Now time to preview the women’s heavyweight events….
20 scullers. Wow…this is a stacked field. Whilst other events have London Olympians competing this is the only event with an Olympic Champion racing. Nataliya Dovgodko was part of the awesome W4X that won in London and again at the 2012 European Championships. In the W1X Dovgodko raced at the 2013 European Championships and finished 5th. She will start as the overwhelming favourite but will face some stiff competition. Leading the charge will be 2012 BW1X champion Lisa Farthofer of Austria, and Lisa Schmidla of Germany. Schmidla is a two-time U23 world champion and also won gold in the W4X at the European championships. In the W1X she raced at Lucerne and finished 8th. Another W1X competitor at Lucerne was Greece’s Elenis Diamanti. She finished 14th in that event and won silver in the double scull at last year’s U23 championships.
Canada’s Carling Zeeman raced at the first World Cup in Sydney making the “A” final in the W1X. At last year’s U23 championships she picked up a bronze medal.
My picks…gold Dovgodko, silver Schmidla, bronze Farthofer
13 crews. I reckon this is going to be a battle between the Czechs and the Lithuanians. The Czech crew of Lenka Antosova and Denisa Cvancarova were 5th at the European championships. Antosova is very experienced, she was in the W2X at the London Olympics winning the “B” final. She also has a European silver medal from 2009 and has rasied at the senior World Championships in 2010 and 2011.
The Lithuanians; Milda Valciukaite and Ieva Adomaviciute won gold together at the world Junior Championships in 2011. Valciukaite also won the JW2X gold in 2012 and then teamed up with Olympian Donata Vistartaite to win European gold and also gold at the Lucerne World Cup.
The Germans will be hoping to muscle in on the act and have put together their two leading young scullers. Anne Beenken is the JW1X world champion in 2011 and 2012. She is joined by two time U23 medallist Julia Leiding.
These three crews will be vying for the medals but behind them the “best of the rest” will probably be the Danes, Anne Andersen and Hedvig Rasmussen. This pairing raced in the W4X at the Europeans just missing out on the medals and thenalso raced the quad at Lucerne finishing 11th.
My picks…Lithuania gold, Germany silver, Czech republic bronze.
11 crews. The Czechs, Martina Stillerova and Katerina Kopecka have been racing the 2- together for a couple of years. At last years U23’s they just missed out on a medal finishing in 4th. They followed this up with a 7th place at the 2012 Europeans and went 1 place better this year. German twins Miriam and Sara Davids won silver in the W8 at last years championships, and took over the senior W2- berths from Kerstin Hartmann and Marlene Sinnig to race at the Lucerne World Cup finishing 8th.
Australia will be challenging for the medals, Jessie Allen raced in the JW4- last year and is joining Genevieve Horton who was in the W8 that shocked the Olympic champions from the USA at the first World Cup in Sydney.
Both the Italians and the Norwegian pairs raced the 2- at the European championships this year. The Italians (Beatrice Arcangiolini and Gaia Marzari) were 5th and the Norwegians (Trude Meyer and Hanna Inntjore) were 8th. The Norwegians also raced this boat at last years U23’s making the “A” final. Marzari of Italy raced the W4- at the 2011 U23’s and picked up a silver medal. Her partner Arcangiolini was in the JW8 last year and got bronze.
The US have a couple of international debutants representing the biggest of “big-guns” in American Ivy-League Universities, Elizabeth Fitzhenry is from Harvard-Radcliffe and Kristina Wagner from Yale. Wagner was in the crew that won the Championship W4- at last years Head of the Charles.
My picks…Gold Germany, silver Czech Republic, Bronze Australia
11 crews. My favourites are the Australians. They won gold at the 1st World cup in Sydney and followed that up with silver in Lucerne. Alexandra Hagan also raced at the London Olympics as part of the W8 and is an U23 bronze medallist from 2011. Another member of the crew, Lucy Stephan raced in this event last year taking a silver medal.
The main challenge will probably come from another established quartet from Russia. The crew (including the Tikhanova twins) won bronze in this event last year and were part of the Russian W8 that ere 6th at the 2012 Europeans and bronze medallists in the same event this year. Watch out too for the Romanians, stroked by world junior champion Gioriana Cucu with world junior silver medallists filling the other 3 seats. Alexandra Vermesan and Elena-Lavinia Tarlea also raced in this event last year coming 5th.
The Kiwis have a couple of junior world medallists in the middle of the boat. Johannah Kearney and Kelsi Walters won bronze in the JW4- last year. The stroke of the boat is experienced U23 international Abbey Green and at bow is international debutant Kristen Froude.
Another experienced crew are the Italians, Selene Gigliobianco and Veronica Paccagnella were in the European Championship W8 that finished 5th. Paccagnella also raced with Laura Basadonna in this boat at the 2011 U23’s and won silver. Basadonna also raced this boat at the senior World championships in 2011 finishing 5th. The 4th member of the crew is debutant Gaia Nencini.
The final crew to highlight are the Germans 3 of whom raced at the Junior World Championships last year coming 4th in the JW8 and JW2-.
My picks..Australia gold, silver Italy, bronze Russia
10 crews. Romania have taken their Junior World champions and promoted them to the U23’s, Andreea-Mihaela Tataru, Viviana-Iuliana Bejinariu and Ioana Vrinceanu won the JW4X and Mihaela-Teodora Berindei was part of the gold medal winning JW8. Bejinariu and Vrinceanu also raced as part of the W4X at the European Championships. Also racing at the Europeans were three of the French quad, Marie Jacquet, Noemie Kober and Helene Lefebvre finished 7th and are joined by Justine Lecomte who was in the U23 quad last year. Kober and Lefebvre also raced in the W4X at the Europeans last year and the U23’s.
Germany have two debutants (Luisa Neerschulte and Carina Boehlert) they are joined by the experienced Anne Marie Kroll and Marie-Catherine Arnold. Kroll was Junior World Champion in 2011 and Arnold was U23 champion the same year (as well as junior world champion in 2008 and 2009).
Italy have put together a very strong boat full of U23 and European medallists. Sara Magnaghi and Giada Colombo were 4th in the quad at Lucerne and were bronze medallists at the Europeans this year and silver medallists the year before. The rest of the crew contains U23 silver medallists Cecilia Bellati and Alessandra Patelli.
Look out also for the Americans with two time Junior World champion Molly Hamrick joined by experienced U23 internationals Agatha Nowinski, Britta Syverson and Molly Bruggeman. The final crew to highlight are the Dutch with 3 of the crew that won silver in the JW4X in 2011.
My picks gold Germany, silver Italy, bronze either the USA or Romania.
7 crews. As with the U23 M8 the US know how to put together a crew to win this event. This years crew have 4 of last years champions (Amanda Elmore, Madison Culp, Kristine O’Brien and cox Kendall Schmidt) They are joined by junior silver medallist Ruth Narode and four debutants (Anne Rauschert from Wisconsin, Erin Broxberger from Notre Dame, Corinne Schoeller from Brown and Courtney Dikema of Harvard-Radcliffe). The US must start as the favourites to retain their title.
Chasing them will be the German’s with four of last year’s silver medal crew (Juliane Bosse, Anne Dietrich, Marisa Staelberg and cox Inga Thoene) They are joined by U23 gold medallist Lea-Kathleen Kuehne, Junior world champion Elisaveta Sokolkova and debutants Johanna Te Neues and Alexandra Hoeffgen.
GB have five of the crew that were 4th last year (Fiona Gammond, Rebecca Chin, Jo Wratten, Iona Riley and Yasmin Tredell) along with junior internationals Fiona Schlesinger and Nicole Lamb. This crew raced at Henley losing to the senior GB women’s 8.
Canada are a bit of an unknown quantity in this event with only two crew members (Marissa Kump and Aleda Kawalek having raced as junior internationals).
The Dutch won bronze in this event last year and have 3 of the crew back again (Karien Robbers, Rosa Bas & Monica Lanz). They are joined by 3 former Junior internationals (Ilse Paulis, Roos De Jong and Liselotte Van Der Togt). The last two of the crew are Annemarie Bernhard (6th U23 W2- in 2012) and debutant Margriet Lantink. All of this crew are doubling up in other events at the regatta.
My picks…I think the US will win again but they will be chased hard by both the Germans and the British with the Brits winning the race for the silver medal.
Thant’s it for the heavyweight women’s events….I’ll finish off with the lightweight events before racing starts tomorrow!