Men’s lightweight four to be removed from Olympic programme

Event represented Ireland more than any other on the water, replaced by women’s four

The Irish men’s lightweight four at the 2008 Beijing Olympics - Paul Griffin (Stroke), Richard Archibald, Gearoid Towey and Cathal Moynihan (Bow). Photograph: Inpho/Morgan Treacy

The boat which has represented Ireland more times than any other at the Olympic Games is set to be removed from the programme. Delegates at the Extraordinary Congress of Fisa, the governing body of rowing, voted to remove the men’s lightweight four and replace it with the women’s four in the interest of gender balance.

Ireland has sent the lightweight four to four Olympic Games and Ireland boats finished fourth in 1996 and sixth in 2004.

Fisa fought off a counter-proposal to add the women’s lightweight four to the programme and remove the men’s heavyweight four. In the vote, in Tokyo, 94 delegates voted for the Fisa proposal and 67 for the counter proposal. The International Olympic Committee supported the change and is expected to approve this alteration in the programme for Tokyo 2020.

There will now be just two lightweight boats in the Olympic programme, the men’s and women’s lightweight doubles.


Delegates also approved a change from 1,000 metres to 2,000 metres for para-rowers at Paralympic and world rowing events.

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman

Liam Gorman is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in rowing