Speaking of disappointments, the men’s eight qualified for the 2012 Olympics at the last possible event, the 2012 Olympic Qualification Regatta. The Americans won the final to qualify for London.
In 2004, Team USA won the gold medal in this event, and they finished third in 2008. Even though this boat has not performed well lately, I guarantee they will medal again in London. Why? Juliet Macur from nytimes.com explains:
Never in the modern era of the Olympics had the United States men’s eight failed to qualify for the Olympics at the previous world championships. But last year the men’s eight was a dismal eighth at the worlds, making its road to London much more difficult. So last fall, US Rowing, the sport’s governing body in the United States, turned to someone to help the eight succeed: the former national team head coach Mike Teti, an unyielding longtime coach known for results.
Teti left to become the head coach at the University of California-Berkeley after the 2008 Olympics. He came back to help this boat get into the Olympics, though, and they succeeded.
With Teti at the helm again, I predict another trip to the medal stand. Canada broke the world record in this event in May, and as the defending Olympic champions, they should win again.
As for Team USA, I think they will get silver.