ETON DORNEY, England – The U.S. men's coxless four won the second of two A/B semifinals at the 2012 London Olympics on Dorney Lake Thursday. With Charlie Cole '07 in three-seat, the U.S. put up a strong middle thousand to deliver them a lead that they held on to until the line. By winning their semi the U.S. have earned a spot in Saturday's A final, and with it, a shot at an Olympic medal.
The U.S. crew of Cole (New Canaan, Conn.), Scott Gault (Piedmont, Calif.), Glenn Ochal (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Henrik Rummel (Pittsford, N.Y.)., arrived in London as a relatively unknown crew but won their heat on Monday to put down a marker for these Olympic games. Moments before, however, Australia set an Olympic Best Time on the way to winning the first heat and Great Britain won the second heat by about a length.
"We didn't really know what to expect because GB and Australia were in the other semi and everyone in this one was going to think that they really had a chance," Cole told USRowing.org.
One of those crews thinking they had a chance was Germany, who was quickest off the start and first to the 500-meter mark by a full second and a half.
The U.S. was in second position through the 500-meter mark, and they were able to hold on to the speed they got off the start quite well through the second 500 so as to come into the halfway point with their bow in front. The Americans grew their lead in the third 500, and though Greece upped its stoke rating in the final moments of the race the U.S. would go on to win in a time of 6:01.72.
Greece came second with a time of 6:02.61, and Germany followed in 6:04.61 to take the last spot in Saturday's A final.
In the first semifinal Australia and Great Britain again showed they will be the teams to beat on Saturday. Australia led from the very start but GB, cheered on by the home crowed, took back a length in the final 500 meters of the race to win by nearly a full second.
The A final of the coxless fours will take place Saturday at 11:30 a.m. London time. The U.S. will be in Lane 3 with Great Britain (Lane 4) and Australia (Lane 2) on either side of them. Germany, Greece and the Netherlands round out the field.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity