PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY WORLD ROWING
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The stunning surroundings of Lake Bled provided the backdrop for a second epic day of finals with twelve more European Rowing Champions crowned and several European Championship Best Times smashed.
Seventeen nations in total collected medals across the two days of finals, with Great Britain topping the table with an impressive haul of five gold, three silver and two bronze. Romania matched GB’s gold tally, and also took a silver. Meanwhile, the Netherlands claimed the most medals, eleven in total; two gold, five silver and four bronze.
The British national anthem was heard twice in succession during Sunday’s finals. Their PR3 mixed coxed four defended their title as European Champions, with cox Erin Kennedy being back in the boat for the first time since last year’s European Championships. She has undergone successful surgery for breast cancer since racing in Munich. Moments later, the GB men’s four also defended their European Championship title, despatching the Netherlands in the process. A second gold in the para boat classes was won by Great Britain with the new line-up of Lauren Rowles and Gregg Stevenson sculling to a new European Championship Best Time in the PR2 mixed double sculls.
Romania secured a staggering four golds on the second day of finals, including the women’s pair and women’s eight which completed the hat-trick across the women’s sweep boat classes for them. Their win in the women’s eight was all-the-more impressive for stroke seat Simona Radis, who had won gold in the women’s double sculls just an hour earlier.
Romania had also picked up gold in the lightweight women’s single sculls when the reigning World Champion Ionela Cozmiuc set a new European Championships Best Time. In the previous race, French sculler Hugo Beurey had also set a new best time during his win in the lightweight men’s single sculls.
In the men’s double sculls, there was a moment when it looked like Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic might not defend their title as European Champions as the Italians Luca Rambaldi and Matteo Sartori took the lead in the final quarter of the race, but the Sinkovic’s unleashed a huge final sprint to match their gold from the World Rowing Cup in Zagreb a few weeks ago.
The Netherlands picked up gold in both the women’s and men’s single sculls. In the women’s event, the World Champion Karolien Florijn defended her title as European Champion finishing over five seconds ahead of nineteen year-old Swiss sculler, Aurelia-Maxima Janzen. In the very next race, an impressive scull from Lennart van Lierop saw him work his way through the field, despatching Olympic Champion Stefanos Ntouskos and World Champion Oliver Zeidler in the process.