Get ready ... One month until the European Champs
Are you ready? In one month's time one of the most anticipated regattas of the 2014 season will get under way in Belgrade, Serbia - The 2014 European Rowing Championships.
Belgrade last hosted an international rowing event just two years ago when nearly 700 rowers raced in the first stage of the World Rowing Cup on the Ada Ciganlija regatta course, Sava Lake. The local organisers are fully prepared for three days of intensive racing in the 17 boat classes (14 Olympic events plus three international events).
Rowing in Serbia dates back to the late 1800s and has grown through the centuries. The country now has 17 clubs, with the main clubs - Partizan and Red Star - situated in Belgrade. A talent identification programme has increased the number of top rowers in Serbia in recent years and rowing is one of the most popular Olympic sports in the country.
Nikola Stojic is Serbia's most well-known and most successful rower. As a four-time Olympian he has been part of the country's elite team for over two decades. The men's pair is his specialty boat. At the 2013 European Rowing Championships Stojic won gold in the pair.
Last year the European Rowing Championships were held in Seville, Spain and Germany finished first overall with eight medals. Italy, a regular at the top end of the medals table, was second and the Czech Republic and Romania tied for third.
This is the eighth year of the European Rowing Championships in its re-instated form. Since 2007 it has grown steadily in size and prestige, with athletes hoping to become European Champions.
The 2014 European Rowing Championships begins on 30 May with heats. Repechages and semifinals will be raced on 31 May, with the finals on 1 June.
Provisional race programme and more information, click here.
For results, race reports, live blogging, photos, live race tracking and video streaming, keep an eye on www.worldrowing.com during the event.