09/02/2015 13:01 EDT | Updated 09/02/2016 01:12 EDT

World rowing championships: Olympic implications for Canada

This year's world rowing championships put a little more on the line for the sport's best athletes than simply competing for medals.

The event, which is taking place this week in France, also acts as an Olympic qualifying competition ahead of the 2016 Rio Games.

For Canada, this means getting as many boats to Rio as possible, ideally through podium finishes.

The Olympic qualification shapes up this way:

- Women's eight: Top-five finish

- Men's quadruple sculls: Top-eight finish

- Single sculls: Top-nine finish

- Top-11 finishes in all other competitions qualify for the Olympics next August

Some Canadians are already off to good starts, with four boats advancing to Thursday's semifinals.

They include:

- Jennifer Martins and Cristy Nurse in women's pair (4 a.m. ET)

- Katherine Sanks in lightweight women's single sculls (4:42 a.m. ET)

- Men's four (5:38 a.m. ET)

- Katharine Goodfellow and Antje Von Seydlitz-Kurzbach in women's double sculls (7:34 a.m. ET)

On Friday, the semifinals of the lightweight men's four event begin at 4:51 a.m. ET, while the women's eight final goes Sunday at 8 a.m. ET.

Canada's team

Women's eight

- Cristy Nurse, Georgetown, Ont.

- Lisa Roman, Langley, B.C.

- Susanne Grainger, London, Ont.

- Jennifer Martins, Toronto

- Christine Roper, Montego Bay, Jamaica through the Ottawa Rowing Club

- Ashley Brzozowicz, Toronto

- Natalie Mastracci, Thorold, Ont.

- Lauren Wilkinson, North Vancouver

- Lesley Thompson-Willie (coxswain), London, Ont. 

Women's double sculls

- Antje Von Seydlitz, Smithers, B.C.

- Kate Goodfellow, Perth, Ont.

Lightweight women's double sculls

- Patricia Obee, Victoria

- Lindsay Jennerich, Victoria

Women's pair

- Jennifer Martins, Toronto 

- Cristy Nurse, Georgetown, Ont. 

Women's single sculls

- Carling Zeeman, Cambridge, Ont.

Lightweight women's single sculls

- Katherine Sauks, Owen Sound, Ont.

Men's four

- Will Crothers, Kingston, Ont.

- Tim Schrijver, Forest, Ont.

- Kai Langerfeld, Parksville, B.C.

- Conlin McCabe, Brockville, Ont.

Lightweight men's four

- Brendan Hodge, Delta, B.C.

- Maxwell Lattimer, Delta, B.C.

- Nicolas Pratt, Kingston, Ont.

- Eric Woelfl, St. Catharines, Ont.