be interesting to see what this new combination can do. Keep an eye too on the Netherlands. Lisa Scheenaard and Roos de Jong have a stack of medals to their names, including bronze from the 2019 World Championships. And don’t forget about Italy and Lithuania. Italy created a new line-up from their women’s four and Lithuania has brought back their bronze medal winning line-up from Rio, bringing Donata Karaliene out of retirement.

Men’s four (M4-)
The men’s four has not seen a clear frontrunner during this Olympic cycle. The Australians started off with a bang, finding their way to the top of the podium in 2017 and 2018. But in 2019, they made several changes to their line-up and landed back in sixth. With the line-up of Hargreaves, Hill, Purnell and Turrin the Australians have gone back to experience for the Olympics. Poland claimed the 2019 World Champion title, followed by Romania and Great Britain with Italy in fourth. Great Britain shined again in 2021, winning the European Rowing Championships and the second World Rowing Cup.

But watch out for the new line-up from Italy. They have reshaped their men’s four and men’s pair, hoping that the current combinations will result in Olympic medals with Castaldo, Lodo, Rosetti and Vicino back in the four. Don’t rule out top performances from Romania and Poland. They both have less consistent results, but are absolutely in contention for the podium.

Women’s four (W4-)
Back as an Olympic boat class for the first time in 30 years, the women’s four has a big buzz around it. The defending World Champions from 2019 is Australia. They haven’t competed internationally since 2019, and they’ve shifted their line-up. Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre, who raced both the women’s pair and the women’s eight in 2019, will be racing the women’s pair and the women’s four along with Rosemary Popa and Lucy Stephan. Their speed remains a mystery.

Australia will need to watch out for World silver medallists and 2020 and 2021 European Champions, the Netherlands. In the absence of Australia, the Dutch have absolutely dominated international racing, winning everything for the last two years, even when racing with a spare on board. Watch out too for the United States, Denmark and Poland. The US are known for their women’s sweep rowing strength with Denmark and Poland both medalling at the World Rowing Cup III in June. Keep an eye on the late qualifiers from Ireland – they are a young crew but have shown great grit and determination.

Men’s quadruple sculls (M4x)
The favourites have got to be the Netherlands. They are defending World Champions, although they did find themselves bested by Italy at the 2021 European Rowing Championships a few months ago. Italy is certainly a top crew in the field and will be aiming for gold. They have the very experienced Simone Venier in the boat. Tokyo will be Venier’s fifth Olympic Games.

The best of the rest might be Poland and Germany. Poland finished second at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, but like many of the Polish crews, seems to have peaked in 2019 and not been able to find the speed again since. Germany, on the other hand, has worked their way up in the ranks over the last year. But the favourite boat in everyone’s heart will be Norway. Sitting in stroke seat is 45-year-old Olaf Tufte who will be competing at his seventh Olympic Games. And also note Tonu Endrekson, 42, in Estonia’s boat who’s been to nearly as many Olympics as Tufte.

Women’s quadruple sculls (W4x)
All eyes will be on China’s Yunxia Chen, Xiaotong Cui, Yang Lyu and Ling Zhang. They are 2019 World Champions and the world watched as they strode to the finish line at the second World Rowing Cup of 2021 with an impressive lead. This could mean the rest of the field will be left fighting for silver and bronze. There are four crews that will be vying for these two places: Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy.

Looking at the 2019 results, the second spot could go to Poland, but they’ve had an up-and-down season in 2021. The Netherlands claimed third back in 2019, won gold at the 2020 and 2021 European Rowing Championships, but were unable to find the podium during the 2021 World Cup series. Germany didn’t make the podium in 2019, but won two of the three World Cup events this year.

Men’s eight (M8+)
The eight seemed almost locked-up at the start of 2021 – the Germans were the strongest crew. That was until they came fourth at the 2021 European Rowing Championships, their first major defeat since 2016. Great Britain managed to reclaim the European title and looked to be set to repeat their 2016 Olympic gold. But there are more crews coming through.

There’s the Netherlands; silver medallists from 2019 as well as Australia, who are making their first international, appearance since they finished fourth in 2019. Watch out too for the new line-up from New Zealand. They qualified just a few weeks ago at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta where they looked sharp.

Women’s eight (W8+)
It’s been a roller coaster ride over the last Olympic cycle for the eight. After the United States dominated for several cycles, they fell from the top spot at the 2017 World Rowing Championships and have struggled to regain it. New Zealand claimed that place at the 2019 World Rowing Championships but we haven’t seen them race since.

This goes for 2019 world silver medallists from Australia as well. They’ve made pretty significant line-up changes, but are likely to be strong, despite no international racing. Other top contenders are Canada and Romania. Both crews have seen medal success, but had slightly inconsistent results.


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