Bendeguz Petervari-Molnar, Men's Single Sculls, Hungary, 2023 World Rowing Championships, Belgrade, Serbia © Detlev Seyb / MyRowingPhoto.com

A total of 26 nations have entered crews in the World Rowing European Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta in Szeged, which is a chance for those countries which so far have zero or one boat qualified for Paris to add to their Olympic and Paralympic entries. Here are the crews to watch.

Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – three boats to qualify

There are 10 scullers going for the three tickets available in the women’s single sculls and arguably the most experienced is Azerbaijan’s Diana Dymchenko, who has been racing at international level for well over a decade but has never qualified for an Olympic Games. Of the three athletes to have competed at World Rowing Cup I, Ukraine’s Yevheniia Dovhodko finished highest (seventh), putting her in well contention for a qualifying spot. Neutral athlete Tatsiana Klimovich came the closest to qualifying at the 2023 World Rowing Championships, finishing 10th overall.

Men’s Single Sculls (M1x) – three boats to qualify

A total of 17 scullers will battle it out for only three places in the men’s single sculls. Bulgarian Kristian Vasilev missed out on a qualifying place at the 2023 World Rowing Championships by just over a second, making him the hot favourite in Szeged. Serbian Nikolaj Pimenov was 12th last year, and won the men’s single sculls on the Saturday of the Memorial ‘Paolo d’Aloja’ Regatta in March, so has clearly been training hard over the winter. At World Rowing Cup I, Belgian Tim Brys impressed by reaching the final, but Portugal’s Andre Pinto was also in the mix.

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls (LW2x) – two boats to qualify

With five boats going for two spots, eyes will turn first to the Polish lightweight women’s double sculls crew. Martyna Radosz and Katarzyna Welna were eighth in Belgrade last year, edged out of qualifying by a second. Austria also raced at the World Rowing Championships and were seventh at World Rowing Cup I. The other combinations, from Denmark, Hungary and Portugal, have never raced together internationally, and 22-year-old Danish stroke Zoe Dickson is in fact making her international debut.

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls (LM2x) – two boats to qualify

There is plenty of pedigree in the lightweight men’s double sculls field. Belgium’s Niels van Zandweghe and Tibo Vyvey were the unlucky eighth boat at the 2023 World Rowing Championships; van Zandweghe raced this boat at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Ukrainian duo, Igor Khmara and Stanislav Kovalov, finished ninth in Tokyo but were only 23rd last year, indicating they need to have picked up a lot of speed since Belgrade. Ahead of Ukraine last year, but behind Belgium, were crews including Poland, the Portuguese Costa brothers, and Türkiye.

PR1 Women’s Single Sculls (PR1 W1x) – one boat to qualify

Three scullers – Denmark’s Chinette Lauridsen, Switzerland’s Claire Ghiringhelli, and Sweden’s Ebba Einarsson – line up for the one place at the Paralympic Games in the PR1 women’s single sculls. Einarsson is the most experienced of the trio, and the only one to have raced at the 2023 World Rowing Championships, but Ghiringhelli beat her at World Rowing Cup II last year. Lauridsen’s only previous international race was also at World Rowing Cup II, where she was ninth.

PR1 Men’s Single Sculls (PR1 M1x) – one boat to qualify

Spanish sculler Javier Garcia comes in as the favourite to take the qualifying spot in the PR1 men’s single sculls, after his eighth-place finish at the 2023 World Rowing Championships. The 27-year-old is also the youngest of the five competitors. The oldest, Zsolt Peto of Hungary, has been racing internationally since 2015, but has not yet made it to a Paralympic Games – he will hope he has picked up the speed to challenge Garcia on his home waters.


Quota places available at this event:

Men’s Single Sculls: 3

Women’s Single Sculls: 3

Lightweight Women’s Double Sculls: 2

Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls: 2

PR1 Men’s Single Sculls: 1

PR1 Women’s Single Sculls: 1

PR3 Mixed Double Sculls: 1 (event cancelled due to insufficient entries, the quota place will be allocated via the Bipartite Commission)

Qualification Documents

The Olympic Qualification system can be found here: Olympic Qualification System

The Paralympic Qualification system can be found here: Paralympic Qualification Regulations