Entries have today (Friday) been confirmed from 50 countries for the 2010 World Rowing Championships, affirming its status as the biggest international sporting event to be held in New Zealand since the 1990 Commonwealth Games.
The news was announced as organisers celebrated 50 days to go to the Opening Ceremony on 30 October. Four times world champion Mahe Drysdale, representing host nation NZ, met 49 children from Cambridge Primary School, their faces painted with the flags of the 49 other participating countries.
The biggest three teams will be from Germany, Great Britain and the USA and will number more than 100 (including coaches and support staff). Large teams are also expected from Australia, Canada, China, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
Host nation New Zealand last month announced its biggest ever team for a World Rowing Championships with 18 crews and 55 athletes, including entries in thirteen of the fourteen Olympic boat classes.
At the other end of the rowing spectrum are entries from Azerbijan, Chile, Paraguay and Samoa.
“It’s great to have reached fifty participating nations at this point,” says CEO Tom Mayo. “We have more than a month until entries close so that total still may increase slightly.
“Construction of NZ’s biggest ever temporary grandstand is going well, the new Finish Tower is on schedule and we’re looking good.”
The full list of confirmed nations to date is: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbijan, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Madagascar, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Samoa, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and the USA.