Rowing bipartite invitations for Rio 2016 announced
Eight teams from four continents have been awarded the bipartite places for rowing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.09 Jul 2016
The Zimbabwean para LTA coxed four training in Gavirate, Italy.
ⒸDetlev Seyb/World Rowing
By World Rowing
Hungary, Argentina, Lithuania, Kenya, Japan, Latvia, Austria and Zimbabwe have been awarded bipartite invitations for rowing at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, following the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta, in Gavirate, Italy.
Each of the four boat classes reserved two places for bipartite invitations. The first 10 spots were given to athletes in ranking order at the 2015 World Rowing Championships and the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta. Countries then applied for bipartite positions and were assessed by whether or not they already had a qualified crew.
The invitations are as follows:
Women’s Single Sculls (ASW1x) – Hungary and Argentina
Men’s Single Sculls (ASM1x) – Lithuania and Kenya
Mixed Double Sculls (TAMix2x) – Japan and Latvia
Mixed Coxed Four (LTAMix4+) – Austria and Zimbabwe
For many of these nations, the Paralympic Games represents a great opportunity to promote Para sport and rowing in their countries.
Kenya’s Itaken Timoi Kipelian has been rowing for several years and has participated in the FISA/Agitos Foundation training camp in Gavirate.
“Back home we have a problem of coaching because we do not have coaches for people with impairment,” he said.
“We also struggle to have the right equipment. Eventually I will stop being an athlete and start being a coach. I will try to recruit people to start rowing.”
Zimbabwe’s four is the first of its kind for the country, a project spearheaded by rowing coach, Rachel Davis.
“People with impairment do not often have opportunities in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“I put a call out for those interested to come meet me at the school where I teach. The response was great and we were able to put together a four.”
Austria’s rower Heidi Pahl said that her local club has been building up their team for a few years.
“When we had one of our rowers quit, we put an ad in the newspapers to try to find more,” he said. The effort has not gone unnoticed. Austria has sent a four to the rowing training camp for two years in a row. The second year they were able to fund themselves.
Rio 2016 will see a 13 per cent increase in the number of participating nations in rowing, from 23 in 2012 to 26 in Rio. Rowing at the Paralympics will be contested at Lagoa Stadium from 9-11 September.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).