For immediate release
Tokyo, 11 February 2017

The World Rowing Federation’s, FISA’s, 2017 Extraordinary Congress gathered in Tokyo, Japan, the home of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. This was significant as one of the biggest items on the agenda was to make a decision on the boat classes that would be proposed to the IOC as the programme for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Congress delegates, made up of representatives nominated by national rowing federations, were presented with two proposals that would create a gender equal programme at the Olympic Games. The FISA Council proposal, in order to create gender equality, was to replace the lightweight men’s four with the women’s four. The Council’s proposal passed with 94 votes in favour to 67 in favour of the alternative proposal from the national federations of AUS, CHN, DEN and SUI. The proposal will be presented to the International Olympic Committee.

Para-rowers will now race 2000 metres instead of 1000 metres, the previous situation. This will be the case at all World Rowing events as well as the Paralympic Games, and makes for better integration of para-rowing into the regatta programmes.

Either males or females may serve as coxswains regardless of whether the boat is a women’s crew or a men’s crew. The minimum weight for a coxswain is now 55kg and the maximum amount of deadweight is 15kg.

American Samoa became FISA’s 151st member national federation and is seen as a growth of rowing in the Oceania region.

The FISA Extraordinary Congress takes place every four years in the year after the Olympic Games. 2017 is the first occasion for FISA to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

More information available here.