“It was extremely exhausting, but in the end it was also very successful,” said DRC rower Aaron Irfanian, pleased with his first medal at a U23 World Cup. In his debut at world title competitions in this age group in the Czech city of Re रेice, Irfanian competed in double sculls with Berlin batsman Moritz Wolff in midsummer temperatures. While the man in the capital city threw up his arms at the end of the festivities, Irfanians froze in the boat with exhaustion.
In the boat class, 21 nations had registered their teams – great competition for the German pair, who had already made the introduction of the double sculls from Greece, the eventual winner in the preliminary race. The strong Helens first forced Irfanian/Wolfe into qualifying in a tedious repechage and was also three-quarters of a boat’s length ahead in the final. “The Greeks were simply a class better than us,” Irfanian analyzed.
Even though at the start of the final it looked like the German team might dodge the competition, the Greeks pulled away completely after 750 m Irfanian and Wolff. “I am therefore very satisfied with the silver,” says Ihme Rover, who has now collected medals at the U19 European or World Championships and last year at the U23 European Championship for the fourth year in a row.
Irfanian has Paris 2024 firmly in its sights
With the runner-up title in the U23 age category, Irfanian’s ambitions for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris are also on the rise: “It’s still a little early. But if there’s a chance, I’d like to be there in Paris,” said the pharmacy student .
Ryan Smith and Leon Knack, the two DRC belt specialists, jumped to fifth straight at their World Cup premiere in the four-age group. “Totally content. More was not possible”, summarized Smith. His four-man with club partner Knack and two Frankfurters had to assert himself against 16 competing boats, and finished as the third boat in the semi-finals. In 2010, it made the final of the six fastest teams.
In the final, the German quartet could not keep up with the winning fours from Canada and their direct chasers from Ireland. “We still sold well and learned a lot,” said Weirer-Bugman Knack. “And now, after weeks of training, we are going to take a break and rest,” says the law student.