Entries have now closed for the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France, and FISA, the World Rowing Federation, is delighted to announce a record 1,300 athletes from 77 countries will be lining up to race at this year’s most prestigious rowing event.
The 2015 World Rowing Championships also acts as the main qualification regatta for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games so athletes will not only be racing for World Championship titles, but also for the coveted 129 qualification spots for the Rio Olympics Games and the 24 spots for the Paralympic Games.
FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland notes that the large number of entries is a reflection of the work that has gone into increasing rowing’s universality. ‘FISA has grown to 142 member federations and by the end of this year’s congress we will have at least 146’, says Rolland. ‘This growth internationally is reflected in the number of countries participating at the World Rowing Championships, and I am very pleased to welcome rowers from all corners of the globe and especially the newer rowing nations to Aiguebelette’.
‘Having Olympic and Paralympic qualification spots available has also added to huge interest in this regatta’, says Rolland, who won a gold medal in Aiguebelette in 1997, the last time the event was staged there.
The United States lead the way with the largest number of entries. They have entered boats in all 27 boat classes with the women’s eight their flagship crew. The U.S. women’s eight has not lost a major race since 2006 with Canada being their nearest rival.
One of the largest fields is the men’s single sculls with 41 countries lining up. Two scullers, the reigning World Champion Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic and reigning Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand, have been the front-runners in the single. Now Cuba’s Angel Fournier Rodriguez, bronze medallist last year, is a clear threat along with the return to the international stage of Alan Campbell from Great Britain.
The women’s single sculls sees 35 countries represented. Australia’s Kim Crow is the favourite in this boat class as she comes into the regatta following an unbeaten season. Crow’s main challenges will come from Olympic Champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic and Genevra Stone from the United States.
The lightweight men’s double sculls has attracted substantial interest especially for the home crowd. Jeremie Azou and Stany Delayre of France have dominated the 2015 season. But they will have to contend with current World Champions John Smith and James Thompson of South Africa as well as 2013 World Champions from Norway Kristoffer Brun and Are Strandli.
Winner of the 2015 World Rowing Cup series and the 2014 World Rowing Championship overall winner was New Zealand. They have entered 16 boats including entries in all of the Olympic boat classes.
Competition goes from 30 August to 6 September with racing spread across 27 boat classes comprising of 14 Olympic, eight International and five Para-rowing boat classes.
For the full entry list, click here.
For results, schedules, full race reports, photos, live blogging and live race streaming go to www.worldrowing.com.