2016 Americas Olympic Qualification Regatta, Valpariso, Chile
2016 Americas Olympic Qualification Regatta, Valpariso, Chile

Twenty-four nations had travelled to the reservoir course to determine an additional six Olympic boats in both the men’s and women’s single sculls as well as an additional three boats in both the lightweight men and women’s double sculls for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Under the qualification system guidelines, all six finalists of both the men’s and women’s singles qualified for Rio. In both the lightweight men’s and lightweight women’s double sculls, the top three crews qualified. However, all qualified rowers had a nervous 14-day wait as, under the International Olympic Committee guidelines, the results still needed to be endorsed by each athlete’s National Olympic committee.

Following this 14-day wait, host country of the 2016 Olympic Games, Brazil, declined two quota places – in the men’s and women’s single sculls – and chose to use the qualification spots it earned in the lightweight men’s and women’s double sculls instead. This increased the qualification slots from six to seven in the men’s and women’s single sculls.

In the men’s and women’s single sculls, Chile also declined the two spots it had earned, favouring instead the spots it won in the lightweight men’s and women’s double sculls.

Cuba chose the lightweight women’s double sculls over its qualification spot in the women’s single sculls.

In the men’s single sculls, the decisions made by Brazil and Chile moved Ecuador and Paraguay up into a qualification position, while in the women’s single sculls, three countries were able to move up into the qualification range – Paraguay, Peru and the Bahamas.

In the lightweight men’s double sculls, Mexico favoured its qualification place in the men’s single sculls instead, freeing a spot now filled in by Chile.

Overall, a further 20 boats have been officially added to the Olympic Qualification list, with 13 nations increasing the number of qualified nations to 51 so far.

Compared to the 2012 Americas qualification regatta, this year’s event showed a positive change. The number of countries competing in 2016 was an increase of eight. This corresponds to a 50 per cent increase and a 27 rower increase. The biggest rise was among women with a 64 per cent increase in participation.

Upcoming Olympic qualification regattas include the FISA Asian and Oceania Olympic Qualification Regatta in Chungju, Korea (22-25 April) and the FISA European and Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland (22-24 May). 

For the complete Olympic qualification list to date as well as the documentation related to the Olympic Qualification procedure, please click here: http://www.worldrowing.com/events/2016-olympic-games-regatta/event-information

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