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Rio Olympics - Most nations to compete since Sydney

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com on 4 Jul 2016
Team Jolly blasting to the finish line on the Weymouth Bay course - 2012 Olympic regatta Richard Gladwell www.photosport.co.nz
The largest number of nations will compete at the 2016 Olympic Regatta in Rio de Janeiro, since 2000.

In the latest quota allocations announced by World Sailing show a total of 66 nations competing in the ten events. That is three more than Weymouth in 2012, and better than Qingdao (2008) with 62 nations and 60 nations in Athens in 2004.

The number of competitors is balanced at the maximum allowed of 380, and they will be competing in 274 boats.

European and Asian countries have been the beneficiaries of the reallocation of rejected and unwanted places. Of the nine places reallocated seven were shown as taken by European nations - Austria, Italy, Latvia, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey (2). The Asian countries that accepted were Chinese Taipei and Singapore.

But Christoph Sieber - Head of Sports NOC Austria denied Austria has accepted the Womens 49erFX position. 'Austria did not accept the reallocated quota place in 49er FX. It is against the NOC's qualifying principles to accept purely reallocated places. Standard international qualification is minimum,' he told Sail-World by social media. The World Sailing Qualification Sheet has been subsequently updated and the place initially offered to to Croatia and then Austria is now shown as rejected and it has passed onto an Estonian crew, who finished 35th in the 44 entry 2015 Worlds and did not compete in the 2016 event. The Australian crew who originally qualified for the 2016 spot and were deemed to be not 'Medal Capable' by Australian Sailing finished 14th overall in the 2015 49erFX Worlds


New Zealand and Canada topped the rejection of places list with each rejecting three places, for which they qualified. However, New Zealand takes the dubious honour of 'Biggest Rejecter' refusing to nominate in three events in which they qualified in the first round of Qualification in Santander in 2014.

The three places rejected by Canada in the Mens and Womens Windsurfer (RS:X) and Women's 470 were qualified in the North American regional allocation and not via world championships. Canada turned down a further offered re-allocation place in the Men's 49er skiff.

Australia rejected places in two Women's events - Windsurfer and Skiff (49erFX). Australia, New Zealand, and Canada

Three countries will be fielding full ten boat teams in the 2016 Olympics - Great Britain, France, and the USA. New Zealand would have been able to join that group on the basis of their 2014 performance. Canada could also have joined this elite group had it used all its earned or offered places.

Australia, New Zealand, and Canada all operate so-called 'Medal Capable' selection policies.

Great Britain tops the all-time medal winners table followed by USA and Norway, who will be represented in six events in Rio de Janeiro.






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