1 Aug 2018

A thrilling day of racing expected on day one of Rowing at Glasgow 2018

The draw for Thursday has thrown up a number of tantalising match-ups that will set the tone for the following three days of repechages, semi-finals and finals at Strathclyde Country Park.

Madalina Beries (ROU) will be hoping for a perfect start to the defence of her European title in the women's pair, as she and new partner Denisa Tilvescu lead off the heats of the first day of Rowing at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships on Thursday.

But the Romanians will have to beat off strong challengers from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Poland and Hungary, who also feature in the first race of the regatta, to be sure of earning a spot in Saturday's final.

The women's pair kicks off a packed morning of racing at Strathclyde Country Park. The draw has thrown up a number of tantalising match-ups that will set the tone for the following three days of repechages, semi-finals and finals.

The third and final heat of the lightweight men's double sculls pits Olympic, World and European champion Pierre Houin (FRA) and his crewmate Thomas Baroukh against perennial rivals Paul and Gary O'Donovan (IRL). The Irish brothers, who won silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and the European Championships in Radice, Czech Republic, are in strong form this season.

The men's quadruple sculls draw sees World Cup leaders Great Britain drawn in the same heat as a strong Dutch crew, and World and European Champions Lithuania. The Lithuanian crew is largely unchanged from the line-up which won in Radice last year. Saul Ritter is the only new entrant, replacing Martynas Dziaugys.

The Dutch and British women's quadruple sculls crews are also due to race each other, with the Polish women's quad lining up alongside in heat one. Like the Lithuanian men, the Dutch are World Champions and have made only one change from last year's crew. Karolien Florijn has taken the seat that was occupied last year by Inge Janssen.

In the men's eight, medal favourites Germany, undefeated at the three World Cup regattas this year, have avoided a heat against fierce rivals Great Britain. The Germans will race Italy and Romania in heat two, while Great Britain face Russia, the Netherlands and Poland in heat one.

German cox Martin Sauer said the competition was still too close to call.

"We won in Lucerne by one-tenth of a second. We struggled in Linz and it was a tight competition in Belgrade - we have just been lucky winners," he said.

Depending on the number of entries in each event, the winners of Thursday's heats will progress either straight to the finals, on Saturday and Sunday, or the semi finals, which are on Friday and Saturday.

Crews that miss out on automatic progression will get a second chance in the repechages. The men's pairs and fours will race their repechages at the end of Thursday's session, ahead of Friday's semi finals, with the remaining repechages on Friday morning.