Pathway to Paris 2024: Rowing qualification system explained

Learn about the rowing qualification pathway for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, including the qualifying competitions, quotas and number of athletes. Rowing will take place at the Nautical Stadium, the first newly-developed Olympic facility for Paris 2024. 

By Gisella Fava
Picture by Getty Images

Rowing has been part of the Summer Olympic programme since 1900. Always featuring breathtaking landscapes and venues, the sport will once again be part of the programme for Paris 2024. For the second time ever after Tokyo 2020, the competition will include an equal number of events for men and women.

Find out the answers to the main questions about the pathway rowers will take to secure their spots at Paris 2024.

How many athletes will compete in rowing at Paris 2024?

Some 502 rowers will compete at Paris 2024: 251 athletes of each gender, 24 less in total than Tokyo 2020. This figure includes host country quotas (one for each gender) and universality places (two for each gender), allocated to ensure broad participation during the Olympic Games regatta.

Other than these six places, 496 athletes (248 for men and for women) will compete in the seven Olympic boat classes, with the following distribution:

  • 58 athletes (29 per gender): Single Sculls
  • 52 athletes (26 per gender): Pair
  • 52 athletes (26 per gender): Double Sculls
  • 72 athletes (36 per gender): Coxless Four
  • 72 athletes (36 per gender): Quadruple Sculls
  • 126 athletes (63 per gender): Eight
  • 64 athletes (32 per gender): Lightweight Double Sculls

What is the rowing qualification pathway to Paris 2024?

As the host country, France is entitled to one quota for both the men’s and women’s competitions. There will also be two quotas for both men and women allocated to the Universality Places, which will be decided by the Tripartite Commission of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

For each of the 14 Olympic boat classes, there will be three opportunities to earn the quota at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games:

  • 1. 2023 World Rowing Championships

336 athletes (168 men and 168 women) will have the chance to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia between 3-10 September 2023. The competition is open to all NOCs with national Member Federations that are members of World Rowing. The highest placed crews according to the qualification quota in each event will qualify the boats for their National Olympic Committee.

  • 2. Continental Qualification Regattas in 2023

A total of 64 athletes (32 women and 32 men) will have the opportunity to qualify through four Continental Qualification Regattas: Asia/Oceania, Africa, Americas, and Europe. Through those competitions, those NOCs who have not participated, not qualified in any class or qualified only one boat at the 2023 World Rowing Championships can qualify. There will be four events at each Continental Qualification Regatta and World Rowing will confirm the place and dates of the Continental Qualification Regattas by the end of 2022.

  • 3. Final Olympic Qualification Regatta (TBC in May 2024)

The Final Olympic Qualification Regatta will be the last chance for 48 men and 48 women (96 athletes in total) to secure their spot for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. The event will take place in Lucerne, Switzerland in May 2024. Any NOC can participate in any event in which they had not already qualified: in this case, there are no restrictions to the number of events an NOC can qualify for at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta.

After each of the qualification regattas, World Rowing will confirm to the respective NOCs, based on the results, that they have obtained a quota place. After this, the NOC must indicate that they will accept the qualified boats within 14 days.

If the NOC does not accept a place, this will go to the first eligible boat among the unqualified. (See below the timeline with all the key dates).

What is the Paris 2024 rowing competition schedule?

At Paris 2024, seven events will be held in the men’s and women's competitions:

  • Single sculls (women’s / men’s)
  • Pair (women’s / men’s)
  • Double sculls (women’s / men’s)
  • Coxless four (women’s / men’s)
  • Quadruple sculls (women’s / men’s)
  • Eight (women’s / men’s)
  • Lightweight double sculls (women’s / men’s)

The 14 rowing events will take place between the 27 July and the 3 August. Competitions will be held in the stunning Vaires-sur-Marne Nautical Stadium, 39km from the Olympic and Paralympic Village.

READ MORE: The competition schedule for Olympic Games Paris 2024 has been released

Rowers to watch at Paris 2024

At Tokyo 2020, two of the most emotional moments come from Ireland and Greece, with both countries claiming a first gold medal in rowing: in the men’s lightweight double sculls, courtesy of Fintan McCarthy and Paul O’Donovan and in the single sculls, with the 24-year-old Stefanos Ntouskos.

Chinese athletes also returned to the podium at Tokyo 2020 with one gold and two bronze medals. At Paris 2024, they will once again be ones to watch.

Meanwhile, rowing superpowers Great Britain managed just two medals in Tokyo, with the United States going home empty-handed after the women's eight finished fourth in their bid for a fourth consecutive gold.

France finished just above People's Republic of China in the medal table with Hugo Boucheron and Matthieu Androdias adding Olympic gold to their 2018 world title in the double sculls, and Laura Tarantola and Claire Bove - both young enough to figure in their home Games - winning a silver medal in the women's lightweight double sculls. They will potentially come up against their conquerors in Tokyo, Italy's Valentina Rodini and Federica Cesarini, who took gold by just 0.14 seconds.

Romania's Ancuta Bodnar and Simona Radis were comfortable winners of gold in the double sculls. With both being 22 years old, they should be around for Paris and beyond.

Netherlands won the men's quadruple sculls with a world record and a young crew. Croatia would also like to replicate their greatest Olympic rowing moments, after brothers Martin and Valent Sinkovic made history in Tokyo by adding gold in the pairs to their double sculls title from Rio 2016.

Rowing qualification timeline to Paris 2024

  • 31 December 2022: World Rowing to determine the location of Continental Olympic Qualification Regattas
  • 3-10 September 2023: 2023 World Rowing Championships, Belgrade, Serbia
  • 15 September 2023: World Rowing confirms in writing to the NOCs the quota places obtained.
  • 29 September 2023: The NOCs to confirm to World Rowing the use of the allocated quota places.
  • 6 October 2023: World Rowing to reallocate all unused quota places.
  • TBD: Africa Continental Qualification Regatta, TBD
  • TBD: Americas Continental Qualification Regatta, TBD
  • TBD: Asia & Oceania Continental Qualification Regatta, TBD
  • TBD: European Continental Qualification Regatta, TBD
  • 19-21 May 2024 (TBC): Final Olympic Qualification Regatta, Lucerne, Switzerland
  • In relation to the respective qualification regattas: Within five days after the event, World Rowing confirms in writing to the NOCs the quota places obtained.
  • Two weeks after the event: The NOCs to confirm to World Rowing the use of the allocated quota places.
  • Within five days after each previous step: World Rowing to reallocate all unused quota places
  • TBD: The Tripartite Commission to confirm in writing the allocation of Universality places to the NOCs (where applicable).
  • 7 June 2024: World Rowing to reallocate any unused quota places.
  • 8 July 2024: Paris 2024 Sport Entries deadline
  • 25 July 2024: Olympic Regatta Draw meeting
  • 26 July - 11 August 2024: Olympic Games Paris 2024

Find out more about the qualification systems for other sports that will feature at Paris 2024.


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