Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic rowing qualification explained
The first step in Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic qualification was at the 2019 World Rowing Championships last month in Austria. A total of 26 countries qualified in Linz-Ottensheim for the Olympic Games and 15 for the Paralympic Games.
The Dutch and the British tied for the greatest number of Olympic crews qualified, both with ten. New Zealand follows behind with nine. For the Paralympic Games the United States and Ukraine have tied with four crews each qualified.
This is just the start.
The next steps for qualification are the continental qualification regattas. Places for the men’s and women’s singles sculls and the men’s and women’s lightweight double sculls and the para men’s and women’s single sculls are up for the taking.
First up for continental qualification is the African Olympic & Paralympic Continental Qualification Regatta. This is being held in Tunis, Tunisia from 10-12 October. The entries have already been released and there 21 nations set to compete. Entries here. Programme here.
Following Africa is the Americas Continental Qualification Regatta. This will be held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil from 2-5 April, 2020. The Asian & Oceania Continental Qualification Regatta will be held from 27-30 April 2020 in Chungju, Korea. The Europ Continental Qualification Regatta happens the same weekend from 27-29 April, 2020 in Varese, Italy.
Then there is one more chance for Olympic Games qualification - the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta from 17-19 May, 2020 in Lucerne, Switzerland. The last two spots in every boat class will be awarded at this last-chance regatta has come to be known is as the ‘regatta of death’.
For the Paralympic Games, the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta takes place in Gavirate, Italy from 8-10 May 2020. This allows for qualification in one boat in the para PR1 men’s and women’s single sculls, two boats for the para PR2 mixed double sculls and two boats in the para PR3 mixed coxed four.
The addition of the women’s four to the Olympic rowing programme is already making its impact on women’s participation across all age groups. The 2019 World Rowing Junior Championships saw 46 per cent female participation, up from 40 per cent in 2011.
The 2019 World Rowing Championship saw a dramatic increase, with women’s participation up by 9 per cent since 2015 to a total of 45 per cent. The total increases will be recalculated following the continental qualification regattas and the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta.
“We are already having more national federations present for the World Championships than any other year, and more crews overall. We will only have a full overview of the total impact after the continental qualifications, but the numbers are going in a good direction,” says FISA Development Director Sheila Stephens.