Team Lithuania at Rio Olympics: Rowing

Armandas Kelmelis
LIF nuotr.

Seven men will compete in three events and three women will race in two different races.

Armandas Kelmelis, 18, who recently won gold in the junior European championship that took place in Trakai, Lithuania, will compete in the single sculls event. Kelmelis is an experienced athlete who won silver in the world junior championships in 2014. In the same year, the young Lithuanian also won bronze in the European junior championships in Hazewinkel, Belgium, while in 2015 he won silver in Racice, Czech Republic.

The favourites for winning a medal are 30-year-old Mindaugas Griškonis and 27-year-old Saulius Ritter. The pair will compete in the double sculls event. In 2015, Griškonis competed in the singles event in the World Championships in Aiguebelette, France, and three times European champion (2009, 2011, 2012). In the 2014 European Championship in Belgrade, Serbia, the Lithuanian won bronze, while in the 2007 championship in Poznań, Poland, Griškonis took the silver medal.

While Griškonis is more experienced in singles, Saulius Ritter is used to competing in doubles. In the 2015 world championships, Ritter took the second place together with Rolandas Maščinskas. In the Summer Universiade of 2015 that took place in Gwangju, South Korea, Ritter won the gold medal for Lithuania and would like to repeat his achievement in the big Olympic Games. In 2011 and 2014, Ritter was the European champion while in 2013 he took silver.

Aurimas Adomavičius, 22, Martynas Džiaugys, 29, Dominykas Jančionis, 23, and Dovydas Nemeravičius will race in the Rio Olympics in the Quadruple sculls event. The four Lithuanians recently won silver in the 2016 European rowing championships in Brandenburg, Germany, and secured their ticket to the Olympic Games.

Lina Šaltytė, 29, will represent Lithuania in women’s single sculls. Šaltytė qualified for the Olympic Games after finishing second in B final at 2015 World Championships in Aiguebelette, France.

The favourites among women to win a medal are 27-year-old Donata Vištartaitė and 22-year-old Milda Valčiukaitė. In the 2015 Summer Universiade, the Lithuanian rowers won gold. A year before, Vištartaitė and Valčiukaitė had won silver medals in the European Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

2013 was the most productive year for the two when they won gold medals in the World Championships that took place in Chungju, South Korea, and became European champions in Seville, Spain.

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