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Rowing News | Racing gets underway at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade,


The men’s single sculls kicked off the 2023 World Rowing Championships, with 47 competitors across 8 Heats.

It was no surprise to see the reigning World and Olympic Champions, Oliver Zeidler of Germany and Stefanos Ntouskos of Greece, cross the line first in their respective Heats, but the fastest times of all eight races came in Heat 6, where Simon van Dorp of the Netherlands crossed the line in 6:40.82, followed closely by Tom Mackintosh of New Zealand. Both van Dorp and Mackintosh are new to racing the single internationally, having both spent time in their respective nation’s eights in previous seasons.

The scullers who did not finish in the top two in their Heats will face tomorrow’s repechages in the hopes of progressing to the A-D Quarterfinals.

The Dutch success was matched in the women’s single sculls, where reigning World Champion Karolien Florijn posted the fastest time across 6 heats. Florijn switched to the single sculls after a silver medal in the women’s four at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and has yet to lose a race in this new boat class.

After their surprise defeat at World Rowing Cup III, Ireland’s lightweight men’s double sculls, defending World and Olympic champions, Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan have clearly put in the work in the last few weeks. They crossed the line well clear of the pack in heat 1. However, the quickest time of the day came in heat 5 as the Swiss double of Jan Schaeuble and Raphael Ahumada beat Norway in 6:11.93. Schaeuble and Ahumada are the overall 2023 World Rowing Cup winners from earlier this season.

Racing continues tomorrow, 4 September, with Heats in the quadruple sculls, fours, women’s pair and double sculls, as well as the PR2 and PR3 boat classes.

Tomorrow will also feature the first opportunity for Paris 2024 qualification in the Heats of the PR3 Mixed Coxed Fours. It is important to note that it is not the rowers that qualify for the Games through the World Rowing Championships, but rather the boat for that respective nation.

The A-Finals for all 27 boat classes will take place from Friday, 8 September, to Sunday, 10 September.

Entries, Startlists, Results, editorial images, and more can be found here. You can also re-watch today’s racing here.

The 2023 World Rowing Championships are the first chance to secure national quota places for next year’s Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more on the Olympic Qualification Pathway see here. The Paralympic Qualification criteria can be found here.

About the World Rowing Championships

The senior World Rowing Championships are held every year at the end of the international rowing season and World Champions are crowned in 14 Olympic boat classes – seven for men and seven for women, as well as six International boat classes for lightweight rowers. Para-rowers compete in nine boat classes, five are Paralympic boat classes.

The World Rowing Championships were first held in 1962, with women’s championships added in 1974. Para events were contested for the first time at the 2002 World Rowing Championships in Sevilla, Spain.

Read more about the history of the World Rowing Championships here.

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