Two days of racing in Duisburg, Germany concluded with plenty of gold for Italy, Romania and host nation Germany at the 2020 European Rowing Under 23 Championships.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was held with a host of prevention measures including testing for teams arriving from ‘high-risk’ countries, hand sanitisation at all entrances and the required wearing of masks at all times. On the water, however, the racing was as expected; intense and to a very high calibre.
Italy won the most medals overall, finishing with five gold, six silver and three bronze. The Italian success occurred mainly in the lightweight categories where they won in the lightweight men’s single sculls, lightweight men’s pair, lightweight women’s double sculls and lightweight women’s quadruple sculls. The fifth Italian gold went to the young Nicolo Carucci who stepped up from the junior to the under-23 level this year and proved his speed in the men’s single sculls.
Romania also recorded five gold medals, but were short of the total Italian tally by four. The Romanians dominated the small boat sweep events by winning both the men’s and women’s fours and pairs. In one of the most stunning races of the day, the Romanian women’s double sculls of Nicoleta-Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis glided across the finish line with several boat lengths open water to the rest of the field.
Host nation Germany entered all 22 boat classes and capped off the medal success by winning gold in both the men’s and women’s eights. That broke the Romanian women’s eight grasp on this boat class and was one of the first German medals in the women’s eight in a number of years.
Greece and Ireland both landed on the medals table with two gold medals each. The Greeks remained powerful in the small boats, including a win in the women’s single sculls by Anneta Kyridou.
“This was the only race of the year so I wanted to win. It’s interesting conditions with the virus, but I think we have to get used to it as it will be a long time like this. On the water nothing has changed. Off the water, we have to be careful with the others. We are preparing for a new season, so we have to be healthy,” Kyridou says.
Overall 15 out of the 30 participating nations took home medals. This was a record level of participation for the event which is in its fourth year.
The European Rowing Under 23 Championships is open to all European nations and offers 22 boat classes spread evenly among men and women. The event was started to promote the development of under-23 athletes at the European level.