Thursday, June 14, 2012

Evening Edition: Video Interviews with Newest U.S. Olympic Team Members, Men's and Women's Pairs



Today marked the finals of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Rowing Trials, and saw two new combinations in the men's and women's pairs take center stage, earning their places in London in style. On the women's side, Sarah Zelenka and Sara Hendershot had an outstanding second 1000m, coming back from nearly two lengths down to defeat teammates and rivals Amanda Polk and Jamie Redman, as Zelenka and Hendershot explain in the video above. The men's race was perhaps less dramatic, but no less impressive, with the new-look duo of 2010 U.S. senior national teamer (and RR interviewee) Silas Stafford and half of last year's U.S. men's pair in Bled, Tom Peszek, taking an early lead and building on it in the second half, finishing roughly two lengths ahead of double Pan American Games champions Ty Otto and Mike Gennaro (click here for a video interview with Otto and Gennaro following Pan Ams).



The men's single was a fairly one-sided contest, with Beijing Olympian and NSR I winner Ken Jurkowski rowing away from the field to win by roughly seven seconds. Jurkowski competed at World Cups I and II, but was unable to crack the top four at either regatta, and so was forced to qualify through Trials–arguably the toughest path to the Olympics, as Jurkowski has repeatedly had to prove that he is the 'top dog' in the men's single in the U.S. against a quality field, as well as race internationally in the interim.

World Cup III is underway in Munich, where the schedule kicked off with the adaptive events today. The official website of World Rowing has published its own 'Who to Watch' article about the event–just follow the link for more information and results to be continually updated throughout the weekend's racing. News from this morning is that Beijing bronze medalist and defending world champion Mahé Drysdale was hit by a car while doing a cycling training session–the decision as to whether or not he will race will be announced tomorrow morning, according to the @nzrowing Twitter feed. Details on his condition can be found on the website of NZRowing.

*Further note on U.S. Olympic Trials: JR and Nareg Guregian were forced to withdraw prior to the semifinal yesterday due to a back injury that JR suffered before to the race (more info on the Rowing Illustrated Boards).

-RR

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