Olympic rowing Regatta runners and riders preview

Our good friend Daniel Spring at FatSculler has started a series of predictions for the Olympic Rowing Regatta.  He is publishing posts detailing the recent track record of all the events entrants, including his classic insider knowledge.

I will update this post as more are published.

Womens Single Sculls preview

  • 32 entrants
  • Kim Brennan (Australia) “Brennan heads to Rio as the favourite to take the gold, indeed she is one of Australia’s strongest medal hopes in Rio. She’s already got two Olympic under her belt and has a silver and bronze medal from the London Games. Since focusing on the W1X Brennan has emerged as the dominant figure. Winning gold at the world Championships in 2013 and 2015. Since the Olympic Games only one woman has ever beaten Brennan in the w1X and that’s New Zealand’s Emma Twigg.”
  • Magdalena Lobnig (Austria) “Lobnig has established herself as one of the most consistent performers in the women’s single scull field. Between 2013 and the 2015 World championships she made the A-Final at every regatta she entered, including taking silver at the 2013 European Championships. She will be a strong contender to make the A-Final in Rio.”
  • Ekaterina Karsten (Belarus) “What can I say about Ekaterina Karsten apart from she is a true legend of the sport. Rio will be her 7th Olympic Games, SEVENTH!! At 44 she’s probably not the dominant force she was ten years ago. She is a true legend of the sport and a medal at what will surely be her final international race, would be a fitting climax to a stellar career stretching back over 25 years.”
  • Mirka Knapkova (Czech Republic) “Knapkova has been one of the leading lights of the international sculling scene for over a decade. It’s somewhat surprising that she’s “only” won one world title. She’s another sculler who is renowned for her consistency, between 2002 and 2014 she never failed to make an A-Final, that’s 49 consecutive regattas…49!!”
  • Emma Twigg (New Zealand) “All the talk in the build up to Rio is that the gold medal in the W1X is going to be a two-way fight Kim Brennan has only been beaten by one woman during this Olympiad and that woman is Emma Twigg of New Zealand. Indeed the rivalry between these two could well be the race of the regatta at the Olympics.”

 

Mens Single Scull preview

  • 32 entrants
  • Key names:
  • Hannes Obreno (Belgium) “So far in 2016 Obreno has had a great season, winning a bronze in Varese and then beating Mahe Drysdale in an epic Diamond Challenge Sculls final at Henley Royal Regatta.”
  • Damir Martin (Croatia) “He can be somewhat mercurial in his race plans, having a tendency go off extremely hard and then trying to hold on. Sometime this doesn’t pay off and at the final two World Cups in 2015 he was off the pace. But so far in 2016 he’s shown great maturity in his sculling, winning in Varese and at retaining his title at the European Championships. His showdown with Mahe Drysdale at the Poznan World Cup was highly anticipated and turned into an epic, with the Kiwi Olympic Champion overhauling the Croat in the final sprint. Martin has established himself as one of the favourites for gold.”
  • Angel Fournier Rodriguez (Cuba) “He is a very powerful and laid back sculler, sometimes too laid back as he stopped too early in the final in 2014, nearly costing him his bronze medal. On his day he’s capable of matching the very best, but I would make him an outside bet for a medal.”
  • Ondrej Synek (Czech Republic) “One of the most outstanding scullers of his generation, Synek has four World Championship titles to his credit and two Olympic silver medals. He is one of the most consistent scullers in the world having only failed to make an A-final twice in a senior M1X career that stretches back to 2005.  The one thing he’s yet to get is an Olympic Gold medal, Rio is probably his last chance at glory.”
  • Alan Campbell (Great Britain) “He’s a sculler who wears his heart on his sleeve and you know he never holds anything back in his races. His bronze medal performance in London was one of the best performances of the regatta and to see Campbell after the race, barely able to stand, shows how much the man from Coleraine invests in every race. He was controversially dropped in 2014..and regained his place in 2015. A repeat of his heroics in London might be too much to ask but if anyone can produce a heroic performance it’s Campbell.”
  • Mahe Drysdale (New Zealand) “Probably the most outstanding sculler of the century so far, 5 world championship titles and two Olympic medals to his credit.  Rio looks set to be the Kiwi’s last international race and there is huge expectation on him to retain the title he won in London, emulating the feat achieved by Olaf Tufte in Beijing.”

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