Mooney Qualifies For Second Semifinal With New Partner in Shorter Event
GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP) _ Stein Jorgensen and John Mooney, paddling a Olympic course more than twice as long as they’re used to, easily qualified for the two-man kayak semifinals today.
The American pair are the defending world champions in the 200 meters, but the Olympic event is contested over 500 meters.
With the top three finishers reaching Friday’s semifinal, Jorgensen and Mooney paced themselves in the preliminary by moving into third and holding that spot behind Hungary and Romania.
``We just wanted to get out and settle to a pace ... and at the end make sure there wasn’t more than two boats right there,″ said Mooney, of Eugene, Ore. ``So we didn’t have to kick it that hard.″
Of five U.S. boats racing in six events this morning, only two failed to qualify for the semifinals directly and were forced to race in the afternoon’s repechage, or second-chance races.
Mooney will race in Thursday’s semifinal in the 1,000-meter two-man kayak with Peter Newton and said his goal was to avoid racing in another repechage for a second straight day.
Jim Terrell, considered the top flatwater canoeist in the United States, qualified for Friday’s semifinals in the 500-meter canoe despite coming in seventh, more than four seconds behind heat winner Martin Doktor of the Czech Republic.
The top two finishers went directly to Sunday’s final, while the rest advanced to the semifinals.
The U.S. entries in the men’s and women’s single kayak and the two-woman kayak all were forced into the repechages.
Traci Phillips, of Honolulu, finished last in the 500-meter kayak, while Mike Herbert, of Rogers, Ark., was sixth of nine kayakers in the 500. Lia Rousset, of Newport Beach, Calif., and DeAnne Hemmens, of Costa Mesa, Calif., came in fifth.
All five U.S. boats racing Tuesday qualified for Thursday’s semifinals, even though two were forced to compete in repechages.
Mooney and Newton, of Bellevue, Wash., won their repechage in the 1,000-meter kayak after coming in fourth during the preliminary heat.
Mike Harbold, of Honolulu, finished sixth out of seven kayakers in the 1,000-meter race in the morning and needed to finish in the top four in his repechage.
Harbold started slowly and was fourth through the first 250 meters before finishing second to Robert Erban of Slovakia for Thursday’s semifinal.
The U.S. four-man kayak team reached the semifinals despite finishing last in its 1,000-meter heat. The same thing happened to solo canoeist Joseph Harper, of Ventura, Calif., at 1,000 meters.
The American four-woman kayak team also is in semifinals after finishing sixth out of eight crews.