Funday Sunday posted by: Jimmy Sopko (September 2, 2011)
Set for Sunday now
Getting your first race out of the way at any regatta is a relief. The first race at the World Championships in the lightweight 8 is another level all together. Most of the US crews at this year’s world championships have raced this summer and they know who is fast. They also know where they stack up in the mix and have had time to work on things to get faster and make improvements. We went in to yesterday blind.
The lightweight men’s 8 is not an Olympic event. We did not race at this year’s world cup series and yesterday was our first 2k where we lined up against someone. It was a little nerve-racking. We knew that there was speed in this line-up, but what we didn’t know was what everyone else had. The only prior result was that Italy beat Denmark at the Lucerne World Cup 7 weeks ago.
Italy is a perennial powerhouse in the lightweight men’s 8. We knew they were going to be fast and we knew Denmark lost to them, but not by much. Then there is France, whose stern pair won the lightweight men’s pair at the 2010 World Championships in New Zealand. So they’re fast. Then there is Australia, who is returning at least 6 guys from last year’s 8 that placed 2nd, beating the Italians who got 3rd and us, who placed 5th. Basically, everyone is fast.
So our plan was to row our race. We had a malleable race plan based on what we and our coach (Dan Roock) had seen over the past 6 weeks. The tricky part is that whenever we did pieces, they were solo; us against the clock and none of the pressure of another crew screaming next to you, distracting you. So yesterday was our test run.
The test went well. However, Sunday is funday. Everyone will show up with strong intentions of beating us. That is when the race is real and now we have a result against other crews in our event to build off of. The race yesterday was tight and the finals always seem to be a little tighter. We’ll bring our A game and put it all on the line. That’s all you can do.
Getting to London, Fourth Look posted by: John FX Flynn (September 2, 2011)
USA W8: 'On to London' as World Champs
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