Romania stands among the world's elite countries when it comes to rowing. Romanian crews' results in Olympic events are definitely noteworthy. The first Olympic medals that went to Romanian crews in an Olympic competition were those won in Munich, in 1972. Back then, the coxed pair crew, made of Petre Ceapura, Ladislau Lovrenschi and Ştefan Tudor stepped onto the third step of the podium. For the first time in an Olympic contest, women's events were officially approved of in Montreal, in 1976. The Romanian women's crews lived up to everyone's expectations and in the coxed four event, stepped also onto the third step of the podium. The following edition of the Olympics, held in Moscow in 1980, saw Romania's Sanda Toma winning the first gold medal, in the single scull event. From 1984 to 2004, Romania's women crews dominated the Olympic competitions. All told, 17 more gold medals were won by Romania's competing delegations. We recall that at the Los Angeles Olympics, five Olympic medals went to Romania's women's crews, while one such medal was won by one of Romania's men's crews. Romania last scooped an Olympic medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, when Georgeta Andrunache and Viorica Susanu won the women's coxless pair event. Overall, 2016 was the year when Romanian rowing last won a medal as in Rio de Janeiro, Romania's women's coxed eight crew walked away with the bronze medal.
All things considered, things are looking up regarding Romania's chances to resume a world-level leading position, as the more so as in 2021, the Olympic Games will be hosted by Japan, between July 23rd and August 8th. No less than seven Romanian crews have already qualified: the men's four sculls, lightweight women's double sculls, women's straight four, men's coxless pair, women's coxless pair, women's double sculls and men's double sculls.
There were high expectations regarding Romania's women's coxed eight crew, yet in 2019 the crew came in last in the World Championship final in Linz, Austria, wasting the opportunity to book a straight qualification in the competition. The coxed eight could have had another chance to secure their qualification in the Lucerne Regatta, but this year's edition of the event was cancelled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Nevertheless...there could be another chance for the Romanians.
(Translation by Eugen Nasta)