PLOVDIV, Bulgaria – Team USA captured three gold medals at the 2018 World Rowing Championships, and two of those boats boasted Badgers, including on Sunday when former Wisconsin rower Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wisconsin) helped the women’s eight win a world championship.
For Opitz, it marked her fourth world championship gold medal in the women’s eight. She already owns gold medals from 2013, 2014 and 2015. Those four gold medals don’t include her world’s fastest time performance at the 2013 World Cup III event, which still stands as the standard to this day.
This morning, Opitz and her crew finished off an unbeaten week with a victory over second-place Canada by just over two seconds. USA clocked a 6:00.970 for 2000 meters for the win.
The eight advanced to the A final directly when it won its heat earlier this week.
Opitz’ gold-medal performance capped an action-packed week as she doubled up and finished ninth overall on Saturday in the women’s pair. She raced five times during the week, including in the heats, semifinals and B final of the women’s pair, and the heats and A final of the women’s eight.
On Saturday, former Wisconsin women’s rower Maddie Wanamaker (Neenah, Wisconsin) sat bow seat for the women’s four without coxswain and helped her crew become world champions.
Wanamaker previously won a silver medal at the 2017 World Under 23 Rowing Championships in the women’s eight, also in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
- Four Badgers – two women and two men – competed at the 2018 World Rowing Championships
- Vicky Opitz (women’s eight) and Maddie Wanamaker (women’s four) won gold medals in their respective events.
- Opitz also rowed with the women’s pair to ninth place overall, taking third in the B final on Saturday.
- Michael Knippen (Germantown, Wisconsin) took 11th in the men’s quadruple sculls with a fifth-place result in the B final on Saturday.
- Dariush Aghai (Skokie, Illinois) finished 13th in the men’s four with a victory in the C final on Saturday.
- NBC Sports Network will air coverage of the 2018 World Rowing Championships Sunday at 9:30 p.m. CT.
2018 World Rowing Championships
Sept. 16, 2018
Women’s Eight (Vicky Opitz)
A Final (Places 1-6)
1. USA, 6:00.970; 2. Canada, 6:03.050; 3. Australia, 6:03.860; 4. Netherlands, 6:06.480; 5. Romania, 6:07.990; 6. Great Britain, 6:11.880