Finals are set for rowing's Final Olympic Qualification Regatta
For immediate release
Lucerne, 23 May 2016
The FISA European Continental and Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland has been narrowed down to the boats that will contest the finals in this last chance regatta to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Emma Twigg of New Zealand is headlining the women's single sculls. Twigg finished fourth at the London Olympics, then won the 2014 World Rowing Championships before taking a year off from international competition. She has come back strong and will be up against London Olympic silver medallist Denmark's Fie Udby Erichsen and six-time Olympian, Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus. Four qualifying spots are available in this boat class.
The men's double sculls has two-time Olympic Champion, Olaf Tufte of Norway hoping to qualify in one of the two spots available. Tufte, 40, is vying for his sixth Olympic Games and racing with Kjetil Borch who is the 2013 World Champion in this boat class. Also looking strong to qualify is Serbia's Marko Marjanovic and Andrija Sljukic.
In the men's single sculls, Hannes Obreno of Belgium is aiming for his first Olympic Games. Obreno recently finished fourth at the European Rowing Championships and he will take on Sverri Nielsen of Denmark and 19-year-old Philipp Syring of Germany. The men's single has three qualifying spots available.
Hoping to qualify in the lightweight men's double sculls are the reigning Olympic Champions Rasmus Quist and Mads Rasmussen of Denmark. The duo missed out on qualification at last year's World Rowing Championships and have come back strong for this regatta. Turkey and Belgium are their main competition for the two available qualifying spots.
Romania dominated the women's eight at the Olympics from 1996 to 2004, but they missed out on qualifying for Rio at last year's World Rowing Championships. With two qualification spots available, Romania will face tough competition from the Netherlands and Australia.
The regatta began with heats on 22 May 2016 and worked through repechages and semifinals to decide the rowers that will contest the finals on Tuesday 24 May starting at 16:00 CET. Nearly 400 athletes from 47 nations entered this event.
Of the 14 boat classes, four boat classes are open only to European crews (plus crews from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States). Ten boat classes are open to all nations.
The main Rio 2015 Olympic qualification regatta occurred at the 2015 World Rowing Championships. Since then there have been a series of continental qualification regattas - in Korea for Asia/Oceania, in Chile for the Americas and in Tunisia for Africa.
All regatta information can be found here including race reports, results and photos. On finals day televised news reports will be available here.
A full explanation of the qualification process can be found here.