Five days of racing at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships finished with Tokyo’s new regatta venue passing its test with flying colours and Germany winning the most medals. Held at the new Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Regatta course, the Sea Forest Waterway, in Tokyo, Japan, the junior championships doubled as the test event for next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Sea Forest Waterway is one of very few international regatta courses on salt water. It was built by sectioning off a shipping channel between two islands in a newly developed part of Tokyo Bay. There are dams on either side to protect the course from rough water.
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The junior regatta had four days of fast tail wind conditions and then windless, perfectly flat water for today’s finals.
Germany made the most of racing. Sporting a full team of 14 boats, the German team left with 12 medals, five of them gold. The golds included two of the blue ribband boat classes; the men’s eight and women’s single sculls. In the men’s eight Germany held off the United States and Great Britain to win gold.
For the women’s single Germany’s Alexandra Foester dominated the race despite a strong challenge from Russia’s Anastasiia Liubich who got silver and Katelin Gildersleeve of the United States. Liubich’s silver was one of two medals for Russia. The United States which, like Germany, raced a 14-boat team, also medalled in the men’s eight.
China collected six medals including two golds which placed them second on the overall medals table. Italy will fly home with seven medals which included one gold. The gold came in the first final of the day, the women’s coxed four. This crew then went on to compete for a second time in the final of the women’s eight and won bronze. First and second in the women’s eight went to China and Germany respectively.
At the close of the regatta FISA President, Jean-Christophe Rolland paid tribute to the regatta course; “We are very proud to have this excellent new rowing course. The installations and fittings are remarkable. I would like to recognise the significant investment in this project.”
For rowers to be eligible to compete at the World Rowing Junior Championships, they must be 18 years of age or under. A rower can compete as a junior until 31 December of the year in which he or she reaches the age of 18. After that date the rower advances to the under-23 category.