Italy's Martino Goretti secured his place at next year's World Rowing Indoor Championships ©Getty Images

Four-time world champion Martino Goretti was among the rowers to book their place at next year’s World Rowing Indoor Championships (WRICH) after success in the European qualifier.

The Italian was victorious at the European event, hosted by British Rowing, with participants competing on Concept2 static rowing machines.

Italy’s Goretti won the men’s lightweight 2,000 metres race in 6min 13.8sec, while Belgian Ward Lemmelijn secured his spot with victory in men’s open 2,000m contest in 05:47.6.

Goretti was a member of three victorious lightweight eights teams on the water from 2005 to 2009, before winning a world title in the men's lightweight single sculls last year. 

Poland’s Bartosz Zablocki and Britain’s Robert Leonard also qualified after finishing second behind Lemmelijn and Goretti respectively.

Sophie Souwer of The Netherlands and Britain’s Kirstyn Luton were the best WRICH entrants in the women’s open 2,000m competition.

Poland’s Klaudia Pankratiew and Latvian Olga Svirska prevailed from the women’s lightweight 2,000m event.

Entries were received from 42 countries, with Britain at the top of the list followed by Italy, Hungary and Germany.

Anyone with a Concept2 static rowing machine could enter.

The European tournament is due to continue tomorrow.

The 2021 WRICH will be a virtual event held in late February.

World Rowing hopes this will promote indoor rowing better to lower levels of ability, while it also means the event can take place in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s competition was staged in Paris in early February.