By Blythe Lawrence | Aug. 31, 2019, 11:04 a.m. (ET)

U.S. Para-rowing mixed coxed four rowers celebrate winning their silver medal at the 2019 World Rowing Championships on Aug. 31, 2019 in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria.

 

Were the U.S. Para-rowing mixed coxed four athletes pleased to row off with the silver medal at the World Rowing Championships Saturday in Linz-Ottensheim, Austria? Absolutely.

Are they going to rest on that laurel? No way.

“We are happy with the result, but we are still going for gold, so we’re going to keep training for that,” said coxswain Karen Petrik, who along with 2016 Paralympic Games silver medalist Danielle Hansen, Charley Nordin, Alexandra Reilly and John Tanguay made up the boat that finished in 7 minutes, 21.61 seconds, providing Team USA’s lone medal on the penultimate day of racing at the world championships.

By finishing among the top eight, the group also earned a quota spot for Team USA at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Two other U.S. Para-rowing boats also earned their 2020 quotas, while three boats in the Olympic classes did as well. More will do so when racing concludes Sunday.

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The Americans turned in a solid race, trailing Great Britain and Russia after the first 500 meters but maintained a steady pace that brought them past the Russian boat and into silver-medal position halfway through the course. The team had no problems holding the second-place position for the remainder of the race, matching the U.S. result from the 2018 worlds.

“I thought it was a good race. I thought we executed our piece pretty well. We went out there and did what we wanted to do,” Nordin said.

There was no catching Great Britain’s Ellen Buttrick, Giedre Rakauskaite, James Fox, Oliver Stanhope and Erin Wysocki-Jones, whose boat glided across the line in 7:09.54. Italian rowers Cristina Scazzosi, Alessandro Brancato, Lorenzo Bernard, Greta Muti and Lorena Fuina provided the real drama of the race: In fifth place with just 500 meters to go, the Italian five put on a burst of speed to pass Australia and Russia to clinch bronze in 7:29.34.

The mixed cox four provided the only medal in 10 races for U.S. rowers on Saturday, though the women’s pair finished just off the podium in fourth, and the men’s four was fifth. U.S. rowers had previously won two golds and a bronze medal in non-Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

Blythe Lawrence is a journalist based in Seattle. She has covered two Olympic Games and is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.