The Australian JM4x of Robert Black, Thomas Schramko, Alexander Purnell, and Robin Molen-Grigull, featured in this week's video, placed 11th overall in Trakai, Lithuania over the weekend. The 2013 World Junior Rowing Championships were a remarkable exhibition of developing talent, perhaps hinting at the way the rest of the quadrennium will take shape, with some of the most powerful rowing federations in the world showcasing their depth and consistency across all levels and disciplines in our sport. Germany were the big winners, taking gold in the men's quad, gold in the men's pair, gold in the men's double, and (very dramatically) gold in the men's eight.
The race for gold in the JM8+ was truly one for the ages—in one of the closest finishes of the year (indeed, one of the closest finishes possible), Germany edged second place Italy by 0.01 of a second. Here's what that looked like:
Een fantastisch einde van het Junioren WK. Het verschil tussen goud en zilver in de JM8+: 0.01s! #WRJChamps pic.twitter.com/rvmAHaeyR2
— NLroei (@nlroei) August 11, 2013
On the women's side, the top performer was Romania, who continued their run of success in the women's eight, and added a gold in the women's double as well. Rounding out the top three on the medals table were Italy—it appears that Italian Rowing legend and new president Giuseppe Abbaganle is already having a dramatic effect on performance from top to bottom, given the World Cup, U23, and juniors results so far in 2013.
Tied for fourth in the medals tally were Team USA and Australia. While there were a number of U.S. crews in the finals, including a standout performance from the men's four without coxswain and men's quad (first-ever appearances in the A Finals for the U.S. in those events at junior worlds), there were a number of, in the words of USRowing's website, "Missed Medal Opportunities" in Trakai over the weekend. Still, the U.S. came away with two medals—gold in the JW4-, and silver in the JW4x, when all was said and done in Lithuania.
Meanwhile, in sunny California, the men's quad were making their final preparations before heading to South Korea to represent the United States, along with the rest of the 2013 U.S. national team, announced on Friday. The CRC/USRowing men's quad of Andrew Gallagher, Hans Struzyna, Derek Johnson, and Ryan Shelton has been gearing up on the Estuary in Oakland, but will soon trade the East Bay for Chungju as the World Rowing Championships are now just under two weeks away:
Though this is certainly no small undertaking, there's always a bit of room for banter as well:
Breakfast of champions?
While Team GB had a bit of a down regatta in Lucerne, they have since done their traditional camp in Silvretta, and will no doubt be in top form for worlds. Since the Olympics, head coach Jurgen Grobler has focused on the men's eight, stacking it with his top athletes. It'll be an interesting race to watch in South Korea, with the U.S., Germany, France, Poland, and Great Britain all focusing on big boats this season.
Let the countdown begin!