International Lifesaving Federation President Graham Ford welcomed the first competitors at the Lifesaving World Championships on the first day of competition today. The event began with the Masters Interclub competition at the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre with Beach events to follow early next week.
Registrations for the event have made it the largest lifesaving sport event in history Mr Ford said “7000 participants from around the world who have come here to Adelaide to compete and volunteer at the Lifesaving World Championships”.
“We have competitors from all of our four regions around the world, we have lifesavers from African countries, from Asian countries, Europe and the Americas” said Mr Ford.
Event organisers are expecting record crowds at both the pool and beach competitions. With the addition of a Nippers Carnival and International IRB racing audiences can expect to see all facets of the Lifesaving movement on display.
Mr Ford said “I think there will be big crowds, especially at Glenelg. The infrastructure that has been put in is quite significant. Clare Harris (Surf Life Saving SA CEO) and her team from Surf Life Saving South Australia have done a great job putting everything together and I think we will see well over 10,000 spectators here on the two main weekends”.
When asked about the Australian team’s chances on home sand he said he thought it would be a tough contest with every point in every event counting.
“New Zealand are the reigning World Champions, they have held that title since 2012. It will get down to the last on one or two events which will be the traditional Ocean Man and Ocean Woman. Those last few events will determine who will be the World Champions and there is 45 countries vying for that title!”.