Four cities are bidding to host the 2019 World Rowing Championships, it has been announced.
Hamburg in Germany, Linz-Ottensheim in Austria, Račice in Czech Republic and Varese in Italy have all submitted applications to host rowing's flagship event in 2019, which will double as the main qualification regatta for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Olympic and Paralympic qualification element is expected to attract more participating countries and increase interest around the event.
"To receive four excellent bids for the 2019 World Rowing Championships is a particularly healthy position for our sport," said World Rowing executive director Matt Smith.
"It justifies the efforts that are being made by the organisers and FISA to make the World Rowing regattas more attractive for the rowers, the spectators and the growing television audiences."
In October, representatives of the four candidate venues were invited to the headquarters of World Rowing in Lausanne for individual bid seminars, which included a detailed explanation of the bid process, how to complete the bid questionnaire and a discussion on venue upgrades required for each venue.
The candidates are expected to develop and upgrade their venues to World Championship standard, taking into consideration the sustainability and legacy of hosting the 2019 edition.
The attribution of the event is due to take place during the World Rowing Congress on September 7, following this year's World Championships in Aiguebelette, France.
All four bidding cities have previously hosted World Rowing events.
Hamburg staged the 2014 World Junior Championships and one of the 2011 World Cups, while Račice hosted the 1993 World Championships, the 2010 World Junior Championships, and is also set to hold the European Junior Championships in May of this year.
Varese most recently staged the 2014 World Under-23 Championships and is due to host the second World Cup in June of this year.
Linz-Ottensheim held a World Cup in 2007, the 2008 World Senior and Junior Championships and the 2013 World Under-23 Championships.
Amsterdam hosted the 2014 World Championships where New Zealand topped the medal table with six golds, two silvers and one bronze.
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