Men's single sculler Ken Jurkowski and the lightweight women's double sculls tandem of Jennifer Goldsack and Renee Hykel qualified for the 2008 Olympic Games on Wednesday to highlight the final day of racing at the 2008 FISA Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Poznan, Poland. With two boats qualifying in Poznan, the United States will be sending 13 boats to Beijing.
In the final of the men's single sculls, Jurkowski (New Fairfield, Conn.) rowed through Lithuania's Mindaugas Griskonis during the final 500 meters to earn the victory. The American got off the line in third position before moving into second place behind Griskonis in the second quarter of the race. Jurkowski continued to stalk the Lithuanian through the 1,500-meter mark before overtaking him down the stretch. Jurkowski crossed the finish line with a time of 7:18.00, while Griskonis finished 0.51 seconds behind in second place. Estonia's Andrei Jaemsae finished third in a 7:20.15, earning the final qualification spot for the Games by just 0.18 seconds over Greece's Ioannis Christou.
With only the top two finishers in the lightweight women's double sculls earning spots in the 2008 Olympic Games, the U.S. tandem of Goldsack (Banstead, United Kingdom) and Hykel (Haverford, Pa.) finished second to The Netherlands' Marit Van Eupen and Kirsten Van Der Kolk, the defending Olympic bronze medalists. Goldsack and Hykel sat in second place at each of the 500-meter splits. The Netherlands won the race with a time of 7:10.53, while the American crew crossed the line in a 7:13.69. Poland, who led for the first 500 meters, finished third in a 7:17.44.
The 2008 U.S. Olympic Rowing Team will be named in several stages. In addition to the two crews that qualified in Poland, the women's single sculls, women's double sculls, men's double sculls, women's pair and men's pair have already been selected. The remaining six crews including the men's four, lightweight men's four, men's quadruple sculls, women's quadruple sculls, men's eight and women's eight are camp selected boats that will be named by their respective national team coaches on June 27.