Two U.S. Military Rowers Remain in Olympic Contention
By Tim Hipps
Special to American Forces Press Service
ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 18, 2004 Army Capt. Matt Smith and Navy Ensign Henry Nuzum remain in contention in their respective 2004 Summer Olympic rowing events at Schinias Olympic Rowing and Canoeing Centre here.
Army Capt. Matt Smith(rear), 23, of Woodbridge, Va., teamed
with Cincinnati's Pat Todd, two-time Olympian Paul Teti of Upper Darby, Pa.,
and Steve Warner of Livonia, Mich., to finish third in their lightweight four
heat Aug. 15 with a time of 5:54.68 to automatically advance to their
semifinals Aug. 19 Photo by Joel Rogers
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
In the men's double sculls first semifinal today, Nuzum, of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Aquil Abdullah, of Washington, D.C., prevailed against Noway's Nils-Torolv Simonsen and Morten Adamsen in a photo finish for third place with a time of 6 minutes, 14.69 seconds.
Italy's Rossano Galtarossa and Alessio Sartori, gold medalists in the 2000 Sydney Games in quadruple sculls, won the race in 6:11.49, followed by reigning world champions Sebastien Vielledent and Adrien Hardy of France.
Slovakia's Luke Spik and Iztol Cop, gold medalists in the Sydney Games, won the second semifinal with a time of 6:11.96.
Smith, 23, of Woodbridge, Va., teamed with Cincinnati's Pat Todd, two-time Olympian Paul Teti of Upper Darby, Pa., and Steve Warner of Livonia, Mich., to finish third in their lightweight four heat Aug. 15 with a time of 5:54.68 to automatically advance to their semifinals Aug. 19.
Australia's quartet of Glen Loftus, Anthony Edwards, Ben Cureton and Simon Burgess won the race in 5:50.24, and were followed by Ireland's Richard Archibald, Eugene Coakley, Niall O'Toole and Paul Griffin in 5:52.54.
The American crew recorded the fastest second half of the race. "Our goal is to make the A final race and be in the medal hunt," said Smith, a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program. "This is the culmination of a lot of hard work."
On the opening day of competition Aug. 14, Nuzum and Abdullah finished third in their heat of the men's pairs to advance directly to the semifinals.
With the top three crews earning berth into the semifinals, the American duo held the third position at each of the 500-meter splits, easily beating Poland for the final qualifying spot.
"It wasn't our sharpest race, but we advanced without having to go to the repechages (loser's bracket)," Nuzum said. "We beat the Hungarians, who made it to the final of the World Cup.
Italy's Alessio Sartori and Rossano Galtarossa, who won two World Cup events earlier this season, won the heat in a time of 6:40.82. Great Britain's Matthew Longridge and Matthew Wells finished second in 6:48.13, followed by Nuzum and Abdullah at 6:52.34.
(Tim Hipps is assigned to the Army Community and Family Support Center Public Affairs Office.)