Cornell is making its mark on Olympic rowing in Rio. Tracy Eisser ’12 and the USA women’s quadruple sculls rowing team finished fifth in finals Thursday; Alex Karwoski ‘12 and the men’s coxed eight team will race for a medal in Saturday’s finals contest.
Both Eisser and Karwoski did not qualify for their finals races outright, but took a roundabout route though repechage to earn a chance at the podium. Eisser’s boat claimed fifth place with a time of 6:57.67, behind Germany — which earned gold with a time of 6:49.39 — and Netherland and Poland, winning silver and bronze, respectively.
The women’s quadruple sculls team’s fifth place finish was two places below the team’s third place finish in London. However, the sting of this outcome was softened, as the US has only medaled twice in the event over its 40 year history.
Meanwhile, Karwoski and the men’s boat placed first in their repechage event with a time of 5:51.13 on Thursday. The team will face Poland, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Germany and New Zealand in the finals of the event on Saturday.
Unlike the women’s team, the men’s coxed eight has picked up 16 medals in the event’s 116-year Olympic history, including 12 golds. The team will look to improve on its fourth place finish in the London games and return to its winning ways.
The team’s last medal was a bronze in Beijing. Germany won the gold in London, followed by Canada and Great Britain. Germany and Great Britain are in the finals once again and both immediately qualified for the finals in the heats.
The United States was the best team not to qualify for the finals immediately, but after finishing first in the repechage event will look to defeat these two powerhouses that pushed it off the podium in London.
Coverage of the men’s coxed eight final begins Saturday at 10:24 ET.