Wednesday, September 7, 2011
U.S. rowing looks to London after worlds
The United States rowing team closed a chapter at the 2011 World Rowing Championships with nine boats qualified for the London Olympics and four medals.
In the first chance for nations to qualify boats for the 2012 Games, the U.S. locked in the men's single sculls, the men's and women's quadruple sculls, women's lightweight double sculls, women's eight, the men's four, and the men's and women's pair.
Sarah Zelenka, Kara Kohler, Emily Regan and Sara Hendershot pose with their gold medals after winning the women's four final at the world rowing championships.
"We're really happy to have qualified the boats we did, when you look at who did not qualify in certain events," women's head coach Tom Terhaar said in a statement released by U.S. Rowing. "We're relieved and excited that we can just focus on the Olympics now."
The remaining boats including the men's eight, the men's and women's double sculls, the women's single sculls, lightweight men's double sculls and the lightweight men's four will now race at the Olympic Qualification Regatta scheduled for May 20-23, 2012, in Lucerne, Switzerland.
The women's eight and four took home gold, the women's quadruples sculls took silver and the lightweight women's quad took bronze.
Men's coach Tim McLaren was happy with his team's accomplishments, despite the fact that the men's four was the only Olympic-class boat that reached a final and did not have to qualify from the B final.
"It's a credit to the guys," McLaren said. "You have new people in crews every year and we're up against some very established combinations and systems. I think the guys have performed really credibly -- the men and the women.
"We're improving in some areas. Unfortunately, the eight will be the real kicker. That is our biggest concern. But it's good for the pair to get through, the quad to get though, and the four. We've had some impressive racing. That next step is a big one."