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Getting to London, Third Look
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USA W2- is 'On to London'

John FX Flynn

September 1, 2011

row2k's daily look at which US crews are On to London, Still Alive, or now Facing Final Qualification. 

Thursday's racing centered on just two Olympic spots for the USA, and all hinged on whether the Men's eight and women's pair could salvage a bid in their respective B Finals

On to London: W2-
After missing the A Final, the W2- needed to be at least second in the petite, and after a wild race, the US got it done, just: in the 8th and final spot, and in there by inches. The Italians prevailed in a four-way battle that went the full 2k, while the US took the last London spot in a photo finish over Canada. The Canadians and fourth place Germany lost out on the chance for London altogether here. Germany's sweep women, having also missed the cut in the eight already, now face the prospect of zero guaranteed spots in London.

Still Alive: Five for Friday
No changes to this category on Thursday, but Friday's racing could see the US lock up at least five bids, including the Women's eight. Here's how:

The women's eight, racing in the A final after winning their heat easily, needs to finish fifth or better to qualify; the sixth place crew will be left to face the final qualifier next June.

The four US crews in Friday's semifinals--M4x, M2-, W2x, and Ken Jurkowski in the 1x--can grab an Olympic spot outright by making the A Final, but none can be eliminated from the qualification race on Friday. The M4x, M2-, and M1x could still qualify from the B final by finishing 11th or better overall, while the W2x would be safe anywhere in the top eight spots. 

Facing Final Qualification: Men's 8
Ukraine harried the US right to the line in the semi yesterday, and finished the job today, winning the petite and snatching the final Olympic qualifying spot. The US M8 started down, then charged through France, the Czechs, and China, but could not catch the Ukranians. So, just eight years removed from Olympic Gold and four from the bronze in Beijing, the US men's eight now faces the very real possibility of missing the London Games altogether.  

For the men's eights, only one spot is available at the Final Qualification regatta, so an outright win next June is now the USA's only chance to keep up a run of Olympic appearances that stretches back (apart from the 1980 boycott) to the very first Olympiad. It is hard to predict who the US men might face, but the Qualifier will also be the only recourse for the Czech Republic, New Zealand, and a French program that also has a quartet of World Champions who missed qualifying in the four. Since we are already speculating wildly here, it is also quite possible that an entry from the Italians or Russians, both of who skipped the eight in 2011, could make an appearance. Daunting indeed, and a tremendous disappointment for USRowing. 

Olympic Qualification Summary - USA (as of Thursday)
14 Olympic Events total
In = 2 - W4x, W2-
Out = 4 - M2x, LM4-, LM2x, M8+
TBD = 8

See also: 
Getting to London Tuesday update
Getting to London Wednesday update

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