Croatian brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic are among the Rio 2016 gold medallists who have been named as winners in the 2016 World Rowing Awards honours list announced today.
The duo have been awarded the male crew of the year crown in recognition of their men’s double sculls success at the Olympic Games in August.
Victory capped off a memorable couple of years for the siblings since moving out of their nation’s highly-successful men’s quadruple sculls crew.
In 2014, they began an unbroken winning streak that saw them become the first double ever to finish in under six minutes.
They then went on to win back-to-back World Championship titles, triumphing in Amsterdam in 2014 and Aiguebelette in France last year.
The female crew of the year title has gone the way of Poland’s Magdalena Fularczyk-Kozlowska and Natalia Madaj, who claimed the women’s double sculls gold medal at Rio 2016.
The triumph came in their fourth season as a pairing and ensured a first Olympic gold medal for Poland in women’s rowing.
It built on two European Rowing Championship titles as well as World Rowing Cup wins and a fourth-place finish at the 2015 World Rowing Championships.
Another rower to receive recognition following success at Rio 2016 is Great Britain’s Rachel Morris, who won the women’s singles sculls at the Paralympic Games just three years after making the transition from Para-cycling.
Morris’ path to success saw her take silver at last year’s World Rowing Championships as well as becoming the holder of the world’s best time in the single.
The 37-year-old has been named the Para crew of the year and will be honoured along with the other winners at a gala dinner during the 2016 World Rowing Coaches Conference in the Canadian city of Vancouver on January 28.
The coach of the year award has gone to South Africa’s Roger Barrow, who has spearheaded the development of elite rowing in his country.
Four years after guiding South Africa, and Africa as a whole, to its first-ever Olympic gold medal in rowing with success in the men’s lightweight coxless fours, he took a squad of five boats to Rio - the biggest South Africa has ever fielded at a Games.
All crews made the A-final with the men’s coxless pair of Lawrence Brittain and Shaun Keeling winning silver.
Also honoured by World Rowing is Australia’s Reinhold Batschi, with the distinguished services to international rowing award.
Batschi began as a rower representing his country, Romania, at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.
He subsequently moved to Europe, coaching initially in Germany, then to Australia where he was the head coach of each of the nation’s Olympic rowing teams from 1984 to 2000 - a period in which they won 16 medals in the sport at the quadrennial event.
Batschi designed an innovative coaching education system and helped standardise rowing technique throughout the country.
He also used his position to help develop rowing nations in Oceania and throughout the world.