On to London: W4x, W2-, W8, M4x, M2-, M1x, M4-, LW2x
The US didn't collect any more spots on the final day, and so the team returns from Bled with 8 guaranteed spots for London, out of the 14 Olympic events they entered.
How is that as a tally? Obviously, not nearly enough for the athletes in the six boats that didn't make the cut--and particularly bad if you happen to be a lightweight male Olympic hopeful--but here is some context:
Great Britain qualified 13, the most of any nation in their run-up to the home Olympics. Team GB missed only in the W1x, and there just barely when Frances Houghton finished one place shy. Germany also went after all 14 events and gobbled up 12 spots, with just the women's eight and pair falling short (somewhat inexplicably).
New Zealand and Australia entered fewer events, but like GB, also qualified all but one: the Kiwis went 11 for 12, faltering in the M8, and the Aussies went 10 for 11, with just Nick Hudson in the single running into trouble.
The US total of eight ranks next, tied with China (which also went 8 for 14) followed by the seven spots collected by Canada and Italy, both of which missed in three of the ten events they contested: Canada falling short in the LM4-, W2-, and W2x; Italy in the M2x, M1x, and W4x. (China, for the record, missed in both eights, the M2-, M2x, M4-, and M4x).
Facing Final Qualification: M2x, LM4-, LM2x, M8+, W2x, W1x
Any US athletes hoping to race in these events at the London Games will have to win their respective trials in early spring, then head to Lucerne in the late spring and secure a podium-worthy performance--or better--before a summer in London is even an option. Whoa: no wonder one New Zealand paper is already calling the Final Qualifier the "regatta of death." Here, again, is just how high the stakes are for each crew:
Men's eight: must finish first
Men's double: must finish top two
Women's double: must finish top two
Women's single: must finish top three
Light Men's four: must finish top two
Light Men's double: must finish top two
Of course it is hard to say just who the competition will be, but it is a good bet that the competition will be stiff. New Zealand's eight is already planning to go and it is hard to imagine Canada's lightweight four skipping the Olympics altogether. Add to that a host of European sculling nations, and that weekend in Lucerne promises to be a heater.
On the Adaptive side, which we've also been watching, the criterion in all four events was a top-eight finish, so the US won two spots there, when the LTAMix Four and Ron Harvey, in the ASM1x, made the A Finals.
In the other two events, the ASW1x and TAMix2x, the US adaptive athletes made the B Final, but finished in 10th and 9th respectively, so those boats will need to be qualified with a good result next summer in order to make it to the Paralympics.
Olympic Qualification Summary - USA (Final)
14 Olympic Events total
In = 8 - W4x, W2-, W8, M4x, M2-, M1x, M4-, LW2x
Out = 6 - M2x, LM4-, LM2x, M8+, W2x, W1x