Preparations for Rio 2016 take a step up for the world’s best rowers in Amsterdam as the Dutch capital hosts the 2014 World Rowing Championships, live on BBC Two and British Eurosport.
A long and impressive list of boats are ready to compete at the championships, the second most important in terms of prestige outside the Olympic Games, with over 1100 athletes from 60 countries set to race during the eight-day event.
British rowers dominated the 2012 Olympics on their home turf and success has continued to flow with team having won 31 medals at World Cup or European level so far during 2014, with more success expected in the Netherlands.
Team GB are eager to chase down and overtake last year’s eight-medal tally which they accrued in Chengdu, South Korea, when racing begins on August 24, having won three golds and five bronzes 12 months ago.
In total, 68 British rowers in 19 boats, including reserves, will contest the 2014 championships on the Dutch city’s Bosbaan Lake, which run through to August 31, with the boats including 12 Olympic class entries, plus three Paralympic class boats and four international class line-ups.
The squad includes Olympic men’s four champions Andy Triggs Hodge and Alex Gregory, who will be joined by 2013 world men’s eight champions George Nash and Mohamed Sbihi.
Consistent form so far this season would indicate that the men’s four has a strong chance of claiming the title this year, a boat which for many is the flagship of British rowing having produced legends such as Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell in the past.
Triggs Hodge’s name is also part of that role of honour as a double Olympic champion in this event, while Gregory was part of the line-up which took London 2012 gold and Sbihi and Nash were also world champions in last year’s men’s eight in South Korea.
Heather Stanning and Helen Glover will try to relive their London 2012 success and claim their first medal in two years, with Glover having won last year in Chengdu with partner Polly Swann, while Stanning was herself away on a tour of duty with the British Army in Afghanistan.
Not every nation sends its top line-ups to every World Cup regatta during the year, so the World Championships is the pinnacle of competition for rowers. Expect close and exciting race during the course of the championships.
BBC Sport will screen live coverage over the concluding weekend of the 2014 World Rowing Championships from Amsterdam in The Netherlands.
Both Saturday and Sunday’s finals will be shown live on BBC Two and BBC Two HD, as well as online via the BBC Sport website, with both programmes also including some of the highlights from the stand-out races earlier in the week.
On the penultimate day of the championships on Saturday, the day’s finals include the women’s pair, where the British duo and reigning Olympic champions Helen Glover and Heather Stanning are expected to be leading contenders for gold, while the men’s four of Alex Gregory, Andrew Triggs Hodge, George Nash and Mohamed Sbihi form the top male boat.
Sunday’s action includes the finals of the men’s and women’s eights, the men’s and women’s single and double sculls and the men’s lightweight four.
John Inverdale presents the BBC’s live coverage from Amsterdam, with commentary coming from Garry Herbert and James Cracknell, while 2012 Olympic champion Katherine Grainger provides expert analysis.
All TV coverage will be available to watch/listen online via the BBC Sport website and app, which will also provide daily reports and updates throughout the event, while the BBC Two highlights show will be on BBC iPlayer for seven days following transmission.
Viewers with Connected TVs will be able to access BBC online content for the latest news, videos, interviews and highlights from the Championships.
British Eurosport will also screen live coverage of the finals over the concluding days of the 2014 World Rowing Championships, including action from days five and six exclusively live, along with both finals sessions over the weekend.
Commentary for the event will come from Eurosport expert Patrick Winterton and Olympic silver medallist Gillian Lindsay.
.Thursday 28th August DAY 5 LIVE: 1.30pm-3.00pm British Eurosport 2 Friday 29th August DAY 6 LIVE: 1.00pm-3.00pm British Eurosport 2 Saturday 30th August DAY 7 LIVE: 12.15pm-2.15pm BBC Two / 12.30pm-2.15pm British Eurosport Sunday 31st August DAY 8 LIVE: 11.50am-1.45pm BBC Two / 12.00pm-1.45pm British Eurosport 2