Indoor World Champion - Olena Buryak does it again!

01 Aug 2017 10:27 AM | Glenn Bottrell (Administrator)

Olena Buryak was on fire at the World Games. The Ukrainian set the 2000m World Record for indoor rowing yesterday and today she set the record over 500m.

In Wroclaw, Poland, Buryak knew that she was on target for record time when she set the 500m record in training a week ago. Breaking her own record today, Buryak set the standard at 1:24.5 for 500m.

Buryak led from the start in the 500m race starting out at a 50 stroke rate pace. Sweden’s Cecilia Velin followed in second and kept a higher stroke rate. The margin remained close between Buryak and Velin as Buryak took her stroke rate to 46 against Velin’s 52. Then Poland’s Anna Wierzbowska, who had been sitting in third, overtook Velin and with less than 150m to row, Wierzbowska was firmly in second.

“I’ve had stomach flu since Friday and I thought this was going to be a disaster,” said Wierzbowska who finished in a time of 1:26.8. “The finish was the worst. I was so sore, because I started out very strong and then just had to hang on for the last 50m.” Wierzbowska is preparing for the World Rowing Championships in September and now goes to a training camp.  

“It was a hard race,” Velin admitted. “I went out very fast and the last 200m was very, very tough.” Velin started rowing at the end of 2015 after competing as a kayaker. Her finishing time of 1:27.0 was not her personal best.

“She said that she was aiming to beat me,” said Buryak about Velin. “But I decided not. I wanted to win. In the last 100m I just rowed my maximum.”

Buryak hoped that setting the record would make it difficult for someone to break it. “Here there are people who don’t row (on the water) and they do indoor rowing very well. But I don’ think (my record) will be broken next year. Maybe in the next five or ten years.”

Buryak is married to Pawel Shurmei who finished third in the men’s 500m. “Sometimes he is my inspiration. He’s 12 years older and at 41 he can do this!”

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