Rowing: Dutch bid to host 2010 world championships

By David Leggat

The Netherlands have replaced Australia as New Zealand's rival to host the 2010 world rowing championships.

And that has brought fresh considerations to the decision which will be taken by world governing body Fisa in August, although Rowing NZ hopes a key part of the International Olympic Committee's position on sport's global obligations will help its case.

Initially three countries - Australia, Slovenia and New Zealand - put their hands up for hosting rights.

Slovenia and Australia withdrew by the January 28 deadline for placing bids, but the Dutch stepped in. It had been thought the choice would come down to one of the Southern Hemisphere nations - apart from the Sydney Olympics, the last time the championships were held Downunder was Tasmania in 1990. New Zealand hosted them at Lake Karapiro in 1978.

Australia has thrown its weight behind New Zealand's bid, but when the 118 nations who make up the Fisa congress cast their votes the day after this year's worlds end at Eton, England, there is sure to be some support for the Netherlands, given the sport's European powerbase.

"The Dutch are going to be strong, probably more so than Slovenia," RNZ chief Craig Ross said yesterday.

"Because of Amsterdam's tourist industry, they pour a load of money, both from the Amsterdam regional government and the national Government, into attracting events there."

Amsterdam is hosting this year's world junior championships and made an unsuccessful bid for the 2009 world championships.

Four Fisa delegates will visit Karapiro next month before RNZ presents its bid to the Fisa council in Munich in May. The 21-member Fisa council makes a recommendation to the congress.

One strong card New Zealand will play is to remind Fisa of the IOC's insistence its sports put themselves about around the globe. Having their marquee events confined to one part of the world does not win points round the IOC table.

Last year's world championships were an example of that. They were staged at Gifu in Japan. The Japanese don't stack up among the world's leading rowing nations.

New Zealand do, after their four- gold medal haul at Gifu. So do Australia, for that matter, and they've gone in to bat for the Karapiro bid.

World venues
2006: Eton, England
2007: Munich, Germany
2008: Beijing (Olympic regatta)
2009: Poznan, Poland
2010: New Zealand or the Netherlands

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