Great News: The IOC adds Beach Sprint on the LA28 Programme.
Beach sprint rowing has been added to the programme for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, it was announced here today. It was the only one of 16 disciplines proposed by a number of sports to be included for when the Games return to California. The new discipline will place lightweight double sculls, with next year’s Olympic Games in Paris marking the last time when lightweight rowing is featured on the programme.
The news that beach sprint rowing was going to be added to the programme was broken by British Rowing, who sent out a press release before an official announcement by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following the conclusion of the second day of its Executive Board meeting. Reports InsidetheGames:
“The inclusion of coastal rowing at LA28, through the beach sprints format, is expected to be transformational for our sport in terms of global exposure, and in making an exciting form of rowing accessible to new populations,” World Rowing President Jean-Christophe Rolland said.
“We believe beach sprint rowing has the potential to enhance the Olympic programme by embracing beach culture and our shared values of universality, gender-equality and sustainability, while delivering genuine innovation in sport, broadcast and fan entertainment.”
Youtube: Source World Rowing
Three medal events have been proposed by World Rowing, the men’s solo, women’s solo and the mixed double sculls, meaning for the first-time, rowing would feature a mixed event at the Olympic Games. Lightweight rowing events, which have weight-limited crews, had been introduced to the Olympic programme at Atlanta 1996.
It was also confirmed by the IOC Executive Board that the Olympic regatta will be staged at the Long Beach Marine Stadium, the course when Los Angeles staged the Games in 1932. It means that the competition will take place on the shortest course in Olympic history, over 1,500 metres – some 500m less than the standard length.
Read press release from British rowing here:
Beach Sprint is rowing – but not as you know it. A fast-paced shorter format of the sport, Sprint combines the endurance, power and technical sides of river rowing with running, navigation and fast paced side by side racing as athletes combat the waves on a coastal ‘field of play’ where anything can happen. Athletes’ ability to adapt to an ever-changing landscape of competition is tested alongside their physical ability… and it’s all over in a matter of minutes.
Beach Sprints is on the programme for the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games and today has been added to the LA 2028 Olympic Games programme.
Commenting on the decision Louise Kingsley, British Rowing Director of Performance said: “Including Beach Sprint in the Olympic programme is a great opportunity to introduce our sport to a new audience. It also allows us to bring the coastal rowing community together with traditional rowing communities to increase the reach of the sport. This decision means that sadly the last classic rowing lightweight races will be in Paris 2024, but these athletes could also consider switching disciplines and transition into Beach Sprints.
“From an athlete perspective, Beach Sprint appeals to those who thrive on jeopardy because it is fast and furious and requires greater, immediate decision making, which will test and challenge athletes in a new way whilst still being ‘rowing’.
“We have been quietly developing the programme over the last few years and have had our most successful season in 2023, finishing second on the medal table at the World Rowing Beach Sprint Finals and winning our first ever World and European gold medals. Building from this a selection strategy for the 2024 season as well as an outline performance strategy for the LA Olympiad will be published in January. We will be working with UK Sport to discuss how we further integrate the Beach Sprint discipline into our World Class programme to ensure we can field a high quality team of athletes who will be able to compete and win medals at the LA Games.”
Team GB Chef de Mission, Mark England commented; “Over the past Olympic cycle we have seen the impact that new disciplines have had for both summer and winter sports in diversifying the audience watching the Olympic Games. I have no doubt that the inclusion of Beach Sprint on the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games programme will captivate many new Team GB fans to the sport of rowing.”