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11 / 11 / 2011
FISA, the International Rowing Federation, is proud to announce the winners of the 2011 World Rowing Awards for each of the five awards categories: Coach of the Year, Female Crew of the Year, Male Crew of the Year, Adaptive Crew of the Year and Distinguished Services to Rowing.

The 2011 World Rowing Awards have honoured rowing representatives from Greece, New Zealand, Ukraine and Argentina.

Following public nomination which attracted nearly 2,000 submissions, the final selection of awardees was made by the Executive Committee of the International Rowing Federation (FISA). The winners will be announced today, Friday 11 November, during the World Rowing Coaches Conference Gala Dinner in Varese, Italy.

Greece’s rowing success in recent years is acknowledged with two of World Rowing’s annual awards: the Coach of the Year Award goes to Gianni Postiglione, while the Female Crew of the Year goes to the lightweight women’s double of Christina Giazitzidou and Alexandra Tsiavou.

The World Rowing Male Crew of the Year is awarded to New Zealand’s men’s pair Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, while Ukraine’s Alla Lysenko picks up the World Rowing Adaptive Crew of the Year award. Ricardo Ibarra from Argentina is the recipient of the World Rowing Distinguished Service to International Rowing award.


2011 World Rowing Coach of the Year
Gianni Postiglione (GRE)


Whenever an international rowing event is taking place there is little doubt Gianni Postiglione will be there. He has been to six Olympic Games and 29 World Rowing Championships. Postiglione, originally from Italy, has been Greece’s head coach since 2005 and also serves on FISA’s competitive commission at World Rowing events.

Postiglione coached in Italy for nearly 20 years, followed by stints in Japan and Spain, before taking over his current Greek position. The success of Greece since his arrival is remarkable in both men’s and women’s rowing.
The constant pursuit of learning more, relishing unconventional ideas and pulling inspiration from all sporting disciplines is what Postiglione readily attributes his coaching success to. He is known for focusing on the sensation of rowing, including the feeling of the water and the weather conditions.

This is the second time Postiglione has been given the World Rowing Coach of the Year Award. He also won it in 2006.

"For me it's a great honour to receive this award for the second time,” said Postiglione. “My greatest satisfaction is to coach, so I consider this award as an encouragement for me and my team to continue. I am particularly proud over the years, not of a gold medal in particular, but of the results of men and women which demonstrate the overall quality of work that is being achieved with only a few rowers available. I thank all of them for trusting me over these years. The job of head coach is not lonely. I get to work not only with athletes but also passionate coaches. The group that I have in Greece is truly exceptional, I thank them all."

2011 World Rowing Female Crew of the Year
Christina Giazitzidou and Alexandra Tsiavou (GRE), Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x)

Joining together in the lightweight double in 2009 spelt instant magic for Christina Giazitzidou and Alexandra Tsiavou - they became World Champions despite having spent the majority of the season in separate boats. Tsiavou had won the World Rowing Cups in the lightweight single while Giazitzidou had won gold in the under-23 lightweight double with Triantafyllia Kalampoka. This has become the norm for Tsiavou, 26, and Giazitzidou, 22, who have continued to achieve success separately at the beginning of the season and astound the world of rowing whenever they come together at the end of the season for the World Rowing Championships and the European Rowing Championships.

In 2010, the duo finished with bronze at the World Rowing Championships but came back in 2011 to reassert themselves and win the World Championship title back in dominating form: on the waters of Lake Bled in Slovenia, they won by more than three and a half seconds ahead of 2010 World Champions, Canada. Tsiavou and Giazitzidou have also won gold at the European Rowing Championships every year since 2009. Giazitzidou has also been a World Under-23 Champion for the past three years.

2011 World Rowing Male Crew of the Year
Eric Murray and Hamish Bond (NZL), Men’s Pair (M2-)


When Hamish Bond, 25, and Eric Murray, 29, embarked on a mission in the pair in 2009, they soon realised they had formed a combination with world class potential. This saw the beginning of a winning streak that has remained unbroken ever since they came together. In that time Bond and Murray have been relentlessly challenged by Great Britain’s top sweep duo, but have always managed to remain in front at the finish line, at times by considerable margins.

Bond and Murray were part of the 2007 World Champion men’s four, but when the four finished a disappointing seventh at the 2008 Olympic Games, the duo realised they had unfinished business. Bond persuaded Murray to continue rowing and they formed a pair. Coached by 2010 World Rowing Coach of the Year, Dick Tonks, the duo have constantly worked at not only going fast but at how to stay ahead of their competition.
“Unfortunately we won't be able to make it to the coaches conference to collect the award,” said Murray. “We felt it was best to just keep trucking away down here and get the best quality training in as we can without our programme being too disrupted.”

“It was pretty special to be nominated for this award and to win it is exceptional! I am thrilled that we got ‘the nod’ from the judges as recognition of our achievements this past year. We are always working to become better at what we do and find better ways to make our boat faster. Our combination is brilliant and the dynamic between Hamish and me is one which we both push each other and constantly look for perfection and also compete against one another to be the best.”

“We thank World Rowing for their recognition to us as Male Crew of the Year. We are really looking forward to the next 260 odd days until London.”




2011 World Rowing Adaptive Crew of the Year
Alla Lysenko (UKR), AS Women’s Single Sculls (ASW1x)

It did not take Alla Lysenko long to get to the top of her event. In Lysenko’s first year of rowing in 2009, she became World Champion in the AS women’s single sculls and, in a phenomenal performance she also set a new World Best Time. Lysenko was not able to make it to the World Rowing Championships in 2010 due to ill-health, but she came back this year to reclaim her World Championship title from 2010 winner, Nathalie Benoit of France.

Lysenko, 42, suffered a spinal cord injury and had both legs amputated following a car accident in 1996. Rowing is the first disability sport that Lysenko has competed in. She has won every international race that she has entered.

2011 World Rowing Distinguished Service to International Rowing
Ricardo Ibarra (ARG)

NameRicardo Ibarra is one of the most successful rowers to come out of Latin America. He raced at the 1976 and 1984 Olympic Games in the men’s single as well as competed in four World Rowing Championships. He dominated the men’s single at the Pan American Games from 1975 until 1983.

At both Olympics Ibarra competed in the A-final, a feat that is unusual for a Latin American rower and only two rowers in Latin America have been more successful – Alberto Demiddi and Santiago Fernandez.

After retiring from elite rowing Ibarra remained involved in the sport and has coached in a number of countries including Chile, Spain and Argentina. Ibarra is also the long-standing FISA development consultant for Latin America and is the South American Continental Representative on the FISA Council.

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