Ukraine has strong day at Poznan Regatta

Norwegian Brigit Skarstein

The World Rowing Cup, Poznan got underway on Saturday afternoon in cool conditions in the Polish city with para rowers competing as part of the main event.

The first medal event of the regatta saw para athletes take center stage as the women’s PR1 Single Sculls opened things up. Norwegian Brigit Skarstein started from the very front, continuing her stellar season as she won the race with a world best time of 10:49.94. German Sylvia Pille-Steppart and Italian Anila Hoxha completed the podium.

The men’s event followed up next, and again it was one rower that was taking the lead from the very start in Ukrainian Roman Polinskyi. Russian Alexey Chuvashev and Polish rower Jaroslaw Kailing rounded out the podium, with all three rowing at a fast rate through the race.

The Netherlands claimed the PR2 mixed double sculls, upsetting the Paralympic Champions, Great Britain, as they set a new world best of 8:06.21. Great Britain finished in second, just unable to keep up the pace, with Ukraine rounding out the podium.

Russia had a costly error in the PR3 mixed double sculls as one of the pair was unable to get the oar out of the water, essentially putting a break on a boat that was in the lead, known in the sport as catching a crab. The Russians started well, but after catching a crab were relegated to the bottom of the field allowing Germany to break their own world best time with 7:48.15 with Austria behind them in second.

There was a thrilling battle in the final para event of the day as Ukraine and France fought out for the win in the PR3 Mixed Coxed Fours. In the end Ukraine shot out ahead of France and managed to hold on to the line with Israel finishing in third.

Rio 2016 Preview: Rowing

Sport: Rowing

Events: Four (One men’s, one women’s, two mixed)

Classification: LTA – Legs Trunk and Arms, TA – Trunk and Arms, AS (arms and Shoulders) – Based on what is impaired

Venue:  Lagoa Stadium

Athlete Quota: 96 (48 male, 48 female)

International Federation: International Rowing Federation (FISA)

Preview

Israeli Moran Samuel is coming in to Rio feeling confident after demolishing her opponents in the 2015 World Championship. But she did not win the gold in London, taking silver, and her strongest competition looks to be coming from British rower Rachel Morris who will seek to win the women’s AS Singles.

The men’s AS Singles is wide open, with three probable medalists, Australian Erik Horrie is the current world champion, and claimed silver in London. British rower Tom Aggar is hoping for another gold, after missing the podium in his home games, but still has four world titles, a final contender is Ukrainian Igor Bondar who is raising in form.

One boat dominates the LTA Mixed 4s, Great Britain, but like the Olympic Games, the United States has a focus on the big boats. It will be a two horse race between these two boats, who both finished well ahead of the rest of the field in the world championships.

Australian LTA Mixed 2s pair, Gavin Bells and Kathryn Ross, are favorites for that race after improving greatly through the past four years, having won three world championships since. Their biggest competition comes from London silver medalists Stephane Tardieu and Perle Bouge of France, who have been getting closer to that Australian boat.