Canadian Boats Narrowly Miss Qualification for Paris at Final Qualification Regatta

Canadian Boats Narrowly Miss Qualification for Paris at Final Qualification Regatta

The final Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne showcased the exceptional efforts and determination of Canadian rowers, even though no boats secured spots for the upcoming Paris 2024 Games. Despite not achieving this goal of qualification, the Canadian rowers made the country proud with their tenacity and spirit on the international stage.

The competition began with Christa Akins, Canada’s PR1 Women’s Single (PR1 W1x) para rower, displaying her skills with a strong 2nd place finish in her heat on Sunday, May 19th. Her performance secured her a spot in the repechage on Monday, where she continued to show she was a contender, earning a third-place finish and a place in the final on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s final saw Christa giving her all in the PR1 W1x race, ultimately finishing 5th. Despite not qualifying, her strength and determination were evident as she competed against top rowers from Uzbekistan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Argentina, and Denmark.

“It’s great to see the resurgence of our para rowing program internationally this year. Unfortunately, we had a tough field to contend with, and everyone came prepared to give their all for the final spot in Paris,” said Taylyr Dickinson, RCA Para Rowing Lead.

The Women’s Quad (W4x) put up a strong fight in their preliminary race on Sunday, finishing third in a close race against the USA and Ukraine. Only 0.98 seconds separated first and third place, setting an intense stage for the final on Tuesday. In a fiercely contested final, the W4x finished 3rd with a time of 6:29.25, behind the USA (6:28.04) and Ukraine (6:28.27), narrowly missing out on an Olympic berth.

“Given the intense preparation and professional approach the women’s scullers have taken, it is difficult to swallow this result. The women are incredibly talented and hopefully this is just the beginning of the resurgence of Canadian sculling,” stated Lauren Fisher, W4x and National Training Centre Coach.

The Men’s Eight delivered a commendable performance in their final race, leaving it all out on the water. In a nail-biting showdown, the Canadian team finished third with a time of 5:39.53, just 0.01 seconds behind Italy (5:39.52) and behind the race winner USA (5:35.97).

“We applaud our crews for leaving everything out there on that race course today and I have no doubt they inspired the next generation of rowers to rise to this level of elite rowing. These crews exemplify the top standard of our program, and we have the utmost respect and confidence in these athletes looking forward,” shared RCA’s High Performance Director, Adam Parfitt. “We recognize how difficult and disheartening this result is for our athletes, especially given the immense dedication and hard work they’ve put into their training. It’s incredibly tough to not see those efforts translate into the results we all hoped for, however, we remain confident in this group of athletes and are committed to supporting them as we rebuild and look ahead to future successes.”
As there will be no Canadian male rowers represented on the start line in Paris, Parfitt insists that a systematic shift needs to occur to reinvigorate men’s rowing in Canada.
“We are understandably disappointed not to have achieved our goals here in Lucerne this week and we take forward some great learnings and lessons for LA 2028. We recognize that there is a gap specific to men’s rowing in Canada that needs to be addressed. I feel confident that, in collaboration with our partners across the country, we can reinvigorate this pipeline. This is certainly a priority for us moving forward into the next Olympic quadrennial.”

Complete list of results on
Final Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta Canadian Team Roster

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For more information:

Colleen Coderre
RCA Communications Lead

Susanne Wereley
RCA Communications Manager 

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