Rowing events are divided into sweep and scull events. In sweeping, each rower pulls one oar on either side. In sculling, each person pulls two oars, one on each side. The events are further separated by whether the boats are with or without coxswains, who control the direction. The boats are lined at the starting line with the stern set to a fixed start pontoon (pier) and the bow towards the finish line. Winners are determined by the order of the tips of the hulls crossing the finishing line. There are preliminaries, repechages, semifinals, and finals.
In this sport, it's advantageous to establish a lead immediately after the race starts, because doing so enables the rowers in the lead boat, who face backwards, to see the other boats. Consequently, competitors row vigorously at the start of the race. However, rowing too hard invites the risk of fatigue later in the race. Rowers strive to stay ahead of other crews from start to finish. In eights events, one of the main features is the matching uniformity of the rowers. The movement of the boats, as if sliding through the water, and the beautifully synchronised forms of the rowers are an impressive sight. Such performances can only be achieved through intensive training.
The long history of rowing dates back to its utility as a means of transportation on water since ancient times. Rowing as a sport is believed to have originated as a skill test race among northern European pirates. The sport grew in popularity in Europe, where there are many lakes suitable for boat races. The modern form of rowing began in 18th century England, and races were conducted on the River Thames in London in 1716. Men's rowing has been in the Olympic programme since the Paris 1900 Games, and women's since the Montreal 1974 Games.
Courtesy of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's Bureau of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Preparation (as of January 2016)
- Sea Forest Waterway