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The Waiting Ends Friday for USRowing

9 Sep, 2016


The waiting and training is over for the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Rowing Team. The final three days of the quest for the medals begins Friday morning when racing starts.

The U.S. will see four crews in action including the men’s and women’s arms and shoulders single sculls, the trunk and arms mixed double and the legs, trunk and arms four with coxswain.

All four crews will race in the opening heats, and one boat from each event can advance directly to Sunday’s A final with the rest racing again on Saturday in the recpechage, or second-chance races.

Women’s arms and shoulders single sculler Jacqui Kapinowski (Tequesta, Fla.) will start competition off for the U.S., racing in the first of two heats. She faces China, South Africa, Hungary, Israel and Norway. Israel’s Samuel Moran, the defending world champion, finished fifth in the event in London.

Blake Haxton (Columbus, Ohio) races next in the first of two heats in the men’s arms and shoulders single sculls and meets Brazil, Kenya, The Netherlands, Ukraine and China. Cheng Huang of China is the defending Paralympic champion.

“I can’t wait to get going,” Haxton said. “It should be a pretty tight heat, because there is only one boat that advances directly to the final.”

Following the singles, Helman Roman (Miami, Fla.) and Laura Goodkind (Santa Monica, Calif.) take to the water in the trunk and arms mixed double sculls. They face France, The Netherlands, Poland, Japan and Brazil. France won silver in the event, just ahead of the bronze-medal U.S., at the 2012 Paralympic Games and gold at 2016 World Rowing Cup 3.

“I’m really excited,” Goodkind said. “It’s an absolute pleasure to be here. It’s a beautiful venue, a very interesting race course, and I love hanging out with everyone and racing with Helman.

“I’m just focused on the moment, so I’m not thinking about every detail of tomorrow,” she said. “I’m thinking about this moment. When it gets to tomorrow, I’ll focus on just being in the boat and being in the zone. That’s what I need to do. Focus on the race, the course, Helman, the boat and myself.”

Last to race Friday will be the U.S. legs, trunk and arms four with coxswain Jenny Sichel (Clifton, N.J.), Dorian Weber (Manhasett, N.Y.), Zachary Burns (Ann Arbor. Mich.), Danielle Hansen (Patterson, Calif.) and Jaclyn Smith (Williston Park, N.Y.). They will race France, Canada, Ukraine, Germany and Australia. The U.S. won silver in the event at the 2015 World Rowing Championships.

For complete event details, visit World Rowing‘s event page.

For daily photographs of the 2016 Paralympic Games venue, Opening Ceremony and racing, go to USRowingphotos.com.

Follow along on social media at #Rio2016 and #Paralympics

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