Big year for Copa America de Remo regatta
In its fourth year, the Americas Cup for rowing attracted record participation. Held in Valdivia, Chile, over 200 athletes participated from eight countries including Honduras for the first time.
Chile topped the medals table winning a total of 29 medals, 16 of them gold. Uruguay came in second with 14 medals including six golds. Paraguay was third with three golds and a total of four medals.
Finishing first in the men’s single sculls was Chile’s Sebastian Colpihueque with Yonathan Esquivel and Martin Zocalo, both of Uruguay, in second and third respectively. The women’s single sculls was won by Alejandra Alonso of Paraguay followed by Victoria Hostetter and Soraya Jadue, both from Chile. Jadue, 45, is the veteran of three Olympic Games.
These two finals showcased athletes that will be looking to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
As well as the standard 2000m race distance there was also indoor rowing machine races. The regatta closed with 6000m and 500m races in the quadruple sculls and eights.
Organiser Osvaldo Borchi says there were several reasons behind the growth of the regatta. The Valdivia River venue brought the rowing to the people as the river crosses through the city of Valdivia. It also means that the general population is used to seeing people rowing throughout the year and when Valdivia is promoted to tourists, rowing is one of the aspects that the city shows. Valdivia is a hub for rowing in Chile and has produced the first World Rowing Champions for the nation.
The event itself was broadcast on radio and television and seen in newspapers which helped add to the interest. For television more than 10,000 people followed the racing and Borchi says there was a feel that the whole city was involved. More than 3000 people came to the event as spectators.
Athletes used this regatta as preparation for the Olympic Continental Qualification Regatta and also for the South American Rowing Championships, both of which will take place in Rio de Janeiro in April.
Information on the Americas Continental Qualification Regatta here. http://www.worldrowing.com/events/2020-fisa-americas-olympic-and-paralympic-qualification-regatta/event-information