The 2017 international rowing season has moved on to the World Rowing Under 23 Championships with 845 athletes from 54 nations heading to Plovdiv, Bulgaria for a 19 July 2017 start.
The Maritsa River venue in Plovdiv also hosted the 2015 World Rowing Under 23 Championships and will host to the 2018 World Rowing Championships. The Plovdiv regatta course is considered by many to be one of the fastest regatta courses in the world with its fair conditions and warm water.
Of the 21 events that will be staged, the lightweight men’s single sculls has the largest entry with 34 countries lining up. Included in the list is Mexico’s Alexis Lopez Garcia who finished third in this boat class last year. Lopez will face junior World Champion from the men’s pair Ninos Nikolaidis of Greece and Brazil’s Uncas Batista. Batista has been competing in the senior World Rowing Cup season in his lead-up to Plovdiv.
The men’s single sculls has also attracted a large field of entries with rowers from 28 nations competing. Bulgarian favourite, Olympian Boris Yotov has moved from the men’s double sculls to race in the single at Plovdiv. But the one to beat is likely to be Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk of Poland who has three under-23 medals and is a junior World Champion.
The women’s single sculls is well-represented with 21 nations including Elodie Ravera-Scaramozzino of France who comes to Plovdiv following her second place finish at the senior World Rowing Cup III in the women’s double sculls. Ravera-Scaramozzino is up against last year’s silver medallist in the under-23 women’s single Lovisa Claesson of Sweden.
Germany, Italy and the United States are sending complete teams of 21 boats each. Last year Germany finished second on the medals table with Italy in third and the United States in fifth. The host nation in 2016, the Netherlands, topped last year’s medals table.
The World Rowing Under 23 Championships is raced in 21 boat classes and is open to all World Rowing Federation (FISA) member nations for athletes under the age of 23. The under-23s began in 1976 as the ‘Seniors Match’ and then the name was changed to the ‘Nations Cup’ before becoming the World Rowing Under 23 Championships in 2005.Racing starts on 19 July and continues through to 23 July 2017. Finals will take place on 22 and 23 July.