First Olympic and Paralympic Canoe Sprint Qualification Spots Confirmed

Lachlan Tame, Tom Green, Jackson Collins and Matt Goble, Australia Mens K4 500mtr Racing the qualification races at the International Canoe Federation World Championships, Szeged, Hungary. Thursday 22 August 2019 © Copyright photo Steve McArthur / Paddle Australia

Our olympic and paralympic canoe sprint paddlers have secured the first quota spots for Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games with a strong performance at last month’s ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships in Szeged, Hungary (21-25 August 2019).

The 2019 Canoe Sprint and  Paracanoe World Championships in Szeged, Hungary was the first Tokyo 2020 qualification event with Australia’s canoe sprint paddlers securing Australia six quota spots in the Olympic men’s events, four in the women’s as well as four Paralympic quota spots.

23 nations told to book their tickets to Tokyo Paralympics

23 nations were told to book their tickets to the Tokyo Paralympics following the 2019 Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships in Szeged, Hungary, including Australia, with Australia’s paracanoeists securing four quota spots for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

This will enable Paddle Australia’s four current national team para canoe paddlers to compete in six Paralympic events at Tokyo 2020.

Thirteen nations from Europe, four each from Asia and the Americas, and two from Oceania have all booked their tickets for next year off the back of their performances in Hungary. Last month’s world championships was the biggest on record, with 176 entries from 42 countries.

Competitors like Curtis McGrath and Susan Seipel who doubled up in Szeged were permitted to only qualify one spot for Tokyo, but will be able to compete in both events at the Games.

The Va’as (outrigger canoes) will debut on the Paralympic program in Tokyo 2020 and offer the opportunity for both McGrath and Seipel to win two medals.

“It’s very exciting to see the growth in our sport since paracanoe made its Paralympic debut in Rio in 2016,” chair of the ICF’s paracanoe committee, John Edwards, said.

“The addition of three new medal events in Tokyo has been an exciting development, opening the door for many more athletes to get the chance to experience the very best international competition.

In total 54 quotas have now been allocated for next year, six for each of the nine events on the paracanoe program.

Each team will now determine which athletes will fill those quotas.

Next year an additional 36 Paralympic quotas will be allocated at the ICF paracanoe world championships in Duisburg. See the full list of qualified nations here

First round of Olympic canoe sprint quotas allocated

Following the official allocation of Tokyo 2020 positions after the 2019 ICF Canoe Sprint + Paracanoe World Championships in Szeged, Hungary (21-25 August) the first round of Olympic canoe sprint quotas has been allocated with Australia securing the full six places in the men’s kayak events and four in the women’s kayak events.

More country places are still to be allocated, with most to be determined at continental championships.

Australia’s men’s K4 of Rio bronze medallist Lachlan Tame (NSW), Tom Green (QLD), Jackson Collins (QLD) and Matt Goble (SA) were the first ones to secure the quota spot for Tokyo at the World Championships with a win in the B-final and thanks to the four-continents rule.

Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood, Australia Mens K2 1,000mtr
International Canoe Federation World Championships, Szeged, Hungary. Sunday 25 August 2019 © Copyright photo Steve McArthur / Paddle Australia

Rio Olympians Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood followed suit and secured a quota spot with a fifth place in the final of the men’s K2 1000.

With these results, the Australian men’s teams earned the full six places for Tokyo 2020.

The Australian women’s K4 of Alyssa Bull (QLD), Jaime Roberts (WA), Alyce Burnett (QLD) and Jo Brigden-Jones (NSW) finished the World Championships with a seventh place in the A-final and also qualified the K4 for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, securing four places for Australia’s kayak women.

Alyssa Bull, Jaime Roberts, Alyce Burnett and Jo Brigden-Jones Australia Womens K4 500mtr
Racing the qualification races at the International Canoe Federation World Championships, Szeged, Hungary. Thursday 22 August 2019 © Copyright photo Steve McArthur / Paddle Australia

About Canoe Sprint Olympic Quota Spots
Every country can qualify six athletes for the kayak events and three for the canoe events. Athletes from that pool can compete in more than one event, even if the country has not qualified in that specific race.

For example, athletes competing in a K4 can also compete in K2 and K1 events. Likewise in canoe, athletes from C2 can also race the C1. It also means a country can have two boats in K1, K2 and C1 events.While the countries qualify the places, athletes will need to earn their seat in the boats through national selections – in Australia this will be early next year.
More quota positions will be available at upcoming continental championships, and then the last berths will be determined at next year’s ICF world cup in Duisburg in May.

Find the full list of teams who have earned quotas here.