Junior Championships doubles as YOG qualification regatta
The best junior rowers in the world aged 18 years and under are gathering in Trakai, Lithuania, for five days of racing at the 2017 World Rowing Junior Championships, held from 2 to 6 August. This year, they will not only aim for gold but also for a qualification spot at next year’s Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
There are 13 boat classes in the World Rowing Junior Championship programme (seven for men, six for women) and four rowing events at the Youth Olympic Games: junior men’s single sculls, junior men’s pair, junior women’s single sculls and junior women’s pair.
The qualification process will lead to 96 athletes being selected for the YOG and they will make up 72 boats.
So, how will qualification for the Youth Olympic Games take place?
Eight boats will qualify for each of the four YOG boat classes at the World Rowing Junior Championships. For each YOG boat class, junior athletes will have the opportunity to qualify their boat from three different boat classes. Boats finishing at the junior championships in the top five places in the single, in the top two places in the double and in the top one place in the quad will qualify their nation for the YOG single sculling events. Boats finishing at the junior championships in the top five places in the pair, in the top two places in the four and in the top one place in the eight will qualify their nation for the YOG pair. This formula works for both men’s and women’s boat classes.
An additional 13 boats will qualify in both men’s and women’s single sculling events and an additional four boats will qualify in both pair events at Continental Qualification Regattas that will be held between October 2017 and July 2018. Finally, one host nation and two universality places will also be allocated in the single sculling events. A total of 24 athletes will be entered to compete in each of the four YOG events.
Buenos Aires will host the third edition of the summer Youth Olympic Games from 6 to 18 October 2018. The YOG has taken place twice before, the first time in Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing, China in 2014.
A number of Youth Olympic Champions have continued on the path of success at the under-23 and senior levels. These include Tim Ole Naske of Germany who went on to become a two-time under-23 World Champion; Ciprian Tudos and Cristina Georgiana Popescu from Romania who respectively medalled in the senior men’s and women’s four at the European Rowing Championships; Rolandas Mascinskas of Lithuania who medalled at the senior World Cup and World Championship levels in the men’s double sculls and men’s quadruple sculls; Fiona Gammond of Great Britain who is now medaling internationally in her nation’s senior women’s eight.
In addition to athletic competition at the Youth Olympic Games, young athletes will participate in a Culture and Education Programme (CEP) focused on five themes: Olympism and Olympic values, skills development, well-being and healthy lifestyle, social responsibility and expression through digital media.
For more information on the Youth Olympic Games, click here.