The qualification process for the YOG has shown the growth, not only in youth participation in sport, but in universal participation in the sport of rowing.

“The participation in the qualification regattas has grown from 65 nations to a total of 102 nations this cycle, and that is nothing short of amazing," says Sheila Stephens Desbans, FISA Development Manager.  "The YOG training camps and qualification system have achieved in one cycle the same universality as the Olympic process made over several cycles.”

The qualification for the YOG began at the 2013 World Rowing Junior Championships where 28 countries earned spots. It continued with the continental qualification regattas in Africa, Asia and Latin America which added 16 more nations. The allocation of universality spots added six more countries with a re-allocation bringing in Belgium and the Czech Republic based on their performance at last year’s Junior Worlds. The final two qualification spots came from the re-allocation of unused host country places and they were given to Canada and Croatia.

However, even more impressive than the number of participating nations was the quality and the level of rowing. “We are seeing nations like Sri Lanka, North Korea, Togo and Uganda that are having their first YOG experience along with good strong crews coming up in the Americas as well as Africa with Tunisia, South Africa and Zimbabwe having some very talented athletes,” says Stephens Desbans.

To be eligible to row at the YOG athletes must be in the 17-18 year old age group at the time of the Games. A total of 96 rowers will compete over  a 1,000m distance at the Games rowing regatta venue of the Nanjing Rowing-Canoeing School.

The YOG was established by the IOC as a way to inspire young people to take up sport, learn about the Olympic values and also to be a platform to create a community between the youth of the world. There are 28 sports at the YOG with rowing an integral part of the Games.

This year's YOG takes place from 16 – 28 August 2014, with the rowing regatta taking place at the beginning of the Games.

For detailed information on qualification here.