PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY WORLD ROWING
The 2023 World Rowing Cup I takes place on Lake Jarun in Zagreb, Croatia from 5 to 7 May 2023, with 30 countries participating – the biggest contingents coming from Spain, Switzerland, and the home nation, Croatia. Athletes from South Africa, Iraq, India, Thailand, and Argentina will be trying to get the first medals of the international rowing season.
The Men’s Single Sculls has attracted the largest number of entries and includes the reigning World Champion, Oliver Zeidler of Germany. Fresh off his title at the 2023 World Rowing Indoor Championships, Zeidler wants to start his season on a high note, but will face tough competition in Croatia. Damir Martin knows Lake Jarun pretty well and will look for a strong performance at home. And there’s also the return of Denmark’s Sverri Nielsen, the 2019 World Rowing Championships’ silver medallist. Sverri was fourth in Tokyo and took a year off international racing in 2022, and it will be interesting to know where he is at this stage of the season.
This event will also feature the hometown heroes, and local legends, Martin and Valent Sinkovic. The two-time Olympic gold medallists have amassed 49 medals at Olympic, World and European events so far in their illustrious career, and will try to get number 50 on home waters in the Men’s Double Sculls. Who can stop them? Possibly the Spanish combination of Rodrigo Conde Romero and Aleix Garcia Pujolar, who beat the Croatians at the last World Rowing Championships to grab a fantastic silver medal. Can they repeat their performance again?
The Women’s Single Sculls looks to be up for grabs. Diana Dymchenko of Azerbaijan has won a World Cup before and is the most experienced sculler of the field. Virginia Diaz Rivas of Spain was in the A-Final at the last World Championships. Aurelia-Maxima Janzen of Switzerland is the reigning World Rowing Under 19 Champion, and her teammate Pascale Walker has been the anchor of the Women’s Quadruple Sculls that medalled at World Cup II last year. A wide-open field which will be very interesting to follow.
Among Spain’s large delegation, they are boating three Women’s Pairs, two Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls, two Men’s Single Sculls and a Women’s Four. Apart from the Men’s Double Sculls, watch out also for the Men’s Pair combination of Javier Garcia Ordonez and Jaime Canalejo Pazos, who finished with a silver medal at the last World Rowing Championships.
As the first World Rowing regatta of the season, Zagreb will be an opportunity for crews to check on the progress they have made in off-season training, and to find their swing in this all important racing year which will culminate with the World Rowing Championships and the first opportunity to qualify boats for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
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 Zagreb, Croatia (5-7 May), Varese, Italy (16-18 June), Lucerne, Switzerland (7-9 July).
Racing begins on Friday 5 May with Heats and Repechage rounds, and will continue through to semi-finals, with finals on Sunday 7 May. Sunday racing will be live streamed on www.worldrowing.com.
For the full list of entries, visit the 2023 World Rowing Cup I event page.
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