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Getting to London, Fourth Look
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USA W8: 'On to London' as World Champs

John FX Flynn

September 2, 2011
row2k's daily look at which US crews are On to London, Still Alive, or now Facing Final Qualification. 

US Women's eight takes care of business, and will head to London to defend the Olympic title. Friday's semis and finals could have ended with as many as five Olympic bids in hand, but misses in the four US semis today deferred the final reckoning in the M4x, M2-, W2x and M1x. 

On to London: W8
No such thing as a foregone conclusion in any event, but the USA Women's eight, a five-time defending champion who laid down the fastest heat time, sure looked like a good bet to take the top five finish they needed to qualify. The US certainly looked like they were taking a "qualify first, then chase the leader" approach, and the result was a thrilling duel with Canada that the Americans won in the end, again.

Still Alive: M4x, M2-, W2x, M1x
The four US crews in today's semifinals could have qualified by winning a spot in the A Final, but fourth for the M2-, and fifth in the W2x, M4x, and M1x means a trip to the petites across the board. All are still alive, though, and will have a shot at London when they race the B Final on Saturday.

The women's double will have to match the pair's result from Thursday: only 1st or 2nd in the B Final is good enough for London. For the M4x, M2-, and M1x, the door is propped a bit wider: 5th or better in the petite would give them the top 11 finish FISA requires. 

The M4-, LW2x, and Gevvie Stone in the W1x also with a chance to wrap up qualification on Saturday, in the semis of those three events, by making it to the A Final. That won't be the final chance for those events: the M4- and LW2x will still have a top 11 shot in the B Final, if needed, while the top 3 spots in the W1x petite still count for London.

These "top 11" crews might sound like they have it made even in the B Final--just one crew to beat right?--but Friday's B Finalists in the LM4- might beg to differ. With one crew destined to be out of the London running, that final saw the WHOLE field within 1.8 seconds at the line, a closed-water finish that put South Africa in the final spot by just 0.6 over Serbia. Wow.  

Facing Final Qualification: 
No changes to this category on Friday

Olympic Qualification Summary - USA (as of Friday)
14 Olympic Events total
In = 3 - W4x, W2-, W8
Out = 4 - M2x, LM4-, LM2x, M8+
TBD = 7

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