2017 World Rowing Championships set for Sarasota

Para rowers will go for titles over the new 2,000m distance 23 Sep 2017
Man rowing

Blake Haxton


The 2017 World Rowing Championships are set from Sunday (24 September) in Sarasota-Bradenton, USA. It will be the first Championships Para rowers will have to face over a new, double distance of 2,000m.

Live results, as well as live streaming will be available on www.worldrowing.com.

Here are the boats to watch for in the five Para rowing medal events:

PR1 men’s single sculls (PR1 M1x)

After bursting into the scenes in his Paralympic debut in Rio de Janiero, Ukraine’s Roman Polianski is the favourite in the PR1 M1x and will go for his first world title. The 31-year-old stunned the crowd winning Paralympic gold, upsetting Australia’s Erik Horrie who took silver. Polianski had a dominating victory in June’s World Cup in Poznan, Poland. Many familiar faces were absent from that competition but are in Sarasota.

Horrie will try to retain his title from 2015. But the USA’s Blake Haxton, who is racing on home waters, would like his first major medal after just missing the podium at Rio 2016.

PR1 women’s single sculls (PR1 W1x)

With British reigning Paralympic champion Rachel Morris out with a shoulder injury, Norway’s dual-sport athlete Birgit Skarstein, Israel’s Moran Samuel and China’s Wang Lili are expected to battle for the finish line. Wang was an unknown entering Rio 2016, which was her first ever international rowing competition, in which she took the silver medal. Samuel bumped Skarstein for third place. But with a new distance and no Morris, the top prize can go any way.

PR2 mixed double sculls (PR2 Mix2x); PR3 mixed double sculls (PR3 Mix2x)

With Great Britain’s reigning Paralympic champions of Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley absent in the entry list, the competition for first in the PR2 Mix2x could be anyone’s game.

The Dutch boat of Annika Van der Meer and Corne de Koning are coming off a commanding victory from the Poznan World Cup, winning by more than 15 seconds, and would look to make up for missing out on a medal in Rio.

Two-time Paralympic medallists Liu Shuang and Fei Tianming have experience but have yet to show how they can race over 2,000m.

In the PR3 Mix2x, Austrian’s Johanna Beyer and Rainer Putz return from their silver medal finish from Poznan. But the field eight other boats vying for medals.

PR3 mixed coxed four (PR3 Mix4+)

Great Britain has a reputation for winning in this category. And although there will be some new faces for this crew that won gold at Rio 2016 and the world title from two years ago, they are still the ones to beat. Oliver Stanhope, Anna Corderoy, Grace Clough, Gierdre Rakauskaite and James Fox will try to show their dominance over the new distance.

Their main rivals the USA have the home advantage. Comprised of Jaclyn Smith, Jennifer Sichel, Zachary Burns, Michael Varro and Danielle Hansen – the USA will try to, this time, do one better than finishing behind Great Britain at the last two major international competitions.

Complete information on the 2017 World Rowing Championships can be found on World Rowing’s website.