Para rowers will continue to test themselves over the new 2,000m distance when the World Rowing Cup II begins on 16 June in Poznan, Poland.
It will be the second international competition of the season for the athletes since the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where races were held over 1,000m. Here are the ones to watch in Poznan:
Ukraine’s Paralympic champion Roman Polianskyi probably face one other Paralympic finalist from Rio in Brazil’s Rene Pereira, who finished sixth. The Ukrainian is coming in with momentum after winning the International Para Rowing Regatta in Gavirate, Italy, last month. Two B-finalists from the Paralympic Rowing Regatta, Lithuania’s Augustus Navickas and Germany’s Johannes Schmidt, will also race.
The PR1W1x could see a rematch of Gavirate’s finals between Israel’s Moran Samuel and Norway’s Birgit Skarstein. Israel’s 2016 Paralympic bronze medallist Samuel will meet with the Skarstein, fourth in Rio, who lost out to Samuel last month. Also look out too for Hungarian Paralympian Krisztina Lorincz could also push for a medal in Poznan.
A number of teams that raced in the Paralympic final last year will line up again. Paralympic champions from Great Britain Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley will notably be up against the Netherlands, who crossed the line fourth in Rio. Dutch rower Corne De Koning now has a new partner in Annika Van Der Meer. Also racing in Poznan will be the same combinations from Ukraine and Poland who finished fifth and sixth respectively at Rio 2016.
Three crews will battle for the finish line, with Ukraine sending the same line-up as the one that finished ninth at the Paralympic Games. France is sending a combination that includes two athletes who raced in Rio – Anne-Laure Frappart as well as coxswain Robin Le Barreau. Israel will also be racing with a new-look crew including one athlete, Shay-Lee Shulmit Mizrachi, who raced at the 2015 World Rowing Championships.
Para rowing finals will be held on 17 June. More information on the World Cup II can be found on World Rowing’s website.