(Hornsby, in the center, racing K2 at 2010 World Championships. credit: Patti Horton)
After a four year cycle in which they battled each other, teammates and the world, Tim Hornsby (Atlanta, Ga.) edged out Ryan Dolan (Kailua, Hawaii) in the Men’s K-1 200m B Final Sunday to clinch the lone men’s sprint kayak slot at the 2012 Olympic Games.
Hornsby finished 5th with a time of 35.962, +0.334 seconds behind the race’s first place finisher. Dolan placed 8th with a time of 36.210, +0.248 seconds behind Hornsby.
The race caps a tense year in which a number of U.S. athletes vied for the single Olympic spot. Dolan earned the spot for Team USA with a Bronze medal performance at the 2011 Pan American Games. Hornsby made it a two-man race by winning the 200m event at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April. The two kayakers battled to an inconclusive result at last weekend’s World Cup No. 1 in Poland, bringing us to Sunday’s decisive showdown.
“I’m still not really sure if it’s real,” Hornsby said. “It’s been such a long process, not only with this process, but the process of going to the Olympics has been a dream forever. It’s amazing that it’s actually happening. I’m tripping out. I can’t believe it.”
Click HERE for more quotes from 2012 Olympic Team nominee Tim Hornsby.
Racing in her final race leading up to her third Olympics, Carrie Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) placed ninth in the Women’s 200m A Final. She crossed the line in 43.494, +2.743 seconds back from the Gold medal winner.
In Women’s K-2 500m, Maggie Hogan (San Diego, Calif.) and Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) placed 3rd in the B Final with a time of 1:47.906. Robert Finlayson (Gainesville, Ga.) finished 4th in the Men’s C-1 500m B Final with a time of 2:01.841.
Hornsby on his performance this weekend:
“It came together for me this weekend much better than last weekend [at World Cup No. 1]. I was paddling technically better. Obviously, it’s a race of a lifetime to qualify for the Olympics, so in that respect, it’s the greatest race of my life. As far as the execution of what I’ve wanted to do, it’s much closer to what I’ve been training for and trying to do. There’s still things I would like to improve on, that process is never ending. I really want to work hard to make those improvements. As far as making the Olympics, it’s the best moment of my career.”
Shaun Caven, U.S. National Sprint Team Coach: “It was close, both guys did really well. It’s just unfortunate somebody had to miss out. Tim did what he needed to do and he gets to go to London, so it’s all good. They’ve been close all year. It was really close all the way down. He’s done a really good job. Both guys have been really professional this week.”
Joe Jacobi, USA Canoe/Kayak CEO: “Going back to the Oklahoma City Trials, Tim and Ryan contributed something very special to the Sprint program. They both embraced the process, fought extremely hard and emerged as better competitors. Tim dug deep in the last few meters of the Oklahoma City Trials, found a way to win and took that momentum to the World Cups. He is going to be an outstanding Olympian. I know what Tim and Ryan mean to their communities, their clubs and their families. I am proud of their growth, commitment and the opportunity that lies ahead for them and our program.”
Carrie Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) returned to her rightful place among the world’s elite Saturday when she qualified for A Final in Women’s K-1 200m. The three-time Olympian (’04, ’08, ’12) hopes Sunday’s Final will provide a preview of the Olympic event in London.
Johnson reached the A Final after winning her heat and placing 2nd in her semifinal with a time of 40.979, three tenths of a second after the first place finisher in the semifinal. Earlier Saturday, she placed 3rd in the K-1 500m C Final.
In Women’s K-2 1000m, Maggie Hogan (San Diego, Calif.) and Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) improved upon their Bronze medal performance at last weekend’s World Cup No. 1. The Oklahoma City training partners won the Silver medal Saturday with a time of 3:46.269, 1.664 seconds behind the Gold medal-winning tandem from Austria, who also happen to be the reigning 500m World Champions.
Hogan and McElroy followed that up by reaching Sunday’s K-2 500m B Final. They got there by finishing 4th in their heat and 5th in their semifinal.
Shaun Caven, U.S. National Sprint Team Coach: “They are technically proficient. We’ve been working on technique in the boat and time in together. It just came together good, so the boat runs good. Now we just need to make it a little bit faster in the 500 [meter] and then we’re good. They’ve made the [500m] B Final again, which is a good standard because this is a really tough regatta.”
After a four year cycle in which they battled each other, teammates and the world, Ryan Dolan (Kailua, Hawaii) and Tim Hornsby (Atlanta, Ga.) will find out Sunday who will represent the Team USA in men’s sprint kayak in London. Both athletes qualified for the K-1 200m B Final, improving from last weekend’s C Final finishes.
Hornsby began the day with a 5th place finish in his heat before finishing 4th in his semifinal with a time of 36.327. Dolan placed 5th in his heat and 5th in his semifinal. Dolan’s semifinal time of 36.648 was 0.321 seconds behind Hornsby.
In Men’s C-2 1000m, Ian Ross (Washington, D.C.) and Ben Hefner (Gainesville, Ga.) placed ninth in the B Final with a time of 4:01.413. The Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club teammates then raced in the 200m event, placing 8th in their heat and 8th in their semifinal. Robert Finlayson (Gainesville, Ga.) finished 4th in his Men’s C-1 200m heat and 7th in the semifinal to conclude his weekend of racing.
Ian Ross, Men’s Canoe: “The C2 is improving every time we get in the boat. [Coach] Claudiu [Ciur] is helping us out a lot as he always does with all the little things he has to offer. Racing at this high a level of competition is always a great way to improve and see how the best in the world do the sport I love best. I am so happy I was given this opportunity.”
Joe Jacobi, USA Canoe/Kayak CEO: “You can see a momentum shift in the team environment right now. [Hogan and McElroy] improved from third to second from a week ago; Carrie is back in the A Finals; and to have two men’s kayaks making a B Final, battling for an Olympic spot, is really positive news for the program.”
Tim Hornsby, Men’s Kayak: “It has been an amazing journey since 2003 when I started seriously training for the Olympics. I am so happy with the entire process leading up to this point and feel like I have done everything I can to prepare for this event. I have no regrets. I am very excited to see what comes next for myself and the rest of the team in London.”
After spending most summers traveling from his home in Washington D.C. to Gainesville, Ga. to train, Ian Ross moved to North Georgia for good. The move is already paying off as Ross and his Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club teammate Ben Hefner (Gainesville, Ga.) qualified for Saturday’s B Final for Men’s C-2 1000m.
Ross and Hefner advanced after placing 7th in their heat and 6th in their semifinal. The duo also competed in C2 500m, placing 6th in their heat and 9th in their semifinal. After the 1000m B Final, they will compete in C2 200m heats Saturday afternoon (German-time).
Robert Finlayson (Gainesville, Ga.) competed in both Men’s C1 500m and C1 1000m on Friday. He finished 5th in his 500m semifinal and 9th in his 1000m semifinal. He will compete in Saturday’s C1 200m event.
“It was great to see our men’s canoe’s competing today, just coming out of an intensive training camp in Germany,” said William Irving, USA Canoe/Kayak National Teams Director. “I expect for these young men to only get better as they learn what it takes to be the best in the World.”
Carrie Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) placed 2nd in her Women’s K1 500m heat and 5th in the semifinal to advance to Saturday’s C Final. Later that day, she will compete in the Women’s K1 200m event.
The Women’s K2 1000m event was a straight final, where Maggie Hogan (San Diego, Calif.) and Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) will hope to improve upon their Bronze medal from last weekend’s World Cup No. 1.
It’s take two for Ryan Dolan (Kailua, Hawaii) and Tim Hornsby (Atlanta, Ga.). Neither athlete was able to qualify for the A or B Finals, which was the minimum threshold for Olympic qualification at World Cup No. 1. For World Cup No. 2, Dolan or Hornsby will be able to clinch the Olympic spot with a C Final finish, provided both athletes make it at least that far. The two athletes take to the water on Saturday afternoon.
William Irving: “Tomorrow will be the heats for the much anticipated men’s 200m races and the two athletes are anxious to put together a great race and qualify themselves for an A or B Final and be named to the Olympic team. Both athletes have really been working hard and we have all the confidence that they will give a great effort and represent us well this weekend with one being nominated to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.”
WHAT: 2012 ICF Sprint World Cup No. 2
WHERE: Duisburg, Germany
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, May 25-27
Click HERE for a video recap of last weekend’s World Cup No. 1.
WHY: Ryan Dolan and Tim Hornsby will compete against each other and the world for the chance to be named as the lone men’s sprint kayaker on the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team.
HOW: Whichever athlete has the best results in the A or B Final will qualify for the Olympic spot. If one athlete makes the A Final and the other the B Final, the Olympic spot will go to the athlete who qualified for the A Final, regardless of who has a better time in their respective A or B finals. A race-off will occur between the two athletes only if neither athlete makes the A of B Final but are both qualified for the C Final. The winner of the head-to-head race-off will win the Olympic Slot.
WHO: Shaun Caven, U.S. National Team Coach
Ryan Dolan (Kailua, Hawaii) Men’s K-1 200m
Tim Hornsby (Atlanta, Ga.) Men’s K-1 200m
Carrie Johnson (San Diego, Calif.) Women’s K-1 200m, K-1 500m
Maggie Hogan (San Diego, Calif.) Women’s K-2 500m, K-2 1000m
Kaitlyn McElroy (Oklahoma City, Okla.) Women’s K-2 500m, K-2 1000m
Robert Finlayson (Gainesville, Ga.) Men’s C-1 200m, C-1 500m, C-1 1000m
Ian Ross (Washington, D.C.) Men’s C-2 200m, C-2 500m, C-2 1000m
Ben Hefner (Gainesville, Ga.) Men’s C-2 200m, C-2 500m, C-2 1000m
Hogan and McElroy will look to add to their 2012 medal tally after winning the bronze medal in K-2 1000m at last weekend’s World Cup No. 1 in Poznan, Poland. For Carrie Johnson, World Cup No. 2 will mark her final competition before London 2012, which will be her third Olympic Games.
Finlayson, Ross, and Hefner, all members of the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club, join Team USA for their first international racing of the season. At the 2012 U.S National Team Trials, Finlayson won the 200m race, while Ross finished first in the 1000m.
William Irving, USA Canoe/Kayak National Teams Director (after World Cup No. 1): “Maggie and Kaitlyn are progressing in their paddling and, with a little more racing experience and time in the boat together, will be a very strong K2 to contend with. Coming away with the U.S. best results, Maggie and Kaitlyn will look to better this performance in Duisburg.”
Claudiu Ciur, U.S. Sprint Canoe Coach: “Ian Ross and Ben Hefner are looking strong and are progressing every day. I expect them to do their best this weekend and finish in the top 15. The races will be very hard but I feel that they are ready for it.”
USA Canoe/Kayak is a non-profit membership organization based in Oklahoma City, OK, promoting canoe and kayak racing in the United States. A member of the United States Olympic Committee, USA Canoe/Kayak is the national governing body for the Olympic sports of Flatwater Sprint and Whitewater Slalom and the official U.S. federation of the International Canoe Federation. Other paddling sports sanctioned by USACanoe/Kayak include Marathon, Freestyle, Wildwater, Stand Up Paddleboard, Canoe Polo, Canoe Sailing, Outrigger, and Dragon Boat. For more information about USA Canoe/Kayak, please visit us on the web at www.usack.org, on Twitter at @usacanoekayak and Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/USACanoeKayak.