(Reuters) – The 2020 Tokyo Olympics includes 33 sports. Rowing, one of the Games’ oldest sports, is broken down into sculling and sweep.
Here are some key facts about rowing at the Olympics:
Introduced: Rowing was supposed to be among the sports contested at the first modern Olympics in 1896 but, according to the IOC, bad weather forced organisers to cancel the events.
The men’s competition was included in subsequent Games, with women’s rowing events premiering in the 1976 Olympics.
Events: Men and women each compete in seven different events. Sculls races include singles, doubles, quadruples and lightweight doubles. Sweep includes pairs, fours and eights. Eights include a coxswain in charge of navigating the boat.
Technique: The main difference between scullers and sweep rowers is the oar. Competitors who are sculling row using two oars – one in each hand – while sweep rowers hold one oar each.
Rowers exert power while minimising water resistance through precise technique. Rowers competing in pairs, fours or eights must be completely in sync, rowing as one to maximise speed.
Top athletes: Britain is one of the most reliable top performers, their rowers taking home gold at every Olympics since 1984, the only sport in which they have done so.
In 2008, the United States women broke Romania’s gold medal streak, claiming the title after Romania had won the previous three, and claimed gold in the subsequent two Olympics.
Graphics: Rowing – https://graphics.reuters.com/OLYMPICS-2020-ROWING/0100B5D33FW/ROWING.jpg
Sources: International Olympic Committee, Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, U.S. Rowing, Team GB
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Ken Ferris)