High Stakes for First Rowing World Cup of 2008
Record entries for the first Rowing World Cup in Munich (GER) mean that 54 countries will take part in this first World Rowing event of the Olympic season. In total, 840 competitors will compete in 371 boats. This count includes the 32 adaptive boats that shall race for the final qualifying spots for the first-ever Paralympic rowing events in Beijing this September.
As one would expect, the highest number of crews entered come from the host country. Germany is sending 27 crews and will be represented in all but two boat classes. Following their National Championships two weeks ago, this first Rowing World Cup event is another chance for Germany to fine tune their selections and try out some crews which were put together recently. All this with one specific goal: finding the best combinations to represent their country at the Olympic Games later this summer.
The same strategy will be followed by most nations present, as this will be the first chance of the season to not only check out the international competition, but also to try out the chosen line-ups and confirm the selection decisions made earlier this year.
Some countries however, such as Cyprus (M1x), Lithuania (M1x), Portugal (M2-, LM2x, LM4-), Slovakia (M2x, LM2x) and Turkey (LM2x) will no doubt be using this regatta as practice for the final qualification regatta in Poznan, Poland - their last chance for a 2008 Olympic spot.
Amongst the already qualified crews for the Games, Colombia, Monaco and Venezuela will be trying to get as much practice in as possible, as their Olympic participation will be the first for their country in rowing, and therefore has an even more historic flavour to it than for some of the more "accustomed" nations.
The Munich Rowing World Cup regatta, as well as the next two Rowing World Cup regattas in Lucerne (SUI) and Poznan (POL) will bear particularly high stakes this year. Results at these three regattas, as well as last year's qualification World Rowing Championships, will be taken into consideration by FISA's seeding committee when placing boats in heats for the Olympic Regatta. With so much to gain from a good performance, the racing during this year's Rowing World Cup series promises to be highly competitive.
Also worth mentioning is the participation of the most recently qualified crews from the Asian qualification event which took place last week-end in China. The Chinese men's single sculler and the Japanese lightweight women's double fly in to Munich having only just recovered from their regatta in Shanghai and have a good chance to achieve some excellent results here next week-end.
It goes without saying that most of the top rowing nations will compete in Munich. Worth noting is the absence of New Zealand's single sculler Mahe Drysdale, whose pre-season national qualification ordeal was highly publicised by rowing media back in March. Drysdale is the only one missing among this year's 38-strong field of single scullers from last year's World Championship final, giving the chance to world silver medallist Ondrej Synek, world bronze medallist Olaf Tufte or even Britain's young single sculling talent Alan Campbell to secure a gold at this event.
For the full list of entries, by event and by nation, please visit our website www.worldrowing.com or click here . The website will also provide an event by event preview, race reports and photo galleries during and after the regatta.
The Rowing World Cup series will be televised and streamed live through World Rowing's partner website www.wcsn.com. This service can be accessed through www.worldrowing.com. As usual, live race tracker and live audio streaming of the race commentary will be available throughout the whole regatta.
The Rowing World Cup series was launched in 1997 and includes all 14 Olympic boat classes. The overall Rowing World Cup champions are determined after a series of three regattas. Germany has dominated the series since its beginning ten years ago. This year, the three stages of the series will be held in Munich (GER) 8 to 11 May, Lucerne (SUI) 30 May to 1 June and Poznan (POL) 20 to 22 June.
Media accreditation can be requested through the website (www.worldrowing.com > media > media information).
For more information - FISA media contact:
Marion Gallimore, Marketing and Communications Manager
Tel: +41 21 617 83 73 or direct +41 21 612 02 26, mobile +41 79 706 72 55