2022 World Rowing Championships, Preview

Women's Single Sculls

2 minute read
Words Tom Ransley
Photography Steve McArthur and Benedict Tufnell
Published 13.09.22

A tantalising prospect that should have Dutch, American, German, Kiwi, Swiss, and Aussie interest piqued. The women’s single sculls promises to be an interesting clash of old and new. New Zealand’s Emma Twigg is the reigning Olympic champion but, so far, Covid has scuppered her 2022 season. The four-time Olympian withdrew from Henley Royal Regatta and was unable to recover in time for Lucerne. Never write-off a big time player, Twigg is one of the few Kiwi hopes for a world title.

Photo Emma Twigg (centre) on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic W1x Podium
Credit Steve McArthur

Another hot favourite for the world title is the current European champion. For the last 22 races Karolien Florijn has only been beaten twice (both times by the Australian W4-). This season the Dutch W4- Olympic silver medallist has flawlessly carved out a new and golden pathway in the loneliest of boats. Should she stumble at the final hurdle there are a host of scullers waiting to pounce.

Photo NED W1x Karolien Florijn
Credit Benedict Tufnell

Green and gold sculler Tara Rigney is two from two this season in terms of podium finishes. The Tokyo 2020 W2x B-Finalist seems to have found good speed in the single. Claiming the silver medal at Lucerne ahead of Rigney was Jeanine Gmelin. The former world champion Swiss Olympian has promised a back ended season after a late return to full-time training post-Tokyo. A strong showing at Racice might make up for heart break at Munich, Gmelin was forced to miss the A-Final and isolate in her hotel room after testing positive for Covid.

Photo SUI W1x Jeanine Gmelin
Credit Benedict Tufnell

German hopes rest with Lucerne Regatta winner Alexandra Foester. The 20-year-old also secured the U23 title in Varese, Italy, and claimed a European bronze medal in front of a jubilant home crowd in Munich, Germany. Her sizzling sprint finishes are her (not so) secret weapon.

Photo GER W1x Alexander Foester
Credit Benedict Tufnell

After taking bronze in the W2x at Poznan, USRowing’s two-time Olympian Kara Kohler, became the third American to win the Princess Royal Challenge Cup at Henley Royal Regatta. She has elected to remain in the single and will be gunning for her first W1x world title.

Photo USA W1x Kara Kohler
Credit Benedict Tufnell

A big name missing from this event is Olympic bronze medallist Magdalena Lobnig who joins her sister, Katharina, in the W2x (Austria’s Tabea Minichmayr moves out of the double into the single). Canada’s Shannon Kennedy will make her senior world championship debut at Racice, the Pan American Games finalist has switched out of the W2x. Spain’s Virginia Diaz Rivas, China’s Shiyu Lu, and Great Britain’s Hannah Scott could all be a dark horses in this event.

Photo GBR W1x Hannah Scott
Credit Benedict Tufnell

Lenka Antosova will be racing in front of home crowds. Locals will be willing her on to the A-Final but it might be a tough ask in this tough event. The Czech sculler has raced everything this season but has seen a steady slip down the rankings.

Photo CZE W1x Lenka Antosova
Credit Benedict Tufnell

Men’s Single Sculls Preview