Friday, January 9, 2015

Rowing Winter Training Video, with Lithuania's Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite

Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite, by Augustas Didzgalvis (via Wikimedia Commons)
2013 world champions Donata Vistartaite and Milda Valciukaite of Lithuania are no strangers to success, and while the combination suffered a slight setback last year (finishing fourth in Amsterdam), it's clear that they're determined to get back on the podium in 2015 in one of our sport's most competitive events. The below video is the second Red Bull feature on Vistartaite (who, like American Andrew Campbell, and Austrian lightweight Paul and Bernhard Sieber, is one of their sponsored athletes), with the first coming roughly a year ago (watch it here). Vistartaite was also FISA's Athlete of the Month for May 2014.



The race that appears as a series of clips in the above is the final from the 2013 World Rowing Championships, which was one of the most exciting races of the regatta—the Lithuanians led early, but found themselves struggling to keep pace with the Kiwi duo of Fiona Bourke and Zoe Stevenson in the middle 1000m. However, in what was an epic battle to the last stroke, Vistartaite and Valciukaite edged the Kiwis by 0.04 seconds on the line to take the gold medal and the world title (inexplicably, this video doesn't appear to be in the archives on the World Rowing website). In 2014, the Lithuanians had a strong season, but it was the Kiwis who ultimately got their revenge, claiming the top of the podium in Amsterdam ahead of Poland's Magdalena Fularczyk and Natalia Madaj, and Sally Kehoe and Olympia Aldersey of Australia (the latter crew having set a new World Best Time in the event earlier in the regatta).

What will the grand final look like in Aiguebelette is anybody's guess.

-RR

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