ROWING Preview: World Cup circuit starts in Plovdiv with 157 entries from 24 nations

World Pairs Champions Martin & Valent Sinkovic (CRO)

There are only three World Rowing Cup events, held one per month as a lead-in to the annual World Rowing Championships, with the first of the 2019 season coming this weekend in the familiar rowing channel in Plovdiv (BUL).

Racing will be held in 16 classes, including 14 on the program of the Olympic Games, with qualifying beginning on Friday.

There are 157 total enties from 23 countries, several of whom are using this regatta for team selection purposes. China and Romania both have 24 entries, with Poland at 15 and Japan with 12. The U.S. has seven entries: four in women’s Pairs and three in women’s Fours.

Among the entries are several past Olympic and World Championships medal winners in the individual and Pairs events:

Men/Single Sculls:
● Damir Martin (CRO) ~ 2016 Olympic silver medalist

● Martin Sinkovic/Valent Sinkovic (CRO) ~ 2018 World Champions
● Marius Vasile Cozmiuc/Ciprian Todosa (ROU) ~ 2018 Worlds silver medalists

Women/Single Sculls:
● Mirka Knapkova (CZE) ~ Now 38: 2012 Olympic Champion; 2011 World Champion
● Ekaterina Karsten (BLR) ~ Now 46: 1996-2000 Olympic golds; six World titles 1997-2009

● Virginia Diaz Rivas/Aina Cid (ESP) Cid: 2018 Worlds bronze medalist

Karsten and Knapkova are both amazing stories. Knapkova did not compete in 2017 due to maternity and rowed in the Quadruple Sculls last season. But she is back to the event she is famous for; at 38, will she be a contender again? Karsten is also returning to the Single Sculls after a season in the Quadruple Sculls in 2018.

World Rowing has an extensive coverage plan, including live results, a live blog, video and more; look for results here.