The Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil are set to start in one week’s time and the entries for the Paralympic para-rowing regatta are now available here.
The four para-rowing boat classes each have 12 boats entered with a total of 96 para-rowers competing at the regatta course on the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon in the heart of Rio. These athletes cover 26 countries. This is an increase on the London 2012 Paralympic Games where 23 nations competed. As well, 36 countries participated in the qualification process for Rio2016 which is more than the 28 from the London 2012 process.
The para men’s single sculls has the reigning World Champion Erik Horrie of Australia lining up against the 2012 Paralympic Champion Cheng Huang of China. Huang has done minimal racing during this Olympic cycle while Horrie, in the meantime, has accumulated three World Champion titles.
For the para women’s single sculls a showdown is likely between current World Champion, Moran Samuel of Israel and winner of this year’s World Rowing Cup III Rachel Morris of Great Britain. There is also Birgit Skarstein of Norway who was third at last year’s World Rowing Championships.
Gavin Bellis and Kathryn Ross of Australia come into the para mixed double sculls as three-time consecutive World Champions. Earlier this year, however, they were beaten by France’s Perle Bouge and Stephane Tardieu. These two boats will face each other again in Rio.
The para mixed coxed four has been dominated by Great Britain in recent years, but they missed the chance to race the ever-improving Canada in the 2016 season. Zimbabwe is racing in this boat category as they make their Paralympic debut in rowing.
As the IPC has suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee and Russian Para athletes from participating at the Games, the two Russian qualification slots have been re-allocated by the IPC to GER in the ASM1x and USA in the TAMix2x.
The para-rowing regatta will run from 9 to 11 September 2016 with 12 September available as a reserve day in case of changes to the schedule. Racing over the three days is timed for 8:30am to 10:30am daily (BRT).
Report courtesy of World Rowing.