By Duc Le
Senior Jovanni Stefani, an engineering major who recently completed his junior year at Stanford, led the United States men’s eight at the World Rowing Under 23 Championships July 20-23 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
The men’s eight event started off on July 20 with the U.S. facing Italy, Great Britain, Netherlands, Czech Republic and Romania. The heat winner would advance straight into the A Final heat on July 23, while the remaining teams will move on to the repechage.
Jovanni and the U.S. men’s eight had their first race on Thursday, claiming the silver medal by finishing second place (05:26:890), right behind Netherlands (05:23:750) in Heat 1. The Netherlands advanced straight into the A Final, while Stefani and the U.S. men’s eight moved onto the repechage heat to compete against New Zealand, Romania, Italy and Russia.
Following the men’s eight heat 1, the repechage had similar outcomes for Jovanni and the U.S. men’s eight as they finished in second place and claimed another silver medal (05:29.690), while Romania captured the gold medal (05:26.240).
In the A Finals, the U.S. team competed against familiar faces such as the Netherlands and Romania, and faced off against unfamiliar faces such as Germany, Ukraine and Great Britain. However, Jovanni and the U.S. men’s eight struggled to taste silver one more time after losing against Great Britain by a three-second margin. While on the other hand, Netherlands (5:29.550) captured the gold, with Romania (5:31.570) taking the silver and Great Britain (5:32.640) earning the bronze.
Stefani has left built quite a legacy on the Stanford men’s rowing team. Having had competed on the Stanford men’s varsity eight team for three seasons, Stefani impressively served in the Cardinal’s top boat in every regatta for the past two seasons. Stanford’s varsity eight placed eighth overall at the 2016 Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships and finished a strong second in the third-level final at the 2017 IRA Championships.
To add on to his many achievements, Stefani, along with his Cardinal teammate Brennan Wertz, rowed together in the USRowing Men’s Pair and earned a bronze medal for the United States in the 2016 Under 23 World Rowing Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Contact Duc Le at ducletan77 ‘at’ gmail.com.