World Cup III: A Regatta with Many Surprises

New Zealand’s women’s eight took a gold medal in Rotterdam at the third and final 2019 World Cup. Photo: FISA.

14 July 2019

The third and final World Rowing Cup of the 2019 season had a wide medal spread with 23 countries taking home medals, FISA, World Rowing, announced in a press release earlier today. Raced at the Willem Alexander Baan regatta course in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, rowers had three days of, at times, difficult racing conditions due to breezy, unsettled weather.

There were a number of surprises, one being Great Britain’s men’s eight nocking the unbeaten German eight off the top spot. Germany has not lost a race since the start of 2017. But they still held on to silver with New Zealand winning their first men’s eight medal in a number of years, taking bronze. In the women’s eight, New Zealand finished first over World Rowing Cup II winners Australia. Canada got back onto the medals podium in the third-place spot.

Racing in the para-rowing boat classes added a number of medals to Ukraine’s collection. These included Roman Polianskyi winning the para PR1 men’s single sculls. Ukraine also medalled in the para PR2 men’s single, PR3 men’s pair, PR1 women’s single, PR2 mixed double and PR3 mixed coxed four.

The men’s single sculls had a Scandinavian flavour with Sverri Nielsen of Denmark and Kjetil Borch of Norway creating a race of their own at the head of the field. Nielsen won gold ahead of reigning World Champion Borch. Olympic silver medallist, Damir Martin of Croatia, was back on the podium in the bronze medal spot.

Both the men’s and women’s fours were won by Australia with the women beating World Rowing Cup II winner, Denmark, in convincing fashion. These two wins added to Australia’s impressive World Cup III points win. Australia topped the points table with 59 points. As well as the fours, Australia dominated the sweep rowing boat classes. They also struck gold in the women’s and men’s pair. New Zealand came in second on the points table with 48 points and Great Britain got third with 45 points.

The success for Australia at the last two World Rowing Cups made them the overall World Cup series winners for 2019. Australia finished the series with 120 points, followed by New Zealand at 103 points and China at 95 points.

Host country, the Netherlands, earned 31 World Cup points and finished the series overall in seventh place. The Dutch medal success at Rotterdam was enhanced by para-rowers Corne de Koning and Annika van der Meer each winning two boat classes. There was also gold for the Netherlands in the lightweight men’s quadruple sculls. But perhaps the most popular medal for the Dutch went to Marieke Keijser and Ilse Paulis when they took silver in the lightweight women’s double sculls. Paulis is the Olympic Champion in this boat class and with new partner, Keijser, they are aiming for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Lisa Scheenaard’s bronze medal in the women’s single sculls also brought the local crowd to their feet. Scheenaard took third behind gold medallist Emma Twigg of New Zealand and silver medallist Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland.

Race results, race reports, photos and videos are available on

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