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Five For Friday: Rowing

By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 22, 2017, 12:01 a.m. (ET)

Meghan O'Leary and Ellen Tomek compete in the women's double sculls semifinalsat the Olympic Games Rio 2016 at the Lagoa Stadium on Aug. 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.


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U.S. rowers have waited more than 20 years for home waters.

Beginning this weekend in Florida they’ll get it when the Sarasota and Bradenton area hosts the World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park.

The U.S. team of 78 includes 19 Olympians or Paralympians who are already focusing on the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The 2017 world championships are the first in the new quadrennium.

“With the championships being the first stage towards Tokyo, there will be a good mix of returning athletes and new talent across the board and in multiple events,” said Matt Imes, USRowing director of high performance. “Everyone looks forward to establishing the foundation here in 2017 to build off of as we prepare for 2020.”

There will be 25 American crews at worlds, which begin with heat races Sunday. The competition goes through Oct. 1 with the first finals on Sept. 29.

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Competition will be held in men’s and women’s single sculls, men’s and women’s lightweight single sculls, men’s and women’s double sculls, men’s and women’s lightweight double sculls, men’s and women’s pairs, men’s lightweight pairs, men’s and women’s four, men’s lightweight four, men’s and women’s quadruple sculls, men’s and women’s lightweight quadruple sculls, and men’s and women’s eight.

Para-rowing begins Sept. 26 with the first finals on Sept. 28. Competition is in men’s and women’s PR1 single sculls, PR2 and PR3 mixed double sculls, and PR3 mixed four with coxswain.

The women’s eight boat includes three members of the 2016 Olympic gold medal team: Katelin Guregian, Emily Regan and Lauren Schmetterling. Grace Latz, a 2016 Olympian in quadruple sculls, is also in the eight boat.

Tracy Eisser and Megan Kalmoe, who also were in quadruple sculls in Rio, are rowing together in the women’s pair.

Olympic teammates Ellen Tomek and Meghan O’Leary are teaming up again in the women’s double sculls after finishing sixth in Rio.

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.