Category Archives: Rowing


Further to the recent updates from FISA, below is the latest update on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on World Rowing events and activity in the lead up to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Today FISA participated in a conference call held by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) with all summer sport International Federations (IFs). The IOC and the IFs agreed on this communication updating on the status of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, including qualification systems. The full communication from the IOC can be found here:

In particular reference to qualification for the Olympic Games, FISA recognises the IOCs duty to take a coordinated approach in addressing the modifications to the qualification systems of all sports caused by event cancellations due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The importance of giving as much certainty to our athletes and the rowing community as soon as possible is a high priority. FISA has been in daily contact with the IOC and aims to finalise changes to the qualification system with the IOC as soon as possible ahead of the planned IOC deadline of early April. The next communication will be posted as soon as agreement is reached with the IOC Executive Board.

Mighty eights and more at 2018 World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
© FISA Igor Meijer

In regard to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, solutions are still being sought to possibly reschedule one or more of the Paralympic qualification opportunities which have been cancelled. It is FISA’s aim to confirm any possible decisions by Sunday 5 April 2020. The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) is also taking a coordinated approach in revising qualification systems impacted by the pandemic. FISA is in close contact with the IPC regarding the qualification system and the athlete eligibility criteria, including classification, as outlined in the current 2020 Paralympic Games Rowing Qualification Guide. FISA aims to have an update on athlete eligibility criteria, including classification, on Sunday 5 April 2020.

All athletes, Member Federations and the rowing community in general should follow their respective National Health authorities’ recommendations and guidance in regard to rowing activity, training and events. Guidance from the FISA Sports Medicine Commission is available online, here:

Nigeria’s Black Stallions and Madagascar’s Makis Showdown in Final Elimination Match For Rugby Africa Cup 2020

The last match of the elimination stage of the Rugby Africa Cup (RAC) 2020 between Nigeria and Madagascar kicks off on Sunday, 1 December at 15:00 local time (14:00 CAT) at the Mahamasima Stadium in Antananarivo Madagascar.

Nigeria’s Black Stallions realise there is nothing to lose and everything to play for when they take on the might of Madagascar in Antananarivo.

Official artwork for the Rugby Africa Cup 2020 fixtures for 30 November and 1 December
Official artwork for the Rugby Africa Cup 2020 fixtures for 30 November and 1 December

“We’re expecting a partisan home crowd in Antananarivo with around 30 000 noisy fans. We will have to bring our A-game and show a more intense defence than we did when they put 50 points over us in a 7s game in Johannesburg recently,” says Dele Coker, Team Director Nigeria.

Team Madagascar

Kelechukwu Mbagwu, President of the Nigeria Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) states prior to the match: “We have a lot to prove, it would be good to get some payback and pride back. It’s going to be a big game for us. We’re in building phase in Nigeria rugby, still developing our pool of home-based players in our three regional leagues. We need to play international matches and keep testing ourselves against bigger, stronger and better opposition so our guys can get used to playing at a higher level consistently.”

With Madagascar occupying 51st position on World Rugby’s Ranking, 19 points above Nigeria all the pressure will be on the home team.

Team Nigeria
Black Stallions

Philippe Canitrot, Coach Madagascar, underlines the importance of winning the match: “A new adventure starts. All the teams are dreaming of the World Cup. The Malagasy team is prepared for this match with concentration and humbleness. We will endeavour the challenge Nigeria will impose on us and are ready for a great match.”

The match will be broadcasted live and for free on Rugby Africa’s Facebook page @RugbyAfrique (


The number of entries has swelled for the second World Rowing Cup for 2019. Over 800 athletes will compete in Poznan, Poland from 21-23 June 2019.

The entry level is more than double that of World Rowing Cup I and the biggest World Cup ever to take place in Poznan. Overall the last time there was a World Rowing Cup of this size was in 2011 and happened before an Olympic Qualification Regatta. Likewise, later this year, Olympic Qualification will take place during the World Rowing Championship regatta in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria in August.

The Poznan regatta has attracted 45 nations and, for the first time this season, Australia and New Zealand will compete along with a number of Latin American nations. Big teams have entered from Germany, Italy and Great Britain. Germany has the largest team with 28 boats entered. This includes entries in all of the Olympic boat classes.

Germany brings its men’s eight that has gone unbeaten in a final for the last two years. The crew will face a new-look New Zealand eight that includes Olympic Champions Hamish Bond and Mahe Drysdale. Also racing for the first time this season is Australia’s eight who took silver at last year’s World Rowing Championships.

The women’s pair has attracted the biggest field of the women’s boat classes and includes World Champion Hillary Janssens of Canada racing with new partner, Sydney Payne. New Zealand’s silver medal crew of Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast are racing as well as Italy’s 2018 fourth-placed crew of Sara Bertolasi and Alessandra Patelli.

Great Britain, United States, New Zealand, Women’s Eight, A-Final, 2017 World Rowing Cup II, Poznan, Poland
© FISA Igor Meijer

This World Rowing Cup regatta includes para-rowing boat classes and features the ongoing battle between World Champion Erik Horrie of Australia and Paralympic Champion Roman Polianskyi of Ukraine. They will race in the PR1 para men’s single sculls. Returning to the PR1 para women’s single sculls is World Champion Birgit Skarstein of Norway who faces competition from five nations.

Racing begins on Friday 21 June and will continue through to Olympic and Paralympic boat class finals commencing at 10:35am CET Sunday 23 June. All Sunday finals will be live streamed on as well as broadcasted on leading channels around the world.


European countries came together to race over the weekend in one of rowing’s favourite spots – Lucerne, Switzerland.

This was one of rowing’s biggest European Championships with nearly 600 competitors spread across 36 countries.

At the end of three days of racing Germany came out on top of the medals table. They picked up medals in five boat classes including defending their title in the men’s eight and winning the men’s single sculls. The women’s double sculls also went Germany’s way along with the women’s quadruple sculls and lightweight men’s double sculls. This equalled to five gold medals, one silver and one bronze.

Oliver Zeidler of Germany had a huge job in winning the single. Zeidler is one of the younger members of the elite rowing community and he got the better of Stef Broenink of the Netherlands and Pilip Pavukou of Belarus to win the single sculls. The speed of the “youngsters” in this race saw two Olympic medallists Ondrej Synek (CZE) and Damir Martin (CRO) finish out of the medals.

A number of new European Best Times were broken in the near-perfect conditions at the regatta venue, the Rotsee. This included the women’s four with the Netherlands setting the new standard. They did this in a close race with Romania and Poland. The Netherlands finished second on the medals table with seven medals, two of them gold.

Italy, which came third on the medals table, got one of their two gold medals in the lightweight women’s single sculls. Federica Cearini of Italy had a great race to not only win, but also set a new European Best Time. She beat both Germany’s Leonie Pieper and Marieke Keijser of the Netherlands to take the European Champion title.

Overall, medals were won by 17 nations.

The European Rowing Championships comprises of the 46 European national rowing federations, including Israel. This year’s championship included 17 boat classes, 14 of them Olympic boat classes.

The 2020 European Rowing Championships will be held in June 2020 in Poznan, Poland.

Race results, race reports, photos and videos are available on .


Europe’s top rowers head for Lucerne, Switzerland next week to compete at the 2019 European Rowing Championships. The regatta takes place from 31 May – 2 June.

The regatta has attracted representation from 36 member federations, tied for the record, with a near record of just under 600 athletes entered. Both Great Britain and Germany are sending the biggest teams with boats in 16 of the 17 boat classes. Italy and the Netherlands also have large teams with 15 boat classes covered.

Strong Performances, Challenging Conditions At 2016 European Rowing Championships photo credit: World Rowing Official

The 2018 World Champion and Rio 2016 bronze medallist Kjetil Borch of Norway steps out for the first time this season in the men’s single sculls. He will face winner of 2019 World Rowing Cup I and Rio 2016 silver medallist, Damir Martin of Croatia. The large men’s single field includes rowers from 25 nations with Rio 2016 bronze and London 2012 silver Olympic medallist Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic also in the mix.

On the women’s side, home favourite Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland will be the one to beat. Gmelin is the reigning European Champion but she will face two Olympic medallists in the single, Mirka Topinkova Knapkova of the Czech Republic, gold medallist at London 2012 and Denmark’s Fie Udby Erichsen, silver medallist at London. Also entered is World Rowing Cup I winner, Lisa Scheenaard of the Netherlands.

The men’s double sculls has attracted a large field with World Champions France racing for the first time since their 2018 championship win. Hugo Boucheron and Matthieu Androdias are back together and they will face the new German combination of Stephan Krueger and Tim Ole Naske as well as World Rowing Cup I bronze medallists Stanislau Shcharbachenia and Dzianis Mihal of Belarus.

Strong Performances, Challenging Conditions At 2016 European Rowing Championships photo credit: World Rowing Official

Romania finished at the top of the medals table at last year’s European Championships and they come to Lucerne with 11 crews including their defending European Champion women’s eight.

Racing begins on Friday 31 May at 9:30 CET with heats. The races will then progress through repechages, semifinals and finals that begin at 10:03 CET on Sunday 2 June. The finals will be live-streamed on


A taste of what 2019 has in store for World Rowing will be revealed when World Rowing Cup I takes place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

This first international regatta for 2019 goes from 10-12 May with 12 May featuring 16 finals. The regatta has seen entries come in from 24 countries with over 300 athletes competing. A large contingent from China, Romania and Poland will be competing. Both China and Romania are sending 24 crews with Poland sending 15.

The men’s single sculls sees the return of Croatia’s Damir Martin to international rowing. Martin, who took silver at the Rio Olympics, had his 2018 season cut short due to injury. Also from Croatia is the men’s pair of Martin and Valent Sinkovic. The Sinkovic brothers raced at the Rio Olympics in the men’s double sculls, winning gold. They have switched to the pair for this Olympiad, won it at last year’s World Rowing Championships and will be up against Marius-Vasile Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosa of Romania in this first race of season. Cozmiuc and Tudosa are the 2018 world silver medallists.

Mighty eights and more at 2018 World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
© FISA Igor Meijer

The unstoppable Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus, winner of gold at the Atlanta and Sydney Olympic Games, goes into her 29th international season. Karsten is back in the women’s single sculls as she works towards her seventh Olympic Games. Also making a return to the single is 2012 Olympic Champion Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic. This match-up will be one to watch.

The United States looks to be doing a women’s pair selection with four boats entered. The top crew is likely to be World Champion from the women’s eight Tracy Eisser and three-time Olympian Megan Kalmoe.

Racing begins on Friday 10 May 2019 EEST and will continue through to semifinals with finals commencing at 10:35am Sunday 12 May. All races will be live streamed on


The World Rowing Federation, FISA, has developed a new event attribution process. This recognises that many regatta venues have benefited from significant investment by local, regional and national governments, to bring them to a standard suitable for hosting international competitions.

Launched at the end of 2017, the new process – called the Strategic Event Attribution Process (SEAP) – offers a more strategic and long-term approach to attributing FISA events. It allows interested parties to indicate all of the FISA-owned events between 2021 and 2028 that they believe would support their long-term events strategy.

There are 36 events open to bidding for the period spanning 2021 to 2026, including the 2023, 2025 and 2026 World Rowing Championships. For the 2021 to 2024 period, bids are invited for the junior and under-23 World Rowing Championships, three World Rowing Cup series regattas per year and the World Rowing Masters Regatta. In addition to the World Rowing events, FISA owns the European Championships at the senior, under-23 and junior level and these events for the 2021 to 2024 period are also open for bidding.

The first major milestone, the submission of preliminary bids, was reached on 15 April 2019. At the time of the deadline, 21 Member Federations submitted bids from 31 rowing venues, with the German Rowing Federation putting forward five venues for contention and the French Rowing Federation putting forward three.

Regulars on the World Rowing event circuit like Lucerne (SUI), Bled (SLO), Poznan (POL), Plovdiv (BUL) and Belgrade (SRB) have also put in bids. Several venues that have not hosted world-level events for many years have stepped forward again including Zagreb (CRO), Brive (FRA) and Villach (AUT). No less than three Olympic regatta courses are in the mix, including the 1972 Olympic regatta course in Munich (GER), which last hosted a World Rowing event in 2012, the 1976 Olympic course in Montreal (CAN), which last hosted in 2001, the Banyoles (ESP) 1992 Olympic course, which last hosted an event in 2009. There is also a possibility that Penrith, the Sydney 2000 Olympic venue will bid.

Bidders include an emergence of new venues, which – if successful in their bids – would host World Rowing events for the first time such as Hjelmsjo (SWE), Kazan (RUS) and Pretoria (RSA).

Jean-Christophe Rolland, FISA President
© FISA Igor Meijer

Moving into the final stage of the process, bidders have until 30 June 2019 to finalise all details and present final bids including financial guarantees. A complete review of all bid documentation will then be done by FISA to ensure that all standards have been met.

All World Championship events will be attributed by the FISA Congress, on 2 September 2019 in Linz, Austria. The World Rowing Cup events and the World Rowing Masters Regattas will be attributed directly by the FISA Council and announced at the same FISA Congress, while the European Championship events will be attributed by the European Rowing Extraordinary General Assembly later this year.