Countdown to Beijing: World Rowing Junior Championships to be the First Official Olympic Test Event Next Week in China
A total of 600 young athletes have made the trip to Beijing from as many as 49 countries. The number of athletes is slightly higher than the Olympic quota of 550, so this event will test the venue at full scale in preparation for the Olympic regatta next year.
Not surprisingly, China appear in force on their home ground event. With 44 athletes representing China in 12 events, China will be keen to show off their new rowing blood to the world. With the successes of the Chinese senior squad this year fresh in the mind of rowing specialists, all eyes will be focused on the upcoming rowing generation of the land of the Dragon.
However, it is Germany, with 49 athletes participating, which will bring the largest contingent to Beijing. Germany, who traditionally dominate the Junior Championships, and who last year took 11 medals at the World Rowing Junior Championships in Amsterdam, will again be represented in all 13 events on the programme. Both the USA and Italy will be strongly represented in Beijing this year with 41 and 36 young athletes respectively entered for the two countries.
FISA Event Director, Svetla Otzetova, already on site in Beijing said today: “The venue looks fantastic! Athletes have already arrived, and have started to train on the course.” She adds: “all the volunteers are very friendly here, and they are working very hard to make this a most enjoyable event.”
FISA’s President Denis Oswald also commented: “We are very satisfied with the fast progress that has been made here over the past months to bring this venue to the condition it is in today. It is exciting to be able to test the venue on such an important event in our rowing calendar and this is a great opportunity for the young rowers to experience the thrills of racing at a brand new Olympic venue.”
To compete in the World Rowing Junior Championships, rowers must be 18 years or under. The World Rowing Junior Championships is partly subsidised by the FISA Masters Regatta which donates 1 Euro of every Masters Regatta entry fee for supporting youth rowing.
Entries and an updated race schedule are available are also available from today.
Visit the official website of the International Rowing Federation http://www.worldrowing.com/ during the event to follow the live audio streaming, live results, race reports, interviews, photos and more.