The 2023 European Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, have attracted entries from 33 European nations, with 560 rowers competing for the title of European Rowing Champion.
Germany has the highest number of boats entered with 18 of the 22 boat classes being raced. Next is Great Britain both with 17 boats entered. At last year’s European Rowing Championship regatta in Munich, Germany, Great Britain finished at the top of the medals table, ahead of Romania and Italy.
The largest number of entries is coming in the Men’s Single Sculls, with 23 entries. Strong competition is expected between reigning Olympic champion Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece and reigning World champion, Oliver Zeidler of Germany, who just won gold at the 2023 World Rowing Cup I. In the mix will also be Olympic silver medallist Kjetil Borch of Norway, Sverri Nielsen of Denmark, back in the international scene, and the always-performing Kristian Vasilev of Bulgaria and Damir Martin of Croatia.
The Women’s Single Sculls will likely be a showdown between reigning World Champion, Karolien Florijn of the Netherlands, and Romania’s Simona Radis, who is transitioning from the double to the single sculls. Watch out too for recent World Cup winner, Virginia Diaz Rivas of Spain, and rising star Aurelia-Maxima Janzen of Switzerland.
The Men’s Double Sculls will be a hotly contested event with 22 entries. Included in the line-up are the reigning Olympic champions of France, Matthieu Androdias and Hugo Boucheron, and the Sinkovic brothers of Croatia, fresh off their 50th international medal. But there is also the return of the Olympic silver medallists from the Netherlands, Stef Broenink and Melvin Twellaar, the reigning World Under 23 Champions of Belgium, Aaron Andries and Tristan Vandenbussche, as well as entries from Spain, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, and many more. An incredibly tough field.
The Women’s Double Sculls will see reigning Olympic and World champion, Ancuta Bodnar of Romania, competing for the first time with Andrada-Maria Morosanu, the reigning World Under 23 champion in that boat class. In this new lineup, Romania will try to beat the Dutch combination of Roos de Jong and Laila Youssifou, winners of the 2022 World Rowing Cup series, but also Ireland, who won bronze podium at the last World Championships, as well as Switzerland and Austria who were on the podium at the 2023 World Rowing Cup I in Zagreb.
One of the attractions will be the Women’s Four, who sees the return of 2012 and 2016 Olympic Champion Helen Glover of Great Britain. Glover will be added to a boat that finished the 2022 season unbeaten, with a World Championship title. Her return to Classic Rowing is eagerly awaited. Great Britain will face tough competition from the Netherlands, Ireland and Romania.
In the Men’s Eight, Great Britain is returning almost the same line-up that was unbeaten last year, and will look to keep their winning streak alive. The Netherlands had certainly one of the best performances of the year at the Europeans in 2022, where they recovered from a boat-stopping crab to get a silver medal, and will look for another strong performance in Bled. The eight has always been the flagship boat for Germany, and after a very disappointing year – by their standards – in 2022, they will certainly look to bounce back.
In the Para-rowing boat classes, all eyes will be on Birgit Skarstein of Norway, who rides an unbelievable 26-races winning streak at World, European, and Paralympic rowing events in the PR1 Women’s Single Sculls.
The PR1 Men’s Single Sculls sees the return of reigning World and Paralympic champion, Roman Polianskyi of Ukraine, facing reigning European Champion winner Giacomo Perini of Italy.
Racing begins on Thursday 25 May at 9:00 CET with heats that will then progress through repechages, semifinals and finals that will take place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 May 2023.