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Rowing FISA Under 23 World Championships 2021


Totallympics
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:GRE TEAM GREECE :GRE

 

Men:

BLM1X: Antonios Papakonstantinou

BM2-: Pavlos Faitas, Dimitrios Zografos

BM2X: Athanasios Palaiopanos, Christos Stergiakas

BM4-: Zisis Boukouvalas, Stefanos Kapakoglou, Theodoros Lapikof, Leonidas Tzoumezis

 

Women:

BLW1X: Evangelia Anastasiadou

BW2X: Angeliki Arabatzi, Evangelia Fragkou

BLW2X: Eirini Varelopoulou, Eleni Varelopoulou

 

Obviously since athletes going to Tokyo aren't here, we are without our big stars Christina Bourmpou and Maria Kyridou who won gold in 2019 as 18 year olds in BW2-. Still, this is a decent team for us. Most people are super young.

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Men:

Papakonstantinou I think will win a medal. He is very experienced and has won some medals before, and he also won his heat yesterday.

 

I don't expect much from Faitas and Zografos. They're really young but if they can make the final I think it would be good. They are 18 and 20 so they will have more chances at this event.

 

Palaiopanos and Stergiakas are good and experienced. Palaiopanos has won some medals before, but in the men's pair, and Stergiakas won gold in this event in 2018 but we haven't seen him for the national team since then, so it's nice to see him back. They won their heat today which I guess shows that they should win a medal too.

 

I think our men's four are too inexperienced. We won bronze in that event at the European U23s last year, but only one of them is back now (Boukouvalas). Another one is now too old (Kalandaridis), and one switched to the double sculls (Palaiopanos). The fourth member is Palaiopanos' brother, so I'm not sure why he's not in the team this year.

 

Would've been nice to see Stasinos and Makrygiannis here as they won a medal at the European Junior Championships last year and are now too old for that category, but I guess they're still young. Maybe next year...

 

 

Women:

Anastasiadou won gold last year at the European U23 as an 18 year old, but the entry list here is quite strong so I was concerned. However, she dominated her heat today and some others I expected to do better didn't, so now I'm more confident about her medal chances.

 

I was surprised to see Arabatzi with Fragkou as Arabatzi is a lightweight rower, but they dominated their heat today which was a nice surprise. Both just 18 years old. 

 

The Varelopoulou sisters also did really well in their heat, lost first place right at the end but still qualified directly for the final which is nice. I didn't expect them to do so well.

 

I'm disappointed that some of the other good U23 girls like Christodoulidis, Noni, Agioti, Vontzou aren't here. I guess our coaches decided not to send any of the USA-based athletes to Racice. The championships are earlier this year than they usually are. Maybe some of them will appear at the European U23s in early September though.

 

 

 

Overall a really nice start for Greece with 4 of our 7 boats winning their heats. I wasn't as confident in our chances before the regatta started but now I think we'll get 3-4 medals. We won 4 medals in 2019 (M1X, M2-, W2-, W2X) and 4 of those 7 rowers made it to Tokyo. The problem is that we always win a bunch of medals at these U23 and junior regattas but then a lot of our athletes disappear. Hopefully that will start to change.

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  • The title was changed to Rowing FISA Under 23 World Championships 2021

Greek boys finished 6th in the men's pair. Okay result, both are really young and will have 2-3 more chances in this category.

 

Our men's four didn't make it to Final A which is disappointing but they are also a young team.

 

 

Tomorrow we have 5 finals and they are all back-to-back. LW1X and LM1X we won our semifinals so I would be shocked if they don't win medals. Evangelia Anastasiadou proving her gold at last year's European U23 as an 18 year old was no fluke. If she can get a good partner (Nikolaidou if she's healthy) then they could honestly do big things and even win a medal together in Paris if she keeps improving like this.

 

W2X and M2X we finished 2nd in our semifinals so I think both have good chances to win medals (both also won their heats). I'm very impressed with our W2X as both are just 18 years old.

 

Also I'm curious to see how we do in LW2X. It seems like they can win a medal too.

 

Basically I guess all 5 crews can win medals. I think if we win less than 3 medals, it would be a big disappointment. I think if we sent Christodoulidis in W1X and Noni/Vontzou in W2-, those easily could've been another two medals.

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Usually Germany/Italy/Romania are always dominating at U23/Junior level, but then at senior level other nations like GB, New Zealand or The Netherlands are doing better. Either Germany/Italy/Romania are training too much too early or they just don’t offer enough support for their athletes after they are too old for the U23 level.

Russian warship, go fuck yourself!

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18 minutes ago, OlympicsFan said:

Usually Germany/Italy/Romania are always dominating at U23/Junior level, but then at senior level other nations like GB, New Zealand or The Netherlands are doing better. Either Germany/Italy/Romania are training too much too early or they just don’t offer enough support for their athletes after they are too old for the U23 level.

I think this year is different as @zob79said because some U23 rowers are going to Tokyo and therefore aren't here.

 

Greece is another country that sometimes does very well at U23/Junior level and then we totally drop off after that. I think a lot of it has to do with our controversial national team coach (Postiglione) who many former and current athletes say needs to be removed, and also the fact that they don't make any money unlike other sports. Postiglione also does not approve of Greek rowers attending university and wants them 12 months out of the year to be in training camps. At some point they need to earn a living or get a part-time job or something.

 

For example we had Christina Giazitzidou and Triantafyllia Kalampoka dominate LW2X together. At the World U23 Championships they won silver in 2008, gold in 2009, gold in 2010, and gold in 2011. Giazitzidou with a different partner won gold at the senior World Championships in 2009 and 2011 and then bronze at London 2012. Both Giazitzidou and Kalampoka stopped rowing at age 22. Kalampoka's last competition was the 2011 World U23 Championships where she won gold for the third year in a row in LW2X. It's quite crazy when you think about it. There are many examples like this in Greek rowing.

 

Christos Stergiakas seemed to be another case, won gold at the 2018 World U23 Championships in M2X as a 19 year old, and he had some incident with the national team coach, but now shockingly he is back three years later but usually once these rowers leave the national team they never come back.

 

Stefanos Ntouskos is probably expected by most to make the final in M1X in Tokyo and he's only 24 years old. He's actually the oldest rower on our national team which says a lot. He could possibly even win a medal in Tokyo. Even he said recently in an interview that he doesn't know if he will be able to continue after Tokyo because all these years he has been taking a break from university and at some point he needs to focus on something that he can actually make a career out of (he is enrolled in a medical school but has paused his studies for several years).

 

Also I can't speak for Romania or Italy but in Greece it is very hard to combine studies with sport, especially in rowing where athletes don't make money and they usually train minimum 8 hours a day (unlike other sports where they perhaps don't train as hard or individual sports where they don't need to be with their crews and therefore don't have to coordinate their schedules). That's also why a lot of our rowers choose to go to the United States for their university sports (which is a separate conversation for another time).

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1 hour ago, Jinzha said:

Three medals for :NED

W2x gold, W8 silver and M4x bronze

 

The W2x pair were also junior champions in 2019, sounds promising!

The W2X final was very exciting to watch! All three medalists were within one second of each other. And Romania was very close to winning a medal too.

 

Our girls were in the lead for most of the race and lost it at the end unfortunately, but both are just 18 so winning bronze is still a very good result for them :)

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