Coronavirus threat: Rowing qualifiers moved from Asia to Europe
The world rowing federation (FISA) has cancelled the Asia and Oceania continental Olympic and Paralympic qualifiers scheduled to be held in Chungju, South Korea, from April 27-30 due to novel coronavirus. The executive committee of FISA took the decision on Thursday after evaluating the situation in the region and noting “significant difficulties which would affect the staging of the events in Asia” due to the spread of the virus and the resultant travel restrictions imposed by many nations on the affected regions.
“The FISA / Olympic Solidarity training camp, planned to take place before the regatta in Chungju, is now also cancelled. Discussions on arranging an alternative training camp or camps are currently taking place with the relevant stakeholders, and will be announced when and if possible,” FISA said in a statement on its website.
The Asia and Oceania Olympic qualifiers have now been made part of the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland from May 17-19. Competitions in men’s and women’s single sculls and lightweight men and women double sculls will be part of the Lucerne schedule. Similarly, the Paralympics qualification programme has been added to the final Paralympic Qualification Regatta at Gavirate, Italy from May 8-10.
Five Indian rowers, two support staff, two coaches and an attendant for para rowers are scheduled to participate in the Asian Olympic qualifiers that offers Olympic berths in men’s and women’s singles sculls, lightweight men’s and women’s double sculls and para rowing men’s and women’s singles sculls.
The rowers are currently preparing for trials, to be held around March 20, after which the team will be announced. In all, 263 men and an equal number of women are eligible to participate in the Olympics with each National Olympic Committee (NOC) eligible to send a maximum of 24 qualified rowers.
“The number of qualification places attributed to the Asia and Oceania Qualification Regattas will not change and will be allocated based on results in the respective Final Qualification Regatta for the relevant boat classes to the eligible NFs/NOCs,” said the FISA statement.
As of now, FISA has decided that the coronavirus threat in Italy is low and has therefore decided to go ahead with the two stages of World Rowing Cup, the European qualifiers for Olympics and Paralympics and the Final Olympic Qualification event scheduled in that country.