Olena Buryak Breaks World Records

Olena Buryak sets two world records. Photo: FISA.

31 July 2017

At the end of last week, Olena Buryak of Ukraine broke two world records in indoor rowing at the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland. Buryak, who is rowing in the 19-29-year-old category heavyweight on the ergometer, first shaved an incredible 2 ½ seconds off her own record of 6:25.0, set in 2015, over the 2,000-metre distance, crossing the imaginary finish line at 6:22.8. The day after, on 27 July, she rowed over the 500-metre distance at 1:24.5. The new record did not come as a surprise to her, as she broke the 500-metre record during training a week ago.

‘I was prepared for this and it’s my last year in this category,’ Buryak told Worldrowing.com (FISA’s website). ‘I wanted a record that no one else could beat.’

Second in the 2,000-metre was Cecilia Velin of Sweden, who set a personal best at 6:38.2. Third was Magdalena Lobnig of Austria, who was more than 2 seconds behind the Swede at 6:40.8. While both Buryak and Lobning are part of their nations’ rowing teams and preparing for the World Championships in Florida in September, Velin started rowing at the end of 2015 after several successful years as a paddler of dragon boats and kayaker.

‘I was prepared and I did my best,” Velin said, according to Worldrowing.com, ‘I could do more but not today.’

Velin was hoping to beat Buryak in the 500-metre race, but the Ukrainian rower took the lead from the start at a 50 stroke rate pace, with the Swedish rower trailing behind in second place at 52. The Swede kept the high stroke rate, while the Ukranian rower dropped down to 46. Understroking Velin, Buryak still kept the lead. With 150 metres to go, Anna Wierzbowska of Poland, who had been in the third position, passed Velin. The Polish rower kept the second place for the rest of the race and finished in a time of 1:26.8. Velin’s finishing time was 1:27.0.

Cecilia Velin, an up-and-coming rower from Sweden. Photo: Swedish Rowing Association.

Oliver Zeidler of Germany, also a newcomer to the sport of indoor rowing (from competitive swimming), won the men’s heavyweight race at 5:42.0. The German started rowing six months ago, although he has used the rowing machine as part of his swimming training. He then entered the German Indoor Rowing Cup and won!

Results are here.


  1. As fit as they all are, Lobnig is the proven Boat mover. I believe she won the European single sculls title a year or so back.

  2. You are right, Bailey, Magdalena Lobnig became the European champion in the single sculls in 2016, took a 6th place in Rio and won gold in the 2017 World Cup in Poznan and bronze both in Belgrade and Lucerne.

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