Day two in Poznan at World Rowing Cup III

Poznan, Poland

4 minute read
Words Row360
Photography Benedict Tufnell
Published 15.06.24

The 2024 World Rowing Cup series will conclude this weekend at World Rowing Cup III in Poznan, Poland. The second day of racing at the 2024 World Rowing Cup III saw the first medals won and the line-ups finalised for Sunday’s Olympic and Paralympic A-Finals. Germany are the early leaders on the medal table having secured a three medals, one of each colour.

Jasmina Bier (GER) was the first athlete to secure a gold medal. She won the PR2 W1x beating Mexico’s Angeles Gutierrez in a similar fashion to Friday’s race. Her PR2 Mix 2x teammate Paul Umbach won a bronze medal in the next race, the PR2 M1x. Dutchman Corne de Koning won gold ahead of Ireland’s Tiarnan O’Donnell, who beat his compatriot Steven McGowan. Completing the trio of colours for Germany Jonathan Rommelmann took silver in the lightweight men’s single sculls.

Perhaps Rommelmann will wonder what might have been had Switzerland’s Raphael Ahumada Ireland been injury-free this weekend. A last minute ditch and switch saw Jan Schaeuble (SUI) race – and emphatically win – the lightweight men’s single sculls after his teammate recovers from an injury. Austria’s Lukas Reim finished third.

The other medal race was between the lightweight women’s single sculls. Mary Jones (USA2), who won a silver medal in the LW2x at the 2023 World championships thus securing the US double a place at Paris, missed the podium in Poznan. Mexico split the two US scullers, the bronze medallist Kenia Lechuga (MEX) narrowed the gap to Audrianna Boersen (USA1) compared to their Lucerne final three weeks ago. Gold went to the French sculler Aurelie Morizot.

The morning started with repechages and semifinals. The women’s fours were fighting for four spots to qualify for the A-Final. China and Poland were the ones unable to progress. Great Britain’s women’s four, part of the Project LA squad, finished third, one second ahead of the French.

Three-seater Martha Birtles (GBR) said: “As a development crew, there’s not an enormous amount of pressure on us. For some of us, it’s our first senior international debut so we’re just trying to have fun with it and getting into the A Final is really good for us and really exciting. We’re even more motivated to race tomorrow now, it feels super surreal.”

Fellow Brit George Bourne finished third in the men’s single sculls semifinal. “I’m definitely pleased, and definitely lucky,” said Bourne. “Sometimes the wind goes in your favour and sometimes it doesn’t. Today I did what I said I wanted to do and it’s great to be through to the final. It’s nice to have a little bit of luck but I’ve still got a lot of work to do, to try and be a bit more competitive with the guys who beat me today.”

Tough, tight racing was on show in the men’s and women’s double sculls. New Zealand’s Jordan Parry and Robbie Manson narrowly bested France (0.2s) and behind them Germany denied Croatia’s Loncaric brothers a place in the A-Final. The other semifinal was won by France ahead of Poland and Great Britain 1, who beat their teammates to the last qualification spot.

A fierce sprint finish came from Freya Keto and Kenny Bates (GBR1) who overhauled the New Zealanders in the first women’s double sculls repechage, they finished 0.12s in front. Switzerland missed qualification to the A-Final by 0.33s.

Bring on Sunday’s finale! It’s all to play for, not least the overall winner of the 2024 World Rowing Cup. Great Britain are hunting down the leaders, the Netherlands, who started the regatta with a ten point lead. Game on.