2023 World Rowing Indoor Championships presented by Concept2 - age categories and exciting new medal opportunities announced

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Following the tremendous success of the 2022 World Rowing Virtual Indoor Championships presented by Concept2, World Rowing, the governing body of the sport of Rowing, announced that in 2023, this pinnacle event for the indoor discipline will enable greater and wider participation. For the first time in World Rowing’s history, the Championships will be staged as a truly hybrid event. It will take place on the weekend of 25-26 February 2023.

Participants from all continents will have a choice to compete in-person at the Paramount Fine Foods Centre in Mississauga, a few minutes from Toronto (Canada) or join the action “virtually” in real time on their Concept2 ergometers, with the same performance metrics but from remote locations around the world. They will be connected via the internet to the same central timing and results system as for those in the venue.

As well, the Championships will incorporate a new multi-challenge competition format called the World Rowing Versa Challenge to help determine the world’s top overall indoor rower, in addition to the usual age-category races.

The World Rowing Age Category Races

”We are thrilled to welcome the world in February 2023 and to be making history as the first ever hybrid version of the World Rowing Indoor Championships presented by Concept2. It will be fascinating to see participants compete virtually against those in person,” says Susan Kitchen, Chair of the Organising Committee in Mississauga. “Olympians and Paralympians will get the chance to compete in one of the most diverse places on the planet, where each athlete will have their own hometown cheering section.”

For those racing on-site in Mississauga in an age category race, qualification will not be required. The number of in-person competitors will only be restricted by the capacity of the venue.

There will be an option to participate virtually for those wishing to do so. Virtual places will be limited, so competitors will need to qualify for these virtual places in advance. The qualification details will be published by World Rowing in September 2022, however virtual participants can expect a similar qualification process to that for the 2022 edition of the event.

Responding to the rapidly increasing demand for Indoor & Virtual Rowing and to further elevate the experience for the competitors, spectators and global viewing audience, World Rowing reviewed some of the age categories to be offered. As a result, the 2000m and 500m races will be offered in the following age categories:

Openweight

Men & Women

U17U19 (17 - 18)U21 (19 - 20)

U23 (21 - 22)

23 – 39

40 – 44

45 – 49

50 – 54

55 – 59

60 – 64

65 – 69

70 +

Lightweight

Men & Women

U21 (19 - 20)

U23 (21 - 22)

23 – 39

40 – 44

45 – 49

50 – 54

55 – 59

60 – 64

65 – 69

70 +

The Para-Rowing categories to be included are yet to be confirmed, however Para-Rowing events will be offered with both virtual and in-person competition options. The team events to be included in the Championships are also yet to be confirmed.

The World Rowing Versa Challenge

World Rowing is pleased to announce the World Rowing Versa Challenge, a new competition format which will be introduced as part of the 2023 World Rowing Indoor Championships presented by Concept2.

Over the two competition days of the Championships, participants competing in the World Rowing Versa Challenge will race in five different sub-challenges varying in time, distance, and type. The Versa Challenge is intended to test all the skills and strengths required of indoor rowers, exposing them to new and unfamiliar race formats. Participants will earn points throughout the five sub-challenges, and the overall points winners in the Open Men’s and Open Women’s categories will become World Rowing Versa Champions.

”The Versa Challenge will allow the indoor rowers of the world to showcase their skills in a really dynamic way” comments Filip Ljubicic, Chair of World Rowing’s Indoor Rowing Commission. “The chance to see the participants compete against one another five times throughout a weekend will not only make for exciting competition but give fans a chance to get to know the competitors themselves.”

Only 10 men and 10 women will qualify to compete in the World Rowing Versa Challenge at the 2023 World Rowing Indoor Championships presented by Concept2. The qualification period for the World Rowing Versa Challenge will take place online at the end of 2022 and will be open to all interested participants - the qualification details for the Challenge will be published online in September 2022. Anyone who qualifies for this new format of the World Rowing Indoor Championships presented by Concept2 must compete in-person in Mississauga, Canada.

Entries for the 2023 World Rowing Indoor Championships presented by Concept2 will open October 15, 2022 at https://wrichtoronto2023.ca/.

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