By John Mason | Photo: taken from Vote Yes for Women’s Canoe FB Page
Yesterday the International Canoe Federation (ICF) reversed their 2017 World Championships Program which would have given an equal number of events for men and women. Gender equity is the ICF’s goal for Tokyo 2020.
The ‘2017 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships‘ website:
“The International Canoe Federation ICF has decided to change the disciplines for the 2017 ICF World Canoe Sprint Championships in Račice. Unlike previously announced there won’t be equal amount of races for male and female paddlers. The planned program is similar to schedule of 2015 World Championships.”
1. The ICF announces a gender equal program for the 2017 Worlds:
|2017 ICF Canoe Sprint Senior World Championship Event Program|
|Men’s Kayak||Women’s Kayak||Men’s Canoe||Women’s Canoe|
|K1 200m||K1 200m||C1 200m||C1 200m|
|K1 500m||K2 200m||C2 500m||C2 200m|
|K2 500m||K1 500m||C1 1000m||C1 500m|
|K4 500m||K2 500m||C2 1000m||C2 500m|
|K1 1000m||K4 500m||C1 5000m||C1 5000m|
|K2 1000m||K1 1000m|
|K1 5000m||K1 5000m|
2. A group of athletes accuses the ICF of breaking its own rules:
“(we) do not agree with the latest decisions and with the program [above] of the World Championships 2017, which has been submitted by you in the violation of your own rules only 5 months before the World Championships.
We request to keep the following events: C-1 men 500m, K-2 men 200m, C-2 men 500m, K-2 women 1000m, C-4 men 1000m”.
3. Richard Fox from Sportscene hopes that the ICF Board and Technical Committee take real note of the growing discontent amongst some of its athletes and member federations:
“Not surprisingly, there are some frustrated athletes from countries like Hungary, Russia, France, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldavia and Kazakhstan making waves about the changes, lack of consultation and late notification. And let’s face it, since the last minute event changes were announced out of the blue for London 2012, the ICF has not won a spot on the sport governance podium.”
4. The ICF changes the 2017 gender equal program back to the old 2015 program. The ICF:
“In relation to the requests from several National Federations and taking into account the lateness of this decision with the potential impact on team selection it has been agreed to run the 2015 World Championships Program as an exception with the new 2020 Olympic events for the 2017 World Championships in order to be fair to all teams.”
5. As a result “Women once again are moved BACK and DOWN on the priority list”, says ‘Vote YES for Women’s Canoe‘. In preparation for Tokyo 2020 women’s canoe will now have only one (2018) ‘regular’ season after which they will go right into the (2019) ‘Olympic mode’.
According to ‘Vote YES for Women’s Canoe‘ the solution the ICF should have taken, is a really easy one:
“There is NO reason why 3 additional women’s canoe events cannot be run at the 2017 World Championships along with all of the other events run in 2015.
There are no “additional costs” and if there are, take them out of the salaries and “perks” from those who sit in positions of “leadership” and are not doing their job.
The ICF should be put on suspension until it can get real leaders in place. Stop jerking around the very people you NEED to justify your existence in the Olympics.”