Latin and South American crews looking to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics got their racing started on the Olympic racecourse in Rio today. Crews are competing in the Men's & Women's Singles, Lightweight Men's and Women's Singles, and PR1 Men's and Women's Singles. Five crews will qualify for Tokyo out of the Men's & Women's Singles, three crews in the Lightweight Doubles, and only the winning crew out of the two PR1 Singles events.
The Men's Single is the deepest event, with 17 scullers vying for the five qualifying spots, while 12 athletes are contesting the Women's Single. The Men's single is perhaps defined by the absence of Cuban standout Angel Fournier Rodriguez, who, according to Cuban media, has opted out of Olympics qualifying this year to spend more time with his family.
Bermuda's Dara Alizadeh
Former Belmont Hill, Penn, and Cambridge Univesity standout Dara Alizadeh is in the mix in the event, competing for Bermuda.
See the row2k Interview with Penn's Dara Alizadeh.
The Women's Single sees a host of experienced rowers, including Mexico's Kenia Lechuga Alanis, a lightweight sculler who famously beat Australian Kim Brennan, the eventual Gold medallist, in the swampy opening heats in Rio.
Also competing are Aisha Chow, from the San Francisco area Bair Island Aquatic Center, who is aiming for a repeat engagement in Tokyo after becoming Trinidad & Tobago's first ever Olympic rower in 2016, Barry University student Alejandra Alonso, representing Paraguay, and Argentian Sol Ordas, World Junior silver medalist in 2018, who famously flipped after crossing the line in that race.
Rio 2021 Americas Qualifier info:
Argentina's Sol Ordas at the 2018 Junior Worlds