2008 PARALYMPIC GAMES: Three U.S. Crews to Race for Medals Thursday
BEIJING, China - Two U.S. crews advanced from Wednesday's repechages and will now have a chance to medal in Thursday's finals to highlight the second day of racing at Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. The legs, trunk and arms four with coxswain crew won its race, while the men's arms only single sculls finished second to qualify.
In the legs, trunk and arms four with coxswain, Simona Chin (Houston, Texas), Jamie Dean (Pickerington, Ohio), Jesse Karmazin (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Tracey Tackett (Phoenixville, Pa.) and Emma Preuschl (Indianapolis, Ind.) won the second of two repechages. The crew was second off the starting line behind Russia and made a move at the halfway mark to propel them into first place, crossing the finish line in a 3:47.28. Germany made a strong move in the last 100 meters, passing Russia to grab the second qualifying spot in a 3:50.79. Russia finished third in a 3:53.51, followed by the Republic of South Africa in a 3:55.03 and Israel in a 4:13.39.
"I think we had a really good race," said Chin. "The rowers responded really well. We made a move at the 500-meter mark and just kept walking through the finish."
Dean, Karmazin and Tackett finished fifth in the event at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Championships. The U.S. will face Canada, Great Britain, China, Italy and Germany in the final.
Ron Harvey (Long Beach, Calif.) finished second in the first repechage of the men's arms only single sculls to advance to the final. After a rough start, the five-time adaptive national team member came back in the second 500 meters to clock a finish time of 5:50.51. China's Yeteng Tan led the race from wire-to-wire, crossing in a 5:45.79. Patrick Laureau of France finished third in a 6:03.75, with Canada's Steve Daniel and Brazil's Antony Bonfim in fourth and fifth, respectively.
"It's exciting to be in the final," said Harvey. "It'll be a good race with strong competition."
Angela Madsen (Long Beach, Calif.) and Scott Brown (Collingdale, Pa.) missed qualifying for the final by less than a second. The duo finished third in a 4:42.64 behind Australia and Great Britain in the first of two repechages of the mixed trunk and arms double sculls. Australia's John Maclean and Kathryn Ross won the race in a 4:31.24, with Great Britain second in a 4:41.74. They will now race in the B final for places 7-12.
After winning her heat yesterday, women's arms only single sculler Laura Schwanger (Harrisburg, Pa.) will now face Ukraine, Belarus, Great Britain, China and Brazil in the final.
"The competition looks really tough, but I'm excited," said Schwanger. "I will try to focus on what I can control, myself and my boat. As long as I don't hold the stroke rate too high for too long, I will have something left for the end. I just need to have faith in my abilities."
"I think everyone's hard work and preparation showed off," said coach Karen Lewis. "We are looking forward to peak performance with medal hopes tomorrow."
This marks the first year that rowing is a part of the Paralympic Games. A total of 23 nations are participating, six of which boast entries in all four boat classes: Brazil, China, Great Britain, Israel, Italy and the U.S.
Complete results are available at http://results.beijing2008.cn/WRMP/ENG/Schedule/index.shtml.