Three medals for the university rowers at the EUC Rowing 2023
- Datum: 18.09.2023
A fifteen-strong delegation from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology's university rowing team traveled to Bydgoszcz in Poland from 06.09.-11.09.2023 to take part in this year's European University Championships in rowing. The team competed in five boat classes: The men's team competed in the lightweight double scull (LM2x), the double scull without (M2-) and the eight (M8+). The women's team took on the two remaining boat classes with the double sculls (W2-) and the four sculls (W4-).
The racing action kicked off early on Friday morning with the preliminary heat of the lightweight men's double sculls. Adrian Mengedoht and Henri Becker secured their direct entry into the final A with a second place. Victoria Karl and Barbara Thiele achieved the same in the first block of the regatta, also qualifying directly for the final A in the women's double sculls on Sunday with a victory in the heats. Jonas Fitz and Karl Draper, who competed in the men's pair, narrowly missed out on direct qualification for the A final in a large field of entries with a second place in the preliminary heat, but were able to make up for this in the hope heat on the following Saturday. The large boats started the competitions on Friday afternoon. The women's coxless four (Victoria Karl, Barbara Thiele, Marie Louise Schubert and Aileen Vögeli) was still a little cautious in its course distribution race and finished in fifth place. The men's eight (Karl Draper, Jonas Fitz, Philip Thein, Rupert Pretzler, Martin Kansy, Alexander Haas, Raphael Mühlpfort, Adrian Mengedoht and coxswain Carla Albuera) also rowed to fifth place in the preliminary heat, but improved the next day in the hopeful heat and qualified for the final B on Sunday with a third place.
On Sunday, the final day, perfect conditions prevailed at the Brdyujscie regatta course in Bydgoszcz. Adrian Mengedoht and Henri Becker once again set the tone for a successful regatta day by moving up to second place early on in their final and not allowing this position to be taken away from them until they crossed the finish line. Behind Poland and ahead of Portugal, they won the first medal of the day for the KIT in the lightweight men's double sculls. The women's double sculls did not miss the opportunity to follow suit a few races later and also won the silver medal in an exciting race, 0.22 seconds ahead of their German rivals from Heidelberg. This meant that Victoria Karl and Barbara Thiele were only beaten by the boat from Austria. Jonas Fitz and Karl Draper, who completed the first block with their final in the men's pair, rowed to fifth place in a strong field of opponents. Having started the race well, they finished behind the boats from Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria in the final sprint. Nevertheless, they were the fastest German boat ahead of the pair from Hanover.
The second part of the final day again belonged to the team boats. The women's four with Victoria Karl, Barbara Thiele, Marie Louise Schubert and Aileen Vögeli opened the big boat block for the KIT with a thrilling final race, in which they showed their determination to improve their position from the course distribution right from the start. Rowing on the outside lane, the team performed convincingly and kept up with the competition from Denmark, Great Britain and the Netherlands. The four women only had to let up a little on the strong first place from Poland during the course of the race. The photo finish, in which places two to five crossed the finish line within 1.6 seconds of each other, made the tension perfect. The Karlsruhe women were all the more jubilant when they learned that they had secured the bronze medal behind Poland and Denmark.
The last race of this year's European University Championships took place in the premier class of rowing, the men's eight. The team of coxswain Carla Albuera competed in a high-caliber B final against the eights of European universities from Poland, Great Britain, Norway and Austria. KIT's boat had recommended itself for a middle lane due to its position in the preliminary race. They lived up to this recommendation in the final race. Karl Draper, Jonas Fitz, Philip Thein, Rupert Pretzler, Martin Kansy, Alexander Haas, Raphael Mühlpfort and Adrian Mengedoht under the command of Carla Albuera only had to let the Polish boat from the Pomeranian Medical University go. In a board-to-board battle with the eight from Imperial College London, however, the team from Karlsruhe finally managed to come out on top and achieved second place in the B final by a narrow margin, taking eighth place overall.
Coach Adrian Elter was very satisfied with the overall result: "Three medals at a Europe-wide showdown with other universities is a fantastic end to the season and proves that university rowing in Karlsruhe is competitive at an international level." Among the 81 participating universities from 20 different European countries, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology achieved 17th place in the overall ranking.
Since such a good result is always linked to the support of people outside the team, we would like to conclude by thanking everyone who made it possible for us to take part in this year's EUCs. In particular, we would like to thank the KIT University Sports team, who provided us with reliable support in our preparations for the EUC and paved the way for us to Bydgoszcz. We would also like to thank our sponsor THOST, as well as our cooperation partner, the Karlsruher Ruderverein Wiking von 1879 e.V. Another big thank you this year goes to the Mannheimer Rudergesellschaft Baden von 1880 e.V., which certainly made a decisive contribution to the success of the EUC by lending us boat equipment.