Queen, Hurd/Larimer Miss Cut for Semifinals
What: Day 2 of Slalom Racing at the London 2012 Olympic Games
When: Monday, July 30
Where: Lee Valley White Water Centre in Waltham Cross, just north of London
Who: qualifying heats for both Eric Hurd (Woodstock, Ga.) and Jeff Larimer (Marietta, Ga.) in Men’s Canoe Double (C2) and Caroline Queen (Darnestown, Md.) in Women’s Kayak (K1)
How can I watch? Taped highlights of Women’s K1 will be shown on NBC at 11:05am ET and 4:45 ET. Taped highlights of Men’s C-2 will be shown later on NBC at 12:50am ET Tuesday morning. Click HERE for local listings.
ERIC HURD and JEFF LARIMER, Men’s C2
Place: 12th out of 14 boats
Advance: No, Top 10 C2 boats advance to Thursday’s Semifinal
Best Time: 109.78 seconds (second run)
Penalty Seconds (included in Best Time): 6 seconds due to three gate touches
Behind Leader: +12.80 seconds behind Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche of Germany
CAROLINE QUEEN, Women’s K1
Place: 17th out of 21 boats
Advance: No, Top 15 K1 boats advance to Thursday’s Semifinal
Best Time: 117.05 seconds
Penalty Seconds (included in Total Time): 2 seconds due to 1 gate touch
Behind Leader: +18.30 seconds behind Maialen Chourraut of Spain
Penalties again were enough to prevent Women’s K1 Caroline Queen (Darnestown, Md.) and the Men’s Double Canoe tandem of Eric Hurd (Woodstock, Ga.) and Jeff Larimer (Marietta, Ga.) from advancing. Hurd and Larimer finished 12th and Queen 17th Monday to cap off a tough two days for the U.S. Olympic Slalom Team at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.
(see below for QUOTES)
Hurd, 26, and Larimer, 30, improved upon their first qualifying heat to turn in a second run time of 109.78. Had it not been for three gate touch penalties, including a particularly tough call on Gate 12, the duo could have finished as high as 8th. The fastest of the two runs for each athlete count and the top 10 Men’s C2 boats advanced to Thursday’s Semifinal. Fourteen boats competed.
The C2 tandem also incurred 6 seconds of penalty time in their first run, which they finished in 112.91. That time was good enough for 12th in the first heat. Their improved second run was 9th fastest in the heat.
In Women’s K1, Queen was turning in an improved second qualifying heat only to stumble late in the course. She nearly missed the second-to-last gate (#21) altogether, but was able to valiantly paddle back, much to the delight of the 8,386 spectators on hand. While the 20-year-old Olympian avoided the 50-second penalty for missing the gate, the lost time negated an otherwise fast time. She finished the second run in 136.23, including four penalty seconds.
Queen ranked 13th after a solid first heat time of 117.05, but was unable to hold off four paddlers from overtaking her with improved second runs. She finished 17th, just outside of the top 15 necessary to reach Thursday’s K1 Semifinal.
On Sunday, Three-time Olympian Scott Parsons (Bethesda, Md.) and two-time Olympian Casey Eichfeld (Drums, Pa.) also narrowly missed out on advancing to the semifinals. Click HERE for a full Day 1 recap.
Beginning Aug. 7, the 2012 U.S. Olympic Sprint Kayakers will take to the flatwater of Eton Dorney for competition. Check www.usack.org for more information.
Caroline Queen on her 2nd run prior to nearly missing Gate 21:
“It was going pretty well, I had some penalties. But I think that the boat was moving well, so I think I would have been able to survive those penalties. But I think I came a little too high out of the second to last [upstream gate], the line was off, I was late in [Gate] 20. I was trying to get back on line and didn’t quite do it as effectively as I ought to have.”
Queen on paddling back to avoid missing the gate:
“For me, sport is a lot about heart, and that was a heart moment.”
Queen on if she heard the crowd cheering her on as she paddled back:
“I was pretty in the zone, so I couldn’t quite hear the buzz. But it’s enough for me to want it.”
Queen on if she had trouble with that gate on the first run:
“No. I nailed that on my first run, which is too bad. I did the [upstream gate] a little differently because I took a two-second penalty on my first run. But the line out should not have been different and, unfortunately, I did not replicate that.”
Queen on her performance today:
“I think the preparation for the second run was really good. The first run, I think it was hard because I went kind of early. So we didn’t have a chance to see exactly what was what on Gate 12, but that’s the game. No regrets from this experience, that’s for sure.”
U.S. Olympic Coach Silvan Poberaj on Queen’s performance:
“In the first run, she executed mostly the way that was planned. She had a big time error Gate 9 to 10 and 12 to 13. For the rest, the first run was pretty much what she was planning to do and it was a decent run. In the second run, she improved in those two places very well. However, she had a very big error at the very bottom. She went a little too high out for the upstream Gate 18 and it pushed her too early to the right and then she had to make the adjustment and she didn’t have the right approach into Gate 20, so that was the main reason for the mistake on Gate 21.”
Poberaj on how Queen can learn from this experience:
“Olympics are an experience that’s different than anything else and it can be very helpful if she takes the right conclusions out of this kind of competition and makes a plan for how to go from here and not make the same mistakes and to improve.”
Eric Hurd on the costly second run penalties:
We’re close to the gates and we always are. They’re calling them pretty strict out there. We’re hitting them so light, we didn’t even know we hit two of them on the first run and we didn’t even know we hit two of them on the second run. We knew we took one touch, but it is what it is. I’m pretty disappointed, but still happy to be here.
Jeff Larimer on the placement of the gates for the heats:
“It’s a pretty tough course. There’s a lot of hard left-handed moves that we’re having trouble with sliding around because we’re better at right-handed moves. It’s a tough course, but we certainly could have done better.”
Larimer on the improved second run:
“All in all, it was faster, it’s just those three touches that killed us.”
Hurd on what was improved in the second run:
“The top offset move. I wouldn’t say we nailed it, but it was pretty quick.”
Larimer on what he’ll take away from this experience:
“It’s hard to say right now. We need to calm down, I’ll be able to reflect on it more. But we are happy just to be here and experience all of this. It’s incredible.”
USA Canoe/Kayak National Teams Director William Irving on C2’s performance:
“The C2, they definitely had two tough runs today, they were just dirty. I think if they would have just stayed clean, they obviously would have been fast enough to make it into the semis. They were faster on the second run, but they needed to be just that much faster and they just could not afford to have six seconds worth of penalties. I think it shows that they were fast enough. But it’s the Olympic Games, they’ve got to be clean.”
Irving on the placement of the gates for the heats:
“There are two tough sections for C2s for sure where it’s forcing them to spin in an area. But overall, this is the Olympic Games, you want tough. You want to be able to paddle on the best course possible and that is what’s here today.”
Hurd, 26, and Larimer, 30, kick things off with the first of two Men’s C2 qualifying heats at 1:30 pm GMT. The fastest of the two runs for each athlete will count and the top 10 Men’s C2 boats advance to Thursday’s Semifinal. Fourteen boats are competing.
The C2 tandem earned their first Olympic berth with a 9th place finish at the 2012 World Cup No. 1 in Cardiff, Wales on June 10, which was the best finish for the pair since joining forces two years ago. They clinched the boat quota slot for Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Championships in Foz do Iguassu, Brazil on March 10.
All roads to the Gold medal must go through the World No. 1 and three-time reigning Olympic championship duo of Pavol and Peter Hochschorner of Slovakia. Jaroslav Volf and Ondrej Stepanek of Czech Republic have shown steady improvement, winning bronze in 2004, silver in 2008 and then overtaking the Hochschorners to win the 2012 European Championships.
As the junior member of the U.S. Canoe/Kayak Team, the 20-year-old Queen will look to shake off any nerves in order to finish among the top 15 kayakers after heats to reach Thursday’s Semifinal. The fastest of the two runs for each athlete will count. The field is comprised of 21 boats.
Queen earned the boat quota slot for Team USA with a 37th place finish at the 2011 World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia on September 9. She then clinched the spot for herself by placing 35th at the 2012 World Cup No. 1 in Cardiff, Wales on June 9. She most recently finished 17th at the 2012 Under-23 World Championships in Wausua, Wisconsin, July 11-15.
Queen will face stiff competition from World No. 1 Jana Dukatova of Slovakia, who won the Silver medal at the 2011 and 2010 World Championships. World No. 2 Maialen Chourraut of Spain won Gold medals at two World Cups this year and a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships.
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.