Indoor rowing participants confirmed for World Games
For the first time, indoor rowing will be featured at the World Games. This year the Games will be organised in Wroclaw, Poland, and the indoor rowing competition will take place over two days, from 26 to 27 July 2017.
Following a qualification period lasting from 1 September 2016 to 28 February 2017, the selected athletes have been chosen. They represent 31 nations with more than 70 athletes participating in seven events: four 2,000m events (open men, lightweight men, open women, lightweight women), two 500m events (open men, open women), and one mixed event (4 x 500m mixed relay race).
National Rowing Federations from around the world organised the qualification in their individual countries. Scores were then submitted through the National Federation and the Concept2 online logbook. The highest-ranked athletes were retained, with each country being entitled to a maximum of one male and one female athlete. Universality places were also allocated to ensure representation from each continent.
Those selected include a number of World Record holders on the indoor rowing machine. Graham Benton is competing for Great Britain and is the 2000m World Record holder for heavyweight men in the 40-49 age category. Competing for Ukraine is Olena Buryak who is the fastest woman in the world holding the World Record of 6:25.0 for 2000m.
For the 500m distance, World Record holder for heavyweight men in the 19-29 age category Phil Clapp from Great Britain will compete, as well as Anne Bourlioux, the World Record holder from Canada for heavyweight women in the 50-59 age category.
Held every four years in the year following the Olympic Games, the World Games is a multi-sport event that features disciplines that are not included on the Olympic programme. In addition to the core sports, the International World Games Association (IWGA) can invite sports to participate at each edition. This year, indoor rowing has been invited along with American football, kickboxing and speedway.
Being hosted by Poland, the World Games caught the attention of the President of the Polish Rowing Federation, Ryszard Stadniuk. The idea of having indoor rowing at the World Games was suggested by the then FISA President Denis Oswald leading Stadniuk to look into having the sport included.
"The hosting country has the right to add up to five 'sports for invitation'," says Stadniuk. "Together with the Polish Rowing Federation and FISA I started the application process. One of the strong arguments (to include indoor rowing) was the fact that since 1992 we have organised the Polish Indoor Rowing Championships in Wrocław and so many people already knew about our sport."
The indoor rowing competition will be organised at the Jelcz Laskowice Sport Hall located 30km from the city centre of Wroclaw. Results will be available on www.theworldgames.org.
Participation list, here.