2022 World Rowing Championships: Preview, schedule and stars to watch in Racice

Rowing's biggest event of the year is about to get underway in the Czech Republic, click to find out everything you need.

By Ken Browne
Picture by NAOMI BAKER/GETTY IMAGES

The 2022 World Rowing Championships happen from 18-25 September with 900 athletes from over 65 nations set to light it up in the Czech Republic.

With almost every possible race on the water bringing the greatest concentration of world-class rowers at the Racice’s Labe Arena, it'll be a regatta to remember.

World champions in 14 Olympic, six international, and nine para-rowing boat classes will be crowned, giving us a glimpse at the form of some reigning Olympic champs and their rising competition with Paris 2024 on the horizon.

Star names like men's singles sculls Tokyo 2020 champ Stefanos Ntouskos, silver medallist Kjetil Borch, and New Zealand’s Emma Twigg who won women's singles gold will all be present.

Add to that list stars like the Sinkovic brothers Martin and Valent, Italian power pair Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini, Irish national heroes Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy.

In the mix as always are the men's and women's eights which always produce fireworks. New Zealand and Canada - respective reigning Olympic champs - will be out to reassert themselves once more.

The USA are sending a huge 25-boat contingent, Italy will have 23 on the water. Countries from Sri Lanka to Nigeria, Iraq to Uruguay will be represented.

Read on for a full list of races, a preview, schedule, who to watch and more.

2022 Rowing World Championships Events

The following Olympic, Paralympic, and International Events are scheduled to take place in Racice:

Men (M): 1x, 2x, 2-, 4x, 4-, 8+

Women (W): 1x, 2x, 2-, 4x, 4-, 8+

Lightweight Men (LM): 1x, 2x, 2-, 4x

Lightweight Women (LW): 1x, 2x, 2-, 4x

Para-rowing (PR): PR1 W1x, PR1 M1x, PR2 Mix2x, PR2 M1x, PR2 W1x, PR3 Mix2x, PR3 Mix4+, PR3 M2-, PR3 W2-.

2022 World Rowing Champs: Stars to watch

The best in the business have put in the punishing training hours to get here, and now it's time to race.

Men’s single sculls

The men's single sculls will be one of the most hotly contested events with entries piling in from 40 nations.

This one is slated to feature the current Olympic champ Stefanos Ntouskos who won Greece's first ever rowing gold in Tokyo. The 25-year-old is now after a maiden world title.

But he'll have to work for it with World and European champions Oliver Zeidler and Melvin Twellaar lining up beside him.

Tokyo silver medallist Kjetil Borch is also in the mix but in a momentous season in this category there are plenty of others in contention too like Ben Davison, Graeme Thomas, Mindaugas Griskonis and Kristian Vasilev.

This one is not to be missed.

Women's single sculls

The women's single sculls was no less of a thriller in Tokyo with New Zealand's Emma Twigg scoring success in the single sculls.

After Ireland’s two-time world champion Sunita Puspure surprised everyone by failing to qualify, and ROC’s Hanna Prakatsen getting off to a slow start, Twigg dominated from start to finish to bring home gold.

The Kiwi rower will be many people's favourite to add the World title to her Olympic gold, but with 25 nations entering boats, victory is far from assured.

Home hero Lenka Antosova will have the crowd behind her, World Cup medallists Tara Rigney of Australia and Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland are threats too.

And young riser to watch is Dutch paddler Karolien Florijn who hasn't been beaten in a single race this year.

Men's lightweight double sculls

Ireland's Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy wrote their names into Irish Olympic lore when they won the nation's first rowing gold medal at Tokyo 2020 in summer 2021.

And they ended doubts about whether they'd race in Racice back in August when McCarthy told local paper The Southern Star:

"Ya, I think we are going to give it a bash."

The reigning Olympic champs have only raced at one event this season - the European open water champs - and won it.

But Italy have a strong duo and placed second in the Euros while World Cup wins for Switzerland and Norway this season also put them in the conversation.

France and Spain will be podium contenders too.

Women's lightweight double sculls

The women's version will be just as fascinating.

Both Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallists Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini from Italy and silver medallists Claire Bove and Laura Tarantola (France) feature in a stacked lineup for this class.

They'll have one eye on Great Britain’s Imogen Grant and Emily Craig who are still on a high after their European Championship win.

But boats with Ireland, Switzerland, China, Canada and New Zealand colours will all be out to cause an upset.

Emily Craig and Imogen Grant celebrate winning the Lightweight Women's Double Sculls on day 4 of the European Championships Munich 2022 on August 14 in Munich. (Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Men's eight preview

Always one of the most highly anticipated events on the rowing calendar, the men's eight should serve up another spectacle.

New Zealand are the Olympic champions after a team of young guns came together at the right time, guided by the experienced hand of Hamish Bond who won gold in the pair at London 2012 and Rio 2016.

The reigning world champions are Germany but their team has greatly changed from last time 'round, only Torben Johannesen remains from the world title-winning team in 2019.

Elsewhere Great Britain men’s eight is definitely a threat, they won bronze in Tokyo and have won gold at every event they have entered so far this season.

Other podium contenders include Australia, Romania, and a bit of an unknown in the USA eight.

Women's eight preview

In the women's eight Canada stand out as Olympic champs with half of that team raising an oar once more.

But earlier this season they were beaten by Australia in a World Cup event meaning that this should be an exciting race with European champions Romania in with a shout too.

The Netherlands could also be there.

Australian Fours to watch out for

In Tokyo Australia won the men's and women's fours in quick succession and they'll be primed in this event again.

The women's crew - Lucy StephanRosie PopaJess Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre - were blistering in the heats and then held off a strong Dutch challenge in a thrilling finale while Ireland took third ahead of Britain.

20 minutes after the women's four success, Alexander PurnellSpencer TurrinJack Hargreaves and Alex Hill doubled Australian delight and ended Britain’s run of five consecutive wins in the event. 

Both of these crews will be out to reassert their world domination once more.

China aim to build on Olympic success

After a stunning Olympic Games last summer China is out to take it to the next level under the guidance of legendary British coach Steven Redgrave.

CHEN Yunxia, ZHANG Ling, LYU Yang and CUI Xiaotong secured only China's second rowing gold medal ever in the women’s quadruple sculls in Tokyo and will be a threat again in Racice.

They took home two more bronze medals from the women’s eight and in the men’s double sculls through LIU Zhiyu and veteran ZHANG Liang, announcing that China are here to stay on the scene. 

Look out for the further rise of Chinese rowing in Racice this September.

But while China celebrated their Olympic performance, both the UK and the USA left Japan disappointed, the British contingent won a silver and a bronze - their worst performance since the '70's - and the U.S. failed to win a single medal for the first time since 1908.

Will it be a reboot in Racice?

Where will the 2022 World Rowing Championships take place?

The event will happen at the Racice Labe Arena, a 45-minute drive from the Czech capital Prague.

Racice 2022 World Rowing Championships Schedule

  • Sunday 18 September (All times local - UTC+1)

Heats
09:30 - 10:19 M1x
10:26 - 10:54 W1x
11:01 - 11:29 LM1x
11:45 - 12:13 LW1x
12:20 - 12:48 LM2x
12:55 - 13:16 M2-
13:23 - 13:51 M2x

  • Monday 19 September

Heats
09:30 - 09:50 PR2 M1x
10:00 - PR3 M2-
10:06 - 10:12 PR3 Mix2x
10:18 - 10:30 W2-
10:36 - 10:42 LM2-
10:48 - 11:06 LW2x
11:20 - 11:38 W2x
11:44 - 11:50 LM4x
11:56 - 12:02 PR3 Mix4+
12:08 - 12:20 W4-
12:26 - 12:44 M4-
12:50 - 13:02 W4x
13:08 - 13:20 M4x

Reps
15:30 - 15:51 M1x
15:58 W1x
16:05 - 16:12 LM1x
16:19 - 16:26 M2-
16:33 - 16:40 LM2x
16:47 - M2x

  • Tuesday 20 September

Heats
09:30 - 09:50 PR1 M1x
10:00 - 10:10 PR1 W1x
10:20 - 10:30 PR2 Mix2x
10:40 - PR3 W2-
10:47 - LW2-

Reps
11:00 LW1x
11:07 W2-
11:14 - 11:21 M4-
11:28 W4-
11:35 W4x
11:42 - 11:56 M4x
11:56 - 12:17 LW2x
12:24 - PR3 Mix4+

Heats
12:31 - 12:38 M8+
12:45 - W8+

  • Wednesday 21 September

Reps
09:30 - 09:40 PR1 W1x
09:40 - 09:50 PR1 M1x
10:00 - PR2 M1x
10:10 - PR3 Mix2x
10:17 - LM2-

Quarter-Finals
10:24 - 10:45 M1x
10:52 - 11:13 W1x
11:30 - 12:19 LW1x
12:26 - 12:47 LM2x
12:54 - 13:15 M2x
13:22 - 13:29 W2x

Semi-finals E/F/G
15:30 - 15:44 M1x

Finals
15:51 LM1x
15:58 LM2x

  • Thursday 22 September

Reps
09:30 PR2 Mix2x

Semi-finals A/B
09:40 - 09:50 LW1X
10:00 - 10:10 LM1X
10:20 - 10:30 W2-
10:40 - 10:50 M2-
11:00 - 11:10 LW2x
11:20 - 11:30 LM2x
11:45 - 11:55 W4-
12:05 - 12:15 M4-
12:25 - 12:35 W4x
12:45 - 12:55 M4x

Semi-finals C/D
15:00 - 15:15 LM1x
15:20 - 15:25 M1x
15:30 - 15:35 W1x
15:40 - 15:45 LM2x
15:50 - 15:55 LW2x
16:00 - 16:05 M2-
16:10 - 16:15 M2x
16:20 - 16:25 W2x
16:30 - 16:35 M4-

Finals G
16:40 M1x
Finals F
16:45 M1x
Finals E
M1x

  • Friday 23 September

Finals D
10:00 LM1x
10:05 LW1x

Finals C
10:10 LM1x
10:15 LW1x

Finals B
10:23 PR3 Mix2x
10:29 LM2-
10:35 LM1x
10:41 LW1x

Semi-finals A/B
10:56 - 11:06 PR1M1x
11:16 - 11:26 M1x
11:36 - 11:46 W1x
11:56 - 12:06 M2x
12:16 - 12:26 W2x

Reps
12:36 - 12:45 M8+

Finals A
13:05 PR2 M1x
13:18 PR2 W1x
13:38 PR3 M2-
13:55 PR3 W2-
14:12 PR3 Mix 2x
14:28 LM2-
14:45 LW2-
15:02 LM1x
15:19 LW1x
15:36 LM4x
15:50 LW4x

  • Saturday 24 September

Finals D
10:00 M2-
10:06 LW2x
10:12 LM2x
10:18 M4-

Finals C
10:24 W2-
10:32 M2-
10:40 LW2x
10:48 LM2x
10:56 M4-
11:04 W4x
11:12 M4x

Finals B
11:30 PR2 Mix2x
11:40 PR3 Mix4+
11:48 W2-
11:56 M2-
12:04 LW2x
12:20 W4-
12:28 M4-
12:36 W4x
12:44 M4x

Finals A
13:05 PR2 Mix2x
13:18 PR3 Mix 4+
13:34 W2-
13:51 M2-
14:07 LW2x
14:23 LM2x
14:39 W4-
14:54 M4-
15:10 W4x
15:26 M4x

  • Sunday 25 September

Finals D
10:30 M1x
10:38 W1x
10:46 M2x
10:54 W2x

Finals C
11:04 PR1 M1x
11:16 M1x
11:24 W1x
11:32 M2x
11:40 W2x

Finals B
11:52 PR1 M1x
12:04 PR1 W1x
12:12 M1x
12:20 W1x
12:28 M2x
12:36 W2x
12:44 M8+

Finals A
13:05 PR1 M1x
13:20 PR1 W1x
13:39 M2x
13:54 W2x
14:10 M8+
14:25 W1x
14:44 M1x
14:59 W8+

Closing Ceremony

**This is a provisional schedule for the event, refer to the official event site for changes and updates.

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