The International Canoe Federation is working on a simplified but more expansive Olympic qualification process for both canoe sprint and slalom to come into force post-Paris 2024.

The ICF Board of Directors has established a task force, which will tap into the knowledge and experience of national federations, to draw up a qualification process which will be easier to follow, but also will be fairer to all athletes.

One outcome could be that quotas could be decided over a series of events, rather than just a handful of competitions. Options examined will include a world ranking system, event-based qualifiers, or a hybrid model.

The goals include increasing participation across the board, generating more activity at a continental level, simplifying the qualification rules, and providing opportunities to increase national federation funding from local governing bodies by extending the Olympic qualification pathway.

The excitement of the new qualification journey will also attract more media exposure. Focusing on more competition at a continental level will also decrease travel distances for teams, improving our sport’s overall carbon footprint.

It is hoped the new process, which will be drawn up with the valuable input of national federations around the globe, will allow more countries in different continents to organise and host major events, and will open the door for new countries to compete.

The work has been split into two phases. In the initial stage the world ranking of both Olympic disciplines gets a facelift to make it fit-for-purpose if the world rankings is included in the Olympic pathway.

In the second phase the actual qualification criteria must be designed. Both phases will have a public comment period when National Federations will be able to put their thoughts forward for consideration. In order to increase transparency even further, a dedicated page has been created on the ICF website where the relevant documents of the process can be accessed.

The task force will be led by ICF vice-president Lluis Rabaneda (ESP) and secretary general, Richard Pettit, and includes board members Maree Burnett (NZL), Jean-Michel Prono (FRA), Toshi Furuya (JPN), John Edwards (CAN) and Jovana Stanojevic (SRB).

Outside experts Charles Luckman (USA) and Peter Karai (HUN) are also part of the task force, which has been asked to report back to the ICF’s executive committee by April next year at the latest.

Further information about the task force and the process can be found here.

Canoe Sprint
Canoe Slalom
Kayak Cross