PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY WORLD ROWING
In another day of warm conditions in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, the remaining thirteen medal Finals of the 2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships got underway with ten more nations being crowned as World Champions, and a new World Rowing Under 23 Championship Best Time being set.
A total of 22 nations picked up medals overall during the two days of Finals with Italy topping the medal table for the third consecutive year. Italy’s haul of five gold, three silver and a bronze put them ahead of Great Britain who won three gold and two silver, and Germany who won two gold, three silver and two bronze medals.
Turkiye was the first nation to claim gold on the second day of Finals when Elis Ozbay went one better than her silver medal last year in the lightweight women’s single sculls. The lightweight men’s single sculls was won by Giovanni Borgonovo of Italy, who demonstrated the familiar Italian sprint when he came through from fourth at halfway to win by 0.72 seconds over New Zealand’s Finlay Hamill.
Switzerland’s Aurelia-Maxima Janzen also upgraded her silver from the 2022 World Rowing Under 23 Championships when she dominated the women’s single sculls, with clear water back to Alison Bergin of Ireland. The men’s single sculls was won by Poland when Piotr Plominski led throughout. With Ireland’s Andrew Sheehan taking silver in that boat class, there was delight for the locals when Bulgaria’s Emil Neykov came through from sixth at halfway, to steal bronze on the line.
Poland picked up a second gold medal in the women’s four, which they led from the start. The men’s four saw an all-too-familiar battle between Great Britain and Australia. Great Britain came in as defending World Under 23 Champions and traded places with Australia in the first half of the race but eventually secured the lead to win by 2.72 seconds.
Great Britain also defended their title in the men’s eight, the last race of the Championships, as they worked their way through the field from 5th place at 500m to cross the line over two seconds clear of the USA.
The USA won gold in the women’s eight, with Germany and Canada completing the podium, Canada having crossed the line 0.06 seconds ahead of Great Britain.
Greece claimed gold in style in the lightweight women’s double sculls when Dimitra Eleni Kontou and Evangelia Anastasiadou set a new World Under 23 Championship Best time of 6:50.13. Meanwhile, the German National Anthem was heard in two consecutive victory ceremonies as they clenched gold in both the lightweight men’s double sculls and the men’s quadruple sculls.
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Next year’s World Rowing Under 23 Championships will be held in St Catharines, Ontario, Canada, 18-25 August 2024.