Germany dominated at the World Junior Rowing Championships with 11 medals, including five gold ©World Rowing

Germany dominated a packed day of finals here at the World Junior Rowing Championships, winning five of the 13 titles in a regatta doubling as a test event for next summer's Olympics and Paralympics. 

Much of the focus beforehand was on pollution concerns in the water, but it was conditions off it which caused problems as strong winds forecast for tomorrow led to all the finals being brought forward to today.

Yet, with only a slight tailwind along with sunny skies, there were perfect conditions for the last of four days of competition for athletes aged 18-and-under spanning 54 countries, including a 22-strong team from hosts Brazil.

Germany were always going to struggle to match the seven gold medals they won on home waters at last year's event in Hamburg, but they still underlined their status as the world's number one junior rowing nation with a total medal haul of 11. 

After single sculler Henrik Runge took silver behind Italian winner Giacomo Gentili in the opening final of the day, gold soon followed in thrilling fashion as Olaf Roggensack and Rene Schmela won the men's pair event.

This was not without a mighty struggle, however, as Romania's Constantin-Crist Hirgau and Alexandru Chioseau pushed them all the way and eventually missed out by just 0.25 seconds.

Annemieke Schanze and Frieda Hammerling then followed ther male counterparts in beating Romanian opponents to gold in the women's double sculls before Michel Zorb, Jan Muchow, Jan Hennecke and Marcus Elster crossed the line first to win the men's coxed four.

A further victory came for Lena Reuss, Katharina Borms and sisters Franziska and Laura Kampmann in the quad sculls.

The women's eight then repeated their victory at last year's event, finishing more than three seconds ahead of Italy in 6min 39.79sec as United States took bronze.

Pollution concerns caused the headlines beforehand, but Germany prevailed once action began on the water ©Getty Images
Pollution concerns caused the headlines beforehand, but Germany prevailed once action began on the water ©Getty Images

European nations proved utterly dominant on South American waters as they won all but one of the 13 titles up for grabs.

The only exception was the women's coxless four, where the US took gold ahead of Germany and New Zealand.

As well as their single sculls success, there was a second victory for Italy courtesy of Andrea Cattaneo and Emanuele Fiume, who edged out Germany to win the men's double sculls.

There were also two successes for The Netherlands as Marieke Keijser won the women's single sculls before the men's eight capped off the day with gold, getting the better of the US and Germany.

Some of the other established rowing nations were less successful, with Australia and New Zealand settling for just one bronze medal apiece.

Brtain won three medals, including gold in the men's quad sculls, while Romania recovered from their two narrow defeats to claim victory in the men's coxless four and Russia trimphed in the women's coxless pair.

With the picturesque course completmented by a strong atmosphere and good crowd support, particularly from the American and Italian teams, the event appeared a good advert ahead of next year's Games, by which time two new grandstands should be added on the side of the course opposite the shore.

World Rowing  President Jean-Christophe Rolland claimed the regatta gave a good impression ahead of Rio 2016. 

"It was a very, very interesting regatta that helped us gather important information that will be necessary for the running of a successful Olympic rowing regatta," he said. 

"This [World Junior Championships] is not the Olympic Games, but it was very good to test the key technical elements.

"Of course we can't test everything, but we know the issues that we have to work with.

"It has been important to have face-to-face conversations with the relevant technical delegates that were here and so it was not just about written documents, but about the real impression of the event on the actual field of play."

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