If the most recent encounter between the European men’s single scullers is anything to go by the racing in Racice will be epic. Sure to be chasing the 2022 world title is the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion Stefanos Ntouskos. The former lightweight is coached by Gianni Postiglione. Ntouskos struggled with injuries early in the season but sculled well in Munich and returned with a hard fought European silver medal.
After a disappointing Olympics, Oliver Zeidler drew first blood this season by winning World Cup I. He backed it up at Henley Royal Regatta by winning the Diamonds and claiming his second Pineapple Cup. The big German hope arrives at Racice coming off a crushing European Rowing Championships at home in Munich, where he missed the podium in an A-Final equal parts angst, agony, and ecstasy. Is it too soon to bounce back and lay his demons to rest?
Current European champion Melvin Twellaar has enjoyed a hugely successful season. It would be bold to bet against the Dutchman delivering yet more silverware in Racice. During his first season in the M1x, the Tokyo 2020 M2x Olympic silver medallist medalled at every race he entered and topped off world cup silver and gold with a European crown.
Tokyo 2020 Olympian Graeme Thomas delivered a historic victory for Great Britain at Lucerne and will be hoping for another pop at the medals in Racice. A slow burn season so far for Norway’s Kjetil Borch who is still finding fitness after a prolonged post-Tokyo break and subsequent knee rehabilitation. Denmark’s up-and-coming Bastian Secher could be a dark horse in this event.
This season has been something of a breakthrough year for Bulgaria’s seasoned sculler, Kristian Vasilev. He secured a silver medal in Lucerne and a cheeky bronze in Munich. Can the thirty-year-old continue his newfound form?
Looking beyond the European contenders Australia’s Tokyo 2020 M4x bronze medallist Jack Cleary jumps into the single having secured bronze at World Rowing Cup II in the M2x. Tokyo 2020 USA M8+ bowman Ben Davison who won a bronze medal in Poznan, Poland, continues his run in the M1x. New Zealand opt for Jordan Parry whose best results have tended to be in crew boats. Canada’s Trevor Jones, who is coached by Jeremy Ivey, has been on a quest to find “easy speed and free speed” since finishing fourth at Lucerne. He will hope to continue his ascent up the sculling ranks. A noteworthy entry is Lebanon’s Rodrigue Ibrahim, who had a lucky escape after the Beirut Blast. The Arab Indoor Rowing Championship silver medallist makes his debut at Racice.