The World Rowing Championships in Belgrade have concluded, and the results are in. The championships, which also served as a crucial qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, saw a plethora of former Boat Race athletes. With graduates from both Cambridge and Oxford universities making their mark on the global rowing stage, often going head to head with former rivals or lining up against their Boat Race crewmates.
Switzerland’s 🇨🇭Roman Röösli (Oxford BB ‘22) clinched a gold medal in the Men’s Coxless Pair (M2-), confirming his spot for the Paris 2024. Roman is paired with Andrin Gulich and we saw a glimmer of their speed when they had early success at World Cup I before going on to tussle with Great Britain’s 🇬🇧 Tom George and Ollie Wynne-Griffith (Cambridge BB ’22) during the other World Cup and European Cup races. Tom and Ollie secured a silver medal in the same event, also ensuring their participation in the upcoming Olympics.
The Men’s Coxless Four (M4-) event was dominated by former Boat Race athletes. Freddie Davidson (Cambridge BB ’17, ’18, ’19, ’20) and David Ambler (Oxford ‘22) of Great Britain 🇬🇧 defended their title and clinched the gold, while Liam Corrigan (Oxford BB ‘22) of the USA 🇺🇸 secured a silver medal.
Great Britain’s 🇬🇧 Charlie Elwes (Oxford BB ‘22) played a pivotal role in middle of the Men’s Eight (M8+), helping his crew clinch the gold medal and defend their world title. Seated directly opposite his 2022 Boat Race crewmate, Jack Robertson (Oxford BB ‘22) of Australia 🇦🇺, Robertson and his Australian team put up a fierce fight, ultimately securing the bronze medal.
The veins of light and dark blue running through the top end of all the men’s sweep events is testament to the depth of talent we’ve seen in the crews in recent years and we’re excited to see what fate has in store in 2024.
In the Women’s Lightweight Double Scull, Great Britain’s 🇬🇧 Imogen Grant (Cambridge Lightweight Women’s Boat ’16, Blondie ’16, BB ’17, ’18 & ’22) continued her unbeaten run, defending her title alongside Emily Craig. This duo look unstoppable as they continue their march towards Paris 2024.
Germany’s 🇩🇪 Jan Helmich (Cambridge Lightweight Men’s Spare 2- ‘19) earned a bronze in the PR34+ category, improving from his previous year’s performance but couldn’t match the speed of the Great Britain crew coxed by Erin Kennedy (Oxford BB ’14) who clinched gold in an event that GB have come to dominate. Both athletes secured a place in Paris for their nations.
Just outside the medals, Henry Fieldman (Cambridge BB ‘13), coxing the Great Britain 🇬🇧 Women’s Eight (W8+), finished in a commendable 4th place getting squeezed off the podium by the Australian 8+ in a fantastic race but importantly they secured Olympic qualification.
South Africa’s 🇿🇦 Paige Badenhorst (Cambridge BB ‘22), despite a commendable effort, finished 12th in the Women’s Double Sculls (W2x) and Bermuda’s 🇧🇲 Dara Alizadeh (Cambridge BB ‘18 & ‘19) showcased his skills in the Men’s Single Sculls (M1x) but finished 4th in the E-H Quarter Final, missing out on Olympic qualification.
Fantastic achievements from all of these athletes who have balanced high performance training with academic excellence on their journey to international representation. Whether they’ve already secured Olympic qualification or will be heading to the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in 2024 we’ll be cheering them all on next year!
Photos: Benedict Tufnell/Row360