The Rio Olympics Women’s Quad preview

Now time for the W4X

 

Australia

 Australia

Kerry Hore 35

Olympic record: 3rd W4X Athens, 6th W4X Beijing, 4th W4X London

World Championship record: 1st W4X 2003, 7th W1X 2005, 9th W2X 2007, 2nd W2X & 4th W4X 2010, 2nd W2X 2011, 4th W4X 2014, 5th W4X 2015.

2016 record: 5th W4X Lucerne World Cup, 2nd W4X Poznan World Cup

Jennifer Cleary 23

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 8th W4X 2013, 4th W4X 2014, 5th W4X 2015

2016 record: 5th W4X Lucerne World Cup, 2nd W4X Poznan World Cup

Madeleine Edmunds 24

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 1st U23 W4X 2012, 8th W4X 2013, 4th W4X 2014, 5th W4X 2015

2016 record: 5th W4X Lucerne World Cup, 2nd W4X Poznan World Cup

Jessica Hall 24

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 1st U23 W4X 2012, rep W4X 2013, 4th W4X 2014, 5th W4X 2015

2016 record: 5th W4X Lucerne World Cup, 2nd W4X Poznan World Cup

 

Australia have the most experienced athlete in the event, Kerry Hore. At 35 she’s also the oldest athlete in the event. Rio will mark her 4th Olympic Games, all four of them in the W4X. She was part of the crew in Athens that made history by becoming the first Australian W4X to win an Olympic medal. The other three members of her crew are all Olympic debutants but this quartet have been rowing together as a quad for the past couple of seasons with a best performances of gold at the Sydney World Cup in 2014 and silver at the Lucerne World Cup last year. At the Worlds they’ve narrowly missed out on the medals in both Amsterdam and Aiguebelette. Both Edmunds and Hall were part of the U23 W4X that won gold in 2012 and both then made their senior debuts in 2013 winning a medal at all three World Cups. So far in 2016 the Aussies have had a reasonable season, 5th in Lucerne was a little disappointing, but silver in Poznan showed they will be one of the main medal contenders.

 

 

China

 china-flag

Xinyue Zhang 23

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 1st Junior W4X 2009, 2nd W4X 2014, 7th W4X 2015

2016 record: 1st W4X Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta, 4th W4X Lucerne World Cup

Ling Zhang 19

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: None

2016 record: 1st W4X Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta, 4th W4X Lucerne World Cup

Yuwei Wang 25

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 5th W2X 2014, 7th W2X 2015

2016 record: 1st W4X Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta, 4th W4X Lucerne World Cup

Yan Jiang 27

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 7th W4X 2010, 8th w2X 2011, 2nd W4X 2014, 7th W4X 2015

2016 record: 1st W4X Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta, 4th W4X Lucerne World Cup

China were champions at their home Games in 2008. But in the London and Rio Olympiads they only made the A-Final at the World Championships twice, finishing 5th in 2011 and winning the silver in 2014. The 2016 crew are all Olympic newbies and the boat includes the youngest athlete in the event, 19 year old Ling Zhang. Zhang made her senior debut at just 16 when she raced at the Eton World Cup in 2013. She returned to the senior squad this season. Xinyue Zhang and Yan Jiang were both in the W4X through 2014 and 2015 finishing 2nd and 7th respectively. The final member of the crew is Yuwei Wang, she raced in the W2X in 2014 and 2015 finishing 5th and 7th. The fact they missed the A-final at the world championships last year meant they had to go through the Final Olympic Qualifying regatta. They stepped up to the challenge and won in Lucerne, securing their place in Rio. They followed that up a few days later with a 4th place in Lucerne.

 

Germany

Germany

Lisa Schmidla 25

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: Gold: Junior W1X 2009, U23 W2X 2010, U23 W4X 2011, U23 W1X 2013, W4X 2014. Silver: W4X 2015. 13th W1X 2013

2016 record: 1st W4X European Championships, 2nd W4X Lucerne World Cup, 1st Poznan World Cup

Annekatrin Thiele 25

Olympic record: silver W2X Beijing, silver W4X London

World Championship record: Gold W4X 2013, 2014. Silver W4X 2015. Bronze W4X 2009. 6th w2X 2010, 6th W1X 2011

2016 record: 1st W4X European Championships, 2nd W4X Lucerne World Cup, 1st Poznan World Cup

Carina Baer 26

Olympic record: silver W4X London

World Championship record: Gold Junior W1 2008, W4X 2013, W4X 2014. Silver U23 W1X 2011, W4X 2015. Bronze U23 W1X 2009, W4X 2010. 7th W2X 2011

2016 record: 1st W4X European Championships, 2nd W4X Lucerne World Cup, 1st Poznan World Cup

Julia Lier 24

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: Gold – Junior W8 2008, Junior W2X 2009, U23 W4X 2010, U23 W4X 2011, U23 W4X 2012, W4X 2014. Bronze – W2X 2015. 5th W2X 2015

2016 record: 1st W4X European Championships, 2nd W4X Lucerne World Cup, 1st Poznan World Cup

Germany have dominated this event at the Olympics since it was introduced in 1976, in the 10 Olympics since then a German crew has won 7 of them, and at the world championships their dominance led to a run of seven consecutive gold medals from 1994 to 2002 and a medal of one colour or another at every World Championships since 1990. Since 2003 it’s been a little more open, but the Germans looked set to start another strong run, winning gold in 2011, 2013 & 2014, but the Americans caused a major upset last year, beating the Germans into silver. The crew aiming to uphold the German record are hugely talented, with 16 Junior, U23 and Senior World gold medals between them. The crew includes half of the London 2012 boat that won silver along with Lier and Schmidla, these four women won the World title in 2014, setting a new Worlds Best time in the process, and three of them suffered the shock defeat to the USA in 2015. So far in 2016 they started the season with Marie Catherine Arnold and won gold at the European Championships. But, at Lucerne they suffered another surprise defeat, losing by nearly 2 seconds to the Polish. At the Europeans and Lucerne Lier raced in the W2X, but for Poznan she swapped seats with Arnold taking the crew back to its 2014 configuration, and they delivered gold. It will take something very special to stop the Germans winning their 8th Olympic title. Germany for the gold.

 

 

 

The Netherlands

Netherlands

Nicole Beukers 25

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 4th W4X 2013, 7th W2X 2014, 3rd W4X 2015

2016 record: 2nd W4X Varese World Cup, 4th W4X European Championships, 3rd W4X Lucerne World Cup, 3rd W4X Poznan World Cup

Chantal Achterberg 31

Olympic record: bronze W8 London

World Championship record: 1st W4- & 3rd W8 2009, 1st W4- & 5th W8 2010, 5th W8 2011, 4th W4X 2013, 7th W4X 2014, 3rd W4X 2015

2016 record: 2nd W4X Varese World Cup, 4th W4X European Championships, 3rd W4X Lucerne World Cup, 3rd W4X Poznan World Cup

Carline Bouw

                Olympic record: bronze W8 London

World Championship record: 1st W4- & 3rd W8 2009, 1st W4- & 5th W8 2010, 5th W8 2011, 7th W4X 2014, 3rd W4X 2015

2016 record: 2nd W4X Varese World Cup, 4th W4X European Championships, 3rd W4X Lucerne World Cup, 3rd W4X Poznan World Cup

Inge Janssen 27

Olympic record: 8th W2X London

World Championship record: 6th W1X 2013, 7th W4X 2014, 3rd W4X 2015

2016 record: 2nd W4X Varese World Cup, 4th W4X European Championships, 3rd W4X Lucerne World Cup, 3rd W4X Poznan World Cup

The Dutch have never won a medal in this boat class at the Olympics, their best ever result was 6th in 1980 and 1996. But in the last couple of years the Netherlands have been putting together a really strong squad, across the men and women. The bronze medal won by this quad last year was the first at a World Championships for 20 years. They’ve put together an experienced boat, three of them have Olympic experience, including Achterberg and Bouw who were in the W8 that won bronze in London and Janssen who raced in the W2X. This project has been four years in the making and looks to be coming to its peak at just the right time. At the Varese World Cup this season they had a fantastic contest with the Poles, just missing out on gold by 13/100th of a second. 4th in the difficult conditions in Brandenburg was followed by medals at both Lucerne and Poznan World Cups. My prediction is that the Dutch will win bronze, their first ever Olympic medal in this event.

 

 

 

Poland

poland

Monica Ciaciuch 24

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 2nd U23 W4X 2014, 4th W4X 2015

2016 record: 1st W4X Varese World Cup, 2nd W4X European Championships, 1st W4X Lucerne World Cup, 4th W4X Poznan World Cup

Maria Springwald 25

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 2nd U23 W4X 2013, 8th W4X 2014, 4th W4X 2015

2016 record: 1st W4X Varese World Cup, 2nd W4X European Championships, 1st W4X Lucerne World Cup, 4th W4X Poznan World Cup

Agnieszka Kobus 25

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 8th W4X 2011, 8th W4X 2014, 4th W4X 2015

2016 record: 1st W4X Varese World Cup, 2nd W4X European Championships, 1st W4X Lucerne World Cup, 4th W4X Poznan World Cup

Joanna Leszcynka 27

Olympic record: 8th M4X London

World Championship record: 7th W8 2009, 8th W4X 2011, 3rd W4X 2013, 8th W4X 2014, 4th W4X 2015

2016 record: 1st W4X Varese World Cup, 2nd W4X European Championships, 1st W4X Lucerne World Cup, 4th W4X Poznan World Cup

The Polish are another crew who have never medalled in this boat class at an Olympic Games, indeed only once, in 1980, have they made the final. At the World Championships they’ve only medalled once, a bronze in 2013 (which included Leszcynka). They are a young crew and have medal experience, as well as Leszcynka winning senior world bronze, Ciaciuch and Springwald won U23 silver in 2013. Although they narrowly missed a medal in 2015 they started 2016 very strongly, beating the Dutch to the gold in Varese and taking silver at the Europeans. In Lucerne they got their revenge on the Germans and won another gold before finishing just outside the medals in a 4 boat final in Poznan. With this sort of form they must definitely be considered as one of the main challengers to the Germans. I’m going for them to win silver.

 

Ukraine

Ukraine

Daryna Verkhogliad 24

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 6th W4- 2014, 21st W2X 2015

2016 record: 3rd W4X Varese World Cup, 3rd W4X European championships, 2nd W4X Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta

Olena Buryak 28

Olympic record: 10th W2X London

World Championship record: 7th W4X 2006, Rep W2X 2007, 1st U23 W4X 2009, 2nd W4X 2010, 7th W4X 2011, 9th W2X 2013, 10th W2X 2014, 11th W4X 2015

2016 record: 3rd W4X Varese World Cup, 3rd W4X European championships, 2nd W4X Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta

Ievgenia Nimchenko 23

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 6th W4- 2014, 21st W2X 2015

2016 record: 3rd W4X Varese World Cup, 3rd W4X European championships, 2nd W4X Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta

Anastasia Kozhenkova 30

Olympic record: Gold W4X London

World Championship record: 1st W4X 2009, 2nd W4X 2010, 4th W2X 2011, 10th W2X 2014

2016 record: 3rd W4X Varese World Cup, 3rd W4X European championships, 2nd W4X Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta

Ukraine are the defending Olympic champions, but they have one one returner from that crew, Anastasia Kozhenkova. Since those heady heights of London, Ukraine have struggled to find a crew as competitive. They’ve not made the final at any of the World Championships during the Rio Olympiad, and their best performance was 5th at the 2015 European Championships. Heading into 2016 they’ve started to show stronger form, bronze in Varese (out of 4 boats) followed by a 2nd bronze at the European Championships and then the all-important Final Olympic Qualifying Regatta where they finished 2nd, securing the vital final spot for Rio. With Kozhenkova and Buryak this crew has proven medal winners but I think it’s unlikely they will get among the medals in what is a highly competitive field in Rio

 

The USA

USA flag

Megan Kalmoe 32

Olympic record: 5th W2X Beijing, bronze W4X London

World Championship record: 1st U23 W4- 2005, 6th W4X 2009, 5th W4X 2010, 2nd W4X 2011, 5th W4X 2013, 2nd W2- 2014, 1st W4X 2015

2016 record: 7th W4X Lucerne World Cup

Grace Latz 28

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic debut

World Championship record: 3rd W4X 2014, 1st W4X 2015

2016 record: 6th W4X Lucerne World Cup

Adrienne Martelli 28

Olympic record: Bronze M4X London

World championship record: 2nd U23 W8 2009, 3rd W4- 2010, 2nd W4X 2011, 2nd W4- 2014, 1st W4- 2015

2016 record: None

Tracy Eisser 26

Olympic record: 2016 Olympic record

World Championship record: 3rd W4X 2014, 1st W4X 2015

2016 record: 7th W4X Lucerne World Cup

The Americans produced a huge shock at the Aiguebelette World Championships in 2015 when the brought to an end German’s run of three straight World titles. The foundations for this had been laid during the London Olympiad with the US quad taking 5th in 2010 and silver in 2011 before taking the Olympic bronze in 2012, the first quad medal for the States since 1984. This year’s crew has two of that crew returning, Megan Kalmoe and Adrienne Martelli. Kalmoe is competing at her third Olympic Games and has spent the majority of her senior international career in the W4X (apart from a brief stint in 2014 when she and Kerry Simmonds won silver in the W2-). Martelli is racing at her 2nd Olympics and is a multiple World medallist in both the non-Olympic W4- and the W4X. The line-up for Rio includes three of last year’s gold medal crew, the one change being Martelli replacing Amanda Elmore. The US have only raced once in 2016, with two quads racing at Lucerne. Neither performed particularly well, with the quad of Kalmoe, Eisser, Kerry Simmonds and Kara Kohler finishing last and the 2nd quad of Latz, Amanda Polk, Emily Huelskamp and Olivia Coffey finishing 2nd to last. The two boats were probably more concerned with their own selection battle than the rest of the field, but for 2 boats containing two reigning World Champions to finish so far off the pace is concerning. But, with the section battles settled the US cannot be ruled out of contention for a medal. Ultimately I think they’ll fall short, the competition in so fierce in just a 7 boat contest.

 

So, for the women’s quad I think it’s the Germans to lose, with the Polish in silver and the Dutch in bronze.

Next up….the eights.

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One thought on “The Rio Olympics Women’s Quad preview

  1. Pingback: The Quadruple Sculls Olympic preview • Rowperfect UK

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