Record entry for the World Rowing Championships
A record 73 nations have entered the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Korea. The previous best was 68 nations at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia. This record number of countries has boosted athlete participation to 948 athletes in 384 boats for the premier event of the World Rowing season.
This is the first time that the World Rowing Championships has been held in Korea and only the second time it has been in Asia, with the 2005 World Rowing Championships having been held in Gifu, Japan. The Asian location has helped boost the number of Asian nations participating with India, Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia, amongst others, sending teams. There is a large showing from Korea; they have entered 21 of the 27 boat classes being contested. Korea has high hopes in the lightweight men's and women's single sculls.
The 27 boat classes being contested at Chungju's new Tangeum International Regatta Course, are made up of the 14 Olympic events, eight international events and five Para-rowing events. Para-rowing, formerly called "adaptive" rowing, includes the debut of the LTA mixed double sculls which has attracted entries from five nations.
The men's single sculls has attracted a huge field of 36 nations which will feature all three London Olympic medallists - Mahe Drysdale (NZL), Ondrej Synek (CZE) and Alan Campbell (GBR). These three scullers will race together for the first time this season in Chungju. Both Synek and Campbell raced in the World Cup series while Drysdale has returned after having taken some time off away from rowing following his gold medal in London.
The women's single sculls has scullers from 24 nations with Olympic and World Champion Mirka Knapkova (CZE) returning to defend her title. Knapkova is expecting tough competition by Australia's medal hope Kim Crow as well as with Eleanor Logan (USA) and Emma Twigg (NZL) who are also strong podium contenders.
The United States has entered the largest team with crews in all 27 boat classes. The top medal chances for the United States are shaping up to be in the men's and women's eight and the men's four after victories in these boat classes at the final Samsung World Rowing Cup in Lucerne last month. Italy has the next biggest team of 24 crews with high medal expectations in the lightweight women's double sculls and the lightweight men's quadruple sculls.
Included in the record number of entries are four nations competing in the World Rowing Championships for the first time - Qatar, Namibia, Libya, Ivory Coast and Vanuatu.
Due to the fact that World Championships are not held in the Olympic year, the World Rowing Championship regatta was last staged in 2011 in Bled, Slovenia. In Bled, Great Britain finished at the top of the medals table and they have come to Chungju with crews in 19 of the boat classes.
Racing begins with heats on Sunday 25 August 2013 at 10:00 local time.