U.S. Women's Eight Finishes Fifth

Sept. 4, 2003

Milan, Italy,

Race Summary of US Women's 8:
The defending world champion U.S. women's eight caught a boat-stopping crab about 750 meters into the race and finished fifth overall. Racing into a stiff head wind, the U.S. boat was sitting in second place to Germany as it crossed the 500-meter mark. But just a few strokes later the U.S. crew was at a stand-still. With only the top five crews qualifying their country for next year's Olympic Games, the U.S. had to regroup and chase down Belarus, which had moved ahead of the American boat by about one length. The U.S. quickly regained its composure, moving past Belarus by the 1,000-meter mark, and went on to clock a 6:50.81 to finish 9.58 seconds behind the gold medal winners from Germany. Romania won the silver medal, followed by Canada and Australia.

Although disappointed to not return to the top of the medals stand, Sam Magee and her boat mates feel the crab may have actually helped their crew to find a new level of speed and determination that had not shown itself in practices. They walk away knowing they are a crew with strong heart and ready to settle into preparations for next summer's Olympics.

Race Summary of Canadian Women's 4:
Despite illness and little pre-race practice opportunities the Canadian women's four lead at the 1000-meter mark before slipping to a fourth place finish overall. The Canadians were down to the US at the 500 by 0.4 seconds. By the 1000 they were leading by 0.2 seconds. First the US, then the Netherlands, and then Germany slipped past them. From the 1500 to the finish the Canadians held their fourth place position and finished with a 7:01 behind the US (6:53), Netherlands (6:54), and Germany (6:56).

Reflecting on her race Sabrina Kolker states, '... the first thousand ... was the best part of the race. I have to be honest, I'm not quite sure what happened after that first thousand .... I wasn't really sure how to feel after the race due to all that went on in preparation for that day. But looking back now I can say I'm satisfied and definitely ready to move on.'

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