Katelin Gildersleeve wins bronze at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships

Oklahoma City National High Performance Center Olympic Hopeful Katelin Gildersleeve became the third U.S. junior women’s single sculler in history to reach the medal stand at the 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships in Tokyo, Japan this weekend. Gildersleeve is bringing home a bronze for her performance.

“You never know what to expect, and all I could do was just keep my head in the boat and finish as fast as I could,” said Gildersleeve. “It’s amazing. I can’t wait to come back to another world championships. It’s the beginning for me. It’s great to do this as a junior, but I can’t wait for what’s ahead.”

Germany’s Alexandra Foester took the race out hard, with The Netherlands’ Isabel van Opzeeland rowing in second just ahead of the American sculler. With Foester still out in the front of the field, Gildersleeve pulled ahead of the Dutch sculler as the boats hit the 1,000-meter mark. Gildersleeve continued to row in second as Russia’s Anastasiia Liubich rowed through van Opzeeland and closed the gap on Gildersleeve. In the final 500 meters, Foester maintained her margin to win by nearly seven seconds, clocking an 8:31.38. Liubich claimed silver in an 8:38.15, with Gildersleeve coming home in an 8:41.90.

“She came out really with the goal of performing her best, staying in the fight and taking the strokes that we had talked about and not getting too focused on the outcome of the race, really staying focused on her performance,” said OKC National High Performance Center Head Coach Reilly Dampeer about Gildersleeve’s performance. “Having this be her first time at a junior world championship, we didn’t know what to expect, but we knew she could accomplish her best, and I think today was a great example of that.”

“The course reminded me a lot of the course in Oklahoma,” said Gildersleeve. “With the current and the crossing tailwind that happens every day in OKC, this water is just about the same. It makes me feel like I’m at home.”

Gildersleeve was the only U.S. women’s boat to advance to the medal race. This was Gildersleeve’s first World Rowing Junior Championships.

Gildersleeve, an Episcopal School of Dallas graduate, will attend Stanford University in the fall.