By Duncan Mackay

ICF Canoe_Polo_World_Championships_logoSeptember 4 - Poznań's bid to host the 2018 Summer Youth Olympic Games will be looking for a boost when the Canoe Polo World Championships open in the Polish city tomorrow. 

A total of 36 teams representing 25 countries will be taking part in what is the tenth edition of the Championships.

The sport is not part of the Olympic programme but will strengthen Poznań's reputation as a major city for hosting water sport events having held several events already, including the 2009 FISA World Rowing Championships and the 1990, 2001 and 2010 ICF World Canoe Sprint Championships.

Like all these events it the Canoe Polo World Championships will be held at the Malta Regatta Course, one of the oldest man-made rowing venues in Europe with a history stretching back to 1952.

The Championships, which are due to reach a climax next Sunday (September 9), will complete a good year for raising Poznań's profile as it also hosted three matches during the UEFA Euro 2012 football championships.

Poznań narrowly lost out to Nanjing for the 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games by five votes but is seen among the favourites on this occasion, where it will face rivals Buenos Aires, Glasgow, Guadalajara, Medellín and Rotterdam. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is due to choose the winner in June 2013.

Lake Malta_Regatta_courseThe Lake Malta Regatta course has hosted several World Championships since it was built in 1952 

"We are delighted to be hosting the ICF Canoe Polo World Championships and look forward to welcoming the best teams from around the world," said Ryszard Grobleny, Mayor of Poznań. 

"We are keen to showcase our city as a premier destination for world class international events.

"From our successful involvement with the UEFA Euro 2012 and these World Championships we are determined to continue to bid for and deliver high class events."

The Championships, which were first held in Sheffield in 1994, will also serve as the qualification competition for the 2013 IWGA World Games which will be held in Colombia.

Reigning champions France are the favourites for the men's title while in the women's event Britain, Germany and France are expected to battle it out.

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