It was a day of shining new talent as 23 nations took medals from the finals of World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland.
The regatta, with participation from China, to the United States, to Australia and New Zealand revealed a new group of athletes that have come in to take the top spots in shining style left vacant by post-Olympic retirements. It also showed the development of athletes who have taken on different boat class challenges. One new gap was superbly filled by New Zealand's new men's single sculler Robert Manson who not only finished first, but he also set a new World Best Time, a time that had previously been owned by fellow-countryman and Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale. Also taking single sculls medals were Cuba's Angel Fournier Rodriguez who finished second and Switzerland's new single sculling sensation Nico Stahlberg who came third.
Back in the women's pair, after racing in the Olympic women's eight, was New Zealand's Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler. This was the first international race of the season for the duo and they also set a new World Best Time when they placed first ahead of the United States' pair of Megan Kalmoe and Tracy Eisser followed by Australia's Sarah Howe and Molly Goodman. Howe and Goodman also medalled earlier in the day when they were in the winning women's four. They were the only athletes to take more than one medal at this regatta.
In the men's eight blue ribband event, the German Men's Eight set a new World Best Time breaking a record that had stood since 2012 when they raced to gold ahead of New Zealand and the Olympic Champions Great Britain in today's final race.
A World Cup Best time was set by women's single sculler Magdalena Lobnig of Austria who beat Great Britain's new single sculler and European Champion Victoria Thornley to the line with China's Olympic bronze medallist Jingli Duan finishing third.
Finishing at the top of the World Cup points table was New Zealand with 50 points followed by Great Britain with 40 points and Germany with 36. In terms of the medals table, New Zealand also finished on top by winning six gold medals and a silver. As well as the men's single and women's pair, New Zealand took gold in the lightweight women's single sculls, both the men's and women's double sculls and the women's eight. Host nation Poland finished second with two gold, two silver and four bronze medals. Australia was third with two gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
The World Rowing Cup series was launched in 1997 and consists of a series of three events each year. The overall World Rowing Cup winners are determined after the third and final event, this year in Lucerne, SUI this coming 7 to 9 July 2017. This year the first regatta of the series this year was in Belgrade, SRB, from 5 to 7 May 2017.