IOC confirm gender equality in rowing events for Tokyo 2020 with introduction of women’s four

Male and female competitors will go head-to-head in seven rowing events each at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as the IOC confirmed gender parity in the sport


An equal number of men and women will compete in rowing events at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed the event schedule would include the women’s four for the first time since 1992.

The decision, as voted on as the preferred option by FISA members at February’s Extra-ordinary Congress, means that male and female crews will contest across the same seven events, with 526 athletes in total competing for medals.

The lightweight men’s four is removed from the Olympic programme in favour of the women’s four, which last appeared at the Games in Barcelona 25 years ago when Canada won gold; Great Britain finished eighth. This is the first time the rowing schedule has changed since Atlanta 1996.

FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland said: “This is the result of a long, transparent process of consultation with all our stakeholders in open meetings with multiple proposals and, in parallel, understanding the key issues for the IOC in constructive discussions. We are proud that rowing’s Olympic programme is now gender equal in events and athlete numbers.”

Rowing is just one of a number of sports to introduce more gender parity, with several bringing in mixed events. Triathlon, athletics and swimming will feature a mixed relay, while shooting and judo are among the other sports to introduce mixed team events.