Rowing golds for Italy’s men and Greece’s women
Alberto Zamariola and Nicolas Castelnovo of Italy powered to rowing gold in the men’s pairs at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 on Tuesday 9 October, while Maria Kyridou and Christina Bourmpou of Greece did likewise in the women’s pairs final later in the day.
The Italians’ winning time of 1:30.40 gave them victory by 0.25 seconds from world junior champions Florin Arteni-Fintinariu and Alexandru Danciu of Romania, while Argentina’s Felipe Modarelli and Tomás Herrera finished a further 0.32 seconds back to collect a bronze that was loudly cheered at the Urban Park. The medal was the host nation’s first of Buenos Aires 2018.
Zamariola and Castelnovo also won Italy’s first gold of the Games, much to the former’s delight: “It doesn’t get any more exciting for us than to do that. I can’t describe how I feel. We didn’t use to compete together but we won the national trials and got down to work.”
The Buenos Aires-born Modarelli was similarly delighted with his bronze: “When we started out on this journey four years ago this is the way we wanted to end, by winning a medal and celebrating with our people. The two of us have a healthy relationship. We’re always arguing. We’ve been living together and sharing the same boat for the last two years.”
“This is going to be the first of many medals for Argentina,” said his partner Herrera. “I’ll never forget seeing my family cheering us on. It was amazing. We’re happy because we came here to perform the best we could. We’re different people but we support each other a lot and we complement each other well.”
In the women’s pairs final, Maria Kyridou and Christina Bourmpou of Greece lived up to expectations by claiming the gold medal in a time of 1:40.00. Anna Santruckova and Eliska Podrazilova of Czech Republic crossed the line just 0.09 second behind them to claim the silver, while Tabita Maftei and Alina Baletchi of Romania took the bronze.
It was the third major title this season for the two Greek 17-year-olds, who are also reigning world junior and European under-23 champions.