Olympic boats feature in World Rowing Cup III entries

The third World Rowing Cup of the 2016 season will be raced in Poznan, Poland and represents the last chance for athletes to test themselves against their competitors before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The field has narrowed slightly compared to previous World Cups as nations focus on sending crews that will make up their Olympic boats. Forty-eight countries will be represented with 584 athletes competing. This includes four para-rowing boat classes.

The men’s single sculls tops the list of most entries and has 30 scullers taking part including the hottest men’s scullers; reigning Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale (NZL), defending World Champion Ondrej Synek (CZE) and European Champion Damir Martin (CRO) . The women’s single sculls is the next largest and sees 24 entries including reigning World Champion Kim Brennan of Australia meeting 2014 World Champion, Emma Twigg of New Zealand. This much-anticipated meet-up will be the first time Brennan and Twigg have raced each other since the 2014 World Rowing Championships. The 1996 and 2000 Olympic Champion, Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus will also be lining up along with the reigning Olympic Champion, Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic.

Great Britain’s undefeated duo in the women’s pair Heather Stanning and Helen Glover have come back following their withdrawal due to illness from World Rowing Cup II. They will meet silver medallists from World Rowing Cup II Rebecca Scown and Genevieve Behrent of New Zealand.

A re-match in the men’s four between Australia and Great Britain is greatly anticipated. The two countries raced head-to-head at World Rowing Cup II where the British, with a substitute rower on board, took first at the line. This continues the rivalry that saw Great Britain take gold at the London Olympics with Australia winning silver. Also racing is the reigning World Champion Italian boat. The lightweight men’s four will also be hotly contested after the upset defeat of the Swiss by New Zealand at World Cup II two weeks ago.

The Netherlands currently lead the World Rowing Cup series ahead of Great Britain and New Zealand. The Dutch have 15 crews entered including Olympic medal hopefuls Maaike Head and Ilse Paulis in the lightweight women’s double sculls and the women’s eight which finished second at the European Rowing Championships. Great Britain is sending 18 crews including the reigning Paralympic Champions the para mixed coxed four.

The largest team is coming from Germany with 58 athletes competing in 20 of the 26 boat classes.

Racing begins on Thursday 16 June 2016 at 18:00 CET with heats for the para-rowing boat classes. It then moves through to International and para-rowing finals on Saturday 18 June followed by Olympic boat class finals on Sunday 19 June starting at 10:33 CET.

There will be live video streaming of the Olympic A-finals on www.worldrowing.com.

Regatta information and the full entry list can be found here.

Tom Morgan

Previous editor of Row360, publisher of Junior Rowing News, freelance writer for the Daily Telegraph, the Huffington Post, Vital Football and others. Student at the University of Southampton.

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