Video Of The Week: The U.S. Men's Quad Travels to Amsterdam
This week's video again features the members of the U.S. men's quadruple sculls, this time following them for their final strokes of preparation in Princeton before heading east to Amsterdam. The quad—Ben Dann, John Graves, Stephen Whelpley, and Pete Graves—got started on the Bosbaan yesterday, placing third in their heat for a trip to the reps. Also headed for the reps are their teammates in the men's eight, who narrowly missed direct qualification for the final in the heat behind Poland, and the U.S. men's pair, made up of 2012 Olympic bronze medalists Charlie Cole and Glenn Ochal. Progressing straight through to the A/B semis for the U.S. were the women's lightweight double of Michelle Sechser and Devery Karz, the women's pair of Megan Kalmoe and Kerry Simmonds (who won their heat roughly four seconds ahead of Romania), the women's quad (who also won their heat), and Kate Bertko in the LW1x. An experienced U.S. women's four punched their ticket directly to the final with a heat win, while single sculler Gevvie Stone earned her way directly to the quarterfinals with a solid performance in the heats, as did the lightweight men's double of Austin Meyer and Joshua Konieczny.
Switching gears and taking a more international look at the progress so far, several of the most impressive performances up to this point have come from the French men's lightweight squad—including the new World Best Time set in the LM2x by Stany Delayre and Jérémie Azou (a 6:08.64—lowering the previous mark by nearly two seconds)—and, of course, the Kiwi Pair.
@rowingrelated AUS LM4- handing the Kiwis their first defeat of the year, also the Poles beating the US & RUS M8. FRA LM2X pretty awesome
— Daniel Spring (@fatsculler) August 25, 2014
This is the first year in a while where one might say that the coxed pair has been a highly anticipated event, and, while we celebrated that in last week's featured video, there's still more history to add here: While the great Steve Redgrave won gold and bronze in the men's pair and men's coxed pair at the 1988 Olympics, it is his later pair partner, Matt Pinsent, who managed to top the podium in both events at the same world championships—Pinsent and James Cracknell teamed up (with coxswain Neil Chugani) to win both the M2- and M2+ in Lucerne in 2001. The duo then returned the following year in the M2- and set a World Best Time in the M2- in Seville—a mark that lasted until the heats of the 2012 Olympic Games, when Hamish Bond and Eric Murray raised the bar still higher.
Bond and Murray could match that feat this year, and they're already on their way to doing so, having won their heat of the M2+ convincingly. The one caveat—in 2001, all the finals took place on the same day, so Pinsent and Cracknell won two golds in one afternoon, and both by extremely narrow margins (just 0.02 seconds in the M2-, and 0.42 seconds in the M2+). Given the new format with finals spread out across multiple days, it's a performance that may never truly be equalled.
Keep an eye on our Twitter feed for updates from the Bosbaan, and for complete results, please visit the official website of World Rowing. Note: After a year of Wednesday-scheduled VOTW features, we are moving our Video Of The Week back to Mondays.