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Poland holds men's quad title at world champs

2009-08-31 15:03:00 FISA

30/08/2009 - The 2009 World Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland concluded with the best athletes in the world racing on bumpy water in tail wind conditions. Poland’s men’s quad goes into the record books after completing this regatta with four consecutive World Champion titles and the United States women’s eight continued to dominate their event.


Great Britain’s Hester Goodsell and Sophie Hosking came into this regatta as the favourites. They had won the last two Rowing World Cups. But Germany had beaten them in the semifinal two days ago. Goodsell and Hosking were looking a little vulnerable. Four boats jumped out well at the start – Poland, Greece, Great Britain and Germany. Going into the second 500 Christina Giazitzidou and Alexandra Tsiavou of Greece had gained a slight edge. Giazitzidou and Olympian Tsiavou must have decided that the way to deal with this race was to rate high. At the 750m mark they were on a 41 stroke rate.

Greece then “settled” into the leading position at a 39 stroke rate pace. Could they maintain it?

As the second half of the race began Germany found themselves slipping back with Poland’s Magdalena Kemnitz and Agnieszka Renc going head to head with Goodsell and Hosking. Meanwhile Greece continued to move away. They were rowing a perfectly planned this race.

Great Britain took their stroke rate to 40 and topped out at 44 coming into the finish. Poland held on. Giazitzidou and Tsiavou, however, were unstoppable and crossed the line in first. Great Britain and Poland end in a photo finish. Poland win silver.


Christina Giazitzidou, Alexandra Tsiavou (GRE) – Gold
“We have been rowing together for only two or three weeks and when we arrived in Poznan we realised that there were possibilities for us because the races were going very well. Although the conditions are terrible, we did our best, I’m very proud and happy for us.” Alexandra Tsiavou

Hester Goodsell, Sophie Hosking (GBR) – Bronze
“The conditions were really tough and it was tough race. We got bumped around quite a lot and we just didn’t get it right today. 2012 is our long-term goal, so bronze is a start, but, of course, after this season we had hoped for more. ” Hester Goodsell


New Zealand’s Storm Uru and Peter Taylor come into this race having not lost all season. They must have fond memories of Poznan having qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games on these very waters a year ago. But at the start of the 199th race of this regatta, timed to go at 11:48 CET, Frederic Dufour and Jeremie Azou of France had the lead.

The New Zealanders, however, looked comfortable in these rough conditions and by the half way point they had got their nose ahead of France. This split the field in two with Canada, Germany and Italy battling it out for the bronze medal spot behind the French and New Zealanders. Meanwhile, Taylor had been holding a very steady 36 stroke rate through the middle of the race and this had moved them to nearly a boat length lead over Azou and Dufour.

As the finish line grandstand came into view France charged, getting to a 40 stroke rate. New Zealand reacted back. Uru and Taylor earn their first World Champion title at the senior level. Azou and Dufour hold on to silver and the best lightweight duo in Italy, Marcello Miani and Elia Luini take third. New Zealand had finished within half a second of the World Best Time and they earn the first ever World Champion title in this event for New Zealand.


Storm Uru, Peter Taylor (NZL) – Gold
“It was an amazing race! We knew we could achieve this but we didn’t know how. It just happened. Everything went according to the plan. I still cannot believe how well it went.  ”  Peter Taylor

Jeremie Azou, Frederic Dufour (FRA) - Silver
“We trained together for about five times before coming here and it is great to discover, step by step, that you are actually getting along extremely well with your partner. We have a big age difference, but Jeremy learns fast, we have only three seconds of difference on the erg. I think we should preserve our technique, work on our speed, and then we might be able to beat the Kiwis. We are going to continue rowing together for a while. We will see where it leads us.”  Frederic Dufour

Marcello Miani, Elia Luini (ITA)   – Bronze
“This wind was terrible, but the medal is great. It was just unfortunate that the wind stopped us a bit from getting all our power in. But it was great race and we are happy about the medal.”  Marcello Miani

“You saw the conditions, but then everybody had to deal with them. We didn’t manage to get all our strength into it because of the conditions. But in general we are a racing crew and always have the will and the optimism to win. We are happy with this medal.” Elia Luini 


Denmark have had a wonderful season. They set a new first for their country by winning all three Rowing World Cups. They were hyped to finish off the season as World Champions. But Poland had been coming along in leaps and bounds throughout this regatta and Germany and France had shown their power.

Brothers Matthias and Jost Schoemann-Finck and twins Jochen and Martin Kuehner, sitting in the German boat, got out to an early lead. The field remained in a tight line through the first 500m. Then a big push by the Germans gave them the lead. Where was Denmark? The Danes looked to be struggling going into the middle of the race. Germany continued to soldier on working up to almost clear water. Denmark, however, had now started to move.

In the final sprint, Denmark gave it all that they had. Their stroke rate hit 46. Germany reacted back. Poland charged. At the line Germany had done it. Denmark looked absolutely disappointed. Poland were pleased. The Netherlands looked angry. A crab during the race had cost them dearly.


Matthias Schoemann-Finck, Jost Schoemann-Finck, Jochen Kuehner, Martin Kuehner (GER) – Gold
“This is awesome and a sensation. We knew we were able to do it. After our terrible bad luck in Beijing the luck is finally on our side. Big thanks also to our coach Uwe Bender, who really knew how to prepare us mentally and physically really well.” Martin Kuehner

Christian PEDERSEN, Jens VILHELMSEN, Kasper WINTHER, Morten JOERGENSEN  (DEN) - Silver
“We caught a crab at the start, but then we just pushed and pushed. We wanted to be in front right from the start, because we know you always have to be afraid of the Danes in the last 400m. I think being brothers in this boat makes it extra special. We are two twins and two brothers in our team and maybe this is an advantage because we are very close and we just know how the other ticks.” Matthias Schoemann-Finck

Christian Pedersen, Jens Vilhelmsen, Kasper Winther, Morten Joergensen (DEN)– Silver
“Nobody remembers silver, we won all the World Cups until now and this truly disappointing. As for the race itself, we wanted to avoid hitting the water too much, but we weren’t able to do this until the end. We clearly have to work hard and improve our technique.” Kasper Winther


Ukraine were the unlucky fourth placed at last year’s Olympic Games, but they went on to win gold at the 2008 European Championships. This is their first international regatta for 2009 and so they arrived at Poznan as a relatively unknown quantity. Ukraine showed in early rounds of racing this week that they had clean strokes and good speed.

Ukraine (Spiriukova, Kolesnikova, Kozhenkova and Dementieva) took off in the lead and settled into what looked like a reasonably relaxed 34 stroke rate. The United States’ new line up then came back from a slow start to close on Ukraine with Germany right in the mix. The German line up is brand new at these World Champs having brought their double of Chirstiane Huth and Annekatrin Thiele into the boat.

Remaining steady, Ukraine held off another push by the Americans before opening up a huge sprint that gave them a solid margin in the last 500. Ukraine had won the gold.


Svitlana Spiriukova, Tetiana Kolesnikova, Anastasiia Kozhenkova, Yana Dementieva (UKR) – Gold
“The race couldn’t have gone better, everything went according to the plan. We did our best! Next year we are planning to do as many competitions as possible, in order to prepare ourselves for the Olympics.” Svitlana Spirikova

Megan Walsh, Stesha Carle, Sarah Trowbridge, Kathleen Bertko (USA) – Silver
“The race went pretty well, we had high expectations for our crew, as usual. Our coach tuned us right before the race. This always is a special moment. We are happy about our result.”  Megan Walsh

Annekatrin Thiele, Peggy Waleska, Stephanie Schiller, Christiane Huth (GER) – Bronze
“We wanted more, we wanted the gold medal, but it just wasn’t enough today. It all went well going out this morning, but in the race not really. Now we’ll have to analyse what went wrong. But with a bit of distance, I’m sure we will see the positive sides of the bronze medal.”  Christiane Huth

“This wasn’t what we had expected. We wanted to continue our World Cup series and to race for gold with the others. That didn’t happen. We just made it to the finish line and were still lucky to get bronze. So we are little disappointed.” Peggy Waleska


Poland did it. The national heroes are now World Champions on their own waters. Adam Korol, Michal Jelinski, Marek Kolbowicz and Konrad Wasielewski came together after their country finished fourth in this event at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In the following year they became World Champions and then went on an unbeaten winning streak that lasted three solid years. At the 2008 Olympic Games they became Olympic Champions. Staying together specifically to race in their home country, stroke man Korol made no qualms about the pressure that he felt.

At the start of the race, Australia had the lead. Australia had stayed at home for the international season, saving it all for these world champs and this was their last chance to medal. One lane over from Australia, Poland held on to the Aussie pace. With Australia settling into 37 strokes per minute, Poland looked in control at 35.

The number of bikes following this race crowded the paths of Lake Malta. The crowd in the grandstand was fully focused on the big screens. Poland had taken the lead. Australia held on with Germany now joining in the fight for the line. Poland make it four World Champion titles in a row.


Konrad Wasielewski, Marek Kolbowicz, Michal Jelinski, Adam Korol (POL)   – Gold
“We are very happy. This is our fifth title, which is great. It’s a fantastic victory, especially since this is my home town and it’s in front of our home crowd. Next I will have my wedding and then we’ll go to New Zealand to get our sixth title.” Michal Jelinski

Nick Hudson, Jarred Bidwell, David Crawshay, Daniel Noonan (AUS) – Silver
“We had a really good start and all went according to plan. We have been rowing together since April and have developed a really good base in this crew. The roughness of the water and the conditions didn’t handicap us. We were able to adapt our technique very well. Hats off and congrats to the Polish crew. They are Olympic and World Champs for a reason.” David Crawshay

Tim Grohmann, Karsten Brodowski, Marcel Hacker, Tim Bartels (GER) – Bronze
“In the final of the quad at a World Championship everything is possible and nobody is to be underestimated. We don’t have to blame ourselves for anything and a medal at the World Champs always is a fantastic result. It’s great to leave here with a medal around the neck.”  Tim Bartels


They are the reigning Olympic and World Champions. They hold the World Best Time and now they take the 2009 World Champion title on the waters of Malta Lake. The United States women know how to do it in the eight. The United States controlled the race from start to finish. They were able to counter any attack. They were able to hold off Romania.

Romania, meanwhile, had to work their way through the field after starting relatively slowly to find their ending second place spot. The Romanians put a lot of emphasis on this event and second is never the spot that they like to be in. But, today, the Americans were too good.

Erin Cafaro and Susan Francia of the United States earn their second gold medal of these World Championships. Nicoleta Albu and Camelia Lupascu of Romania earn their second silver medal of this regatta. In third the Netherlands were happy but will continue to wonder why the medal colour for their eight is never gold.


Erin Cafaro, Mara Allen, Laura Larsen-Strecker, Zsuzsanna Francia, Anna Goodale, Lindsay Shoop, Caroline Lind, Katherine Glessner, Katlin Snyder (USA)  – Gold
“I told them the entire race to be careful and to not catch any crabs. It was a strong race. It was one big move. Only on the last five, actually maybe only the two last strokes, we figured we had it.” Katlin Snyder

Roxana Cogianu, Ionelia Neacsu, Maria Diana Bursuc, Ioana Craciun, Adelina Cojocariu, Nicoleta Albu, Camelia Lupascu, Barabas Eniko, Teodora Stoica (ROU) – Silver
“I am disappointed, we were racing for the gold. We will do better next year. I cannot say what went wrong, except that we could have made a better start.” Barabas Eniko

Nienke Groen, Claudia Belderbos, Jacobine Veenhoven, Systke de Groot, Chantal Achterberg, Nienke Kingma, Carline Bouw, Femke Dekker, Anne Schellekens (NED) – Bronze
“I didn’t expect this. We rowed much better than in Lucerne and it was a really good race. It’s difficult when the other four have to wait for you finishing other races (the stoke four raced in the women’s four). But our coach Susanah prepared us all mentally very well over the last couple of days.”  Femke Dekker


The men’s eight has really opened up this year. Canada are the Olympic Champions but have only retained two athletes from lastyear. Germany have been coming along in leaps and bounds in 2009 having failed to perform in 2008 and have put themselves in a good position to medal. Perennial powerhouse, the United States failed to make the final and thus another medal spot had become available. Today Germany and Canada lined up as favourites in the two middle lanes. Bets were split on which country could pull it off.

Germany, stroked by Sebastian Schmidt, took the lead at the start with Canada hot on their tails. By the half way point Germany had earned a comfortable edge with only Canada within striking distance. Meanwhile Poland and the Netherlands were playing cat and mouse with each other. They had left the starting blocks together and for the rest of the race they continued to swap between the bronze and fourth place spot.

As the final race of the day came to a close, Germany crossed the line comfortably in the lead. Head German Coach Hartmut Buschbacher looked satisfied. Canada crossed the line in second, coach Mike Spracklen was satisfied. The Netherlands and Poland sat waiting… and waiting. The photo finish announced the Netherlands. Dutch coach Dave McGowan was satisfied.

Results: GER, CAN, NED,  POL, GBR, ITA

Urs Kaeufer, Gregor Hauffe, Florian Menigen, Kristof Wilke, Richard Schmidt, Philip Adamski, Toni Seifert, Sebastian Schmidt, Martin Sauer (GER) – Gold
“This is phenomenal. At the moment there’s not much more I can say. It was all over so quickly. The plan was to start really fast and we were in front right from the beginning. It was just awesome. Of course this is the first year after the Olympics so I’m sure it’s a new beginning for everybody, but to win in such style is a great beginning for us and will give us confidence for the next years.” Sebastian Schmidt

“These World Championships here in Poland and winning the gold medal here was extra special for me. This felt like a “second home World Champs” for me. Also many of my Polish family were here and in the Polish eight, I’ve got some good friends.” Philip Adamski

Steven Vanknotsenburg, Gabriel Bergen, Robert Gibson, Douglas Csima, Malcolm Howard, Andrew Byrnes, James Dunaway, Derek O’Farrell, Mark Laidlaw (CAN)  – Silver
“We are a little disappointed of course, everybody is going for the gold. But the race went pretty well, we didn’t have any sort of issue, although we did let go a little in the second 500. Next year should be better.”  James Dunaway

Meindert Klem, Robert Luecken, David Kuiper, Jozef Klaasen, Olivier Siegelaar, Mitchel Steenman, Olaf van Andel, Diederik Simon, Peter Wiersum (NED) – Bronze
“Next year we will even go harder.”  Diederik Simon
“We are satisfied. It isn’t gold, but Bronze is okay also.” Mitchel Steenman

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