Martin Cross summarises the issues facing rowing as it proposes its own cuts for the Olympic Regatta Programme. Sports are judged on a range of criteria:
- Gender equality – Canoeing, Wrestling and Boxing are less good than rowing’s mix of 64% male : 36% female.
- Universality – we aren’t good here either 21st out of 26 sports means we need more nations competing.
- Number of hits on Federations websites
- TV viewers
- Articles in press
What has World Rowing done?
Martin Cross reports dramatic proposals – one fewer mens eights. Also cut the M4x and reduced by 3 crews from 13 to 10.
These will mean tough qualifications at the “Regatta of Death” in Lucerne in 2015.
Womens events gain – more womens pairs 10 – 15; Womens 2x 10-13 entries. LW2x up 17 to 20.
For the regional qualification regattas (South America, Africas etc) top rowing countries are limited as to how many crews they can qualify (which is an extension of the existing rules whereby South Africa can’t qualify using the regional regatta and has to go to the Worlds or Lucerne leaving the local regatta for less highly ranked nations).
They’ve pulled in more semi-finals for the Olympic Regatta so there will be more races.
Martin’s view is that Rowing needs to allow athlete doubling up because he thinks the headcount will be challenged.