On Day 1 of rowing, Saturday July 28th, the rowing regatta commenced during the 2012 Olympics at the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre. The best rowers in the world met for what will be many days of competition. Here is how the U.S. team stacked up against their strong competitors.
Out of the eight teams that represented the USA, four advanced to the finals and the other four will participate in the repechage races (which allows losing teams of heats to race again to hopefully get the opportunity to earn their way to the finals). The four crews that will be in the repechage races are the lightweight men's four, the men's and women's quad sculls, and the men's pair.
The U.S. women's quad sculls raced against teams from Germany, Poland, and China and ended up taking second to the German team, with only a few seconds difference. Because only one boat advances to the finals, the U.S. team will get the opportunity for the finals and race again on Monday.
The U.S. team consists of Adrienne Martelli, Megan Kalmoe, Kara Kohler and Natalie Dell. The crew will go up against China, Poland, Great Britain, New Zealand, and the Australian team. The four boats that are the fastest will continue to the finals.
One U.S. team that will not have to compete in the repechage races is the men's eight team. After barely qualifying for the Olympics, the crew went to win their heat and thus etched their place in the finals. In a separate heat, a very strong German eight team beat the Great Britain team by only half a length of their boat.
Another race to be watching will be the battle for the women's single sculls. U.S. rower, Gevvie Stone, will be going up against 40-year-old Belarus rower Ekaterina Karsten. Five-time medal winner Karsten, who recently had a rib injury, didn't let anything stop her from winning her heat with Russia's Julie Levina in second, followed by Stone in third. "It was a good race, not perfect but good," Stone said. "I'm looking forward to future races." The final will definitely be a race to watch!
Repechage races will be starting on Monday July 30, with finals beginning on Wednesday.. Good luck Team USA!
Ashley Hodge was a member on the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities Women's Rowing Team. After three months on the freshman team, she participated the next three years on the varsity team. For the majority of her rowing career, Ashley sat in seat seven, behind the stroke.
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