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U.S. Men’s Coxless 4 Gets Olympic Berth

August 29, 2003

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ The U.S. men’s coxless four clinched an Olympic berth after winning Friday at the World Rowing Championship.

Mark Flickinger, Garrett Klugh, Jamie Schroeder and Daniel Walsh led throughout the 2,000-meter race at the Idroscalo artificial lake, beating crews from Russia, Poland and Romania.

The U.S. quartet was timed in 6 minutes, 3.90 seconds, edging second-place Russia by 0.10.

This was a B final event _ considered a consolation competition _ in which additional places were at stake for the Athens Games. Crews competing in A finals over the weekend automatically qualify for next year’s Olympics.

Estonia’s Jueri Jaanson qualified for his fifth Olympics when he won the men’s single B final.

With only the top two qualifying for Athens, Jaanson overtook Santiago Fernandez near the end and led the Argentine home. Jaanson was sixth at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Akos Haller and Tibor Peto of Hungary made a successful comeback from injury in the men’s double as the two-time world champions won the B final and qualified with the Cuba, Estonia, the United States and Lithuania.

Denmark’s women’s quadruple skulls team, silver medalists in 2002, beat Russia at the line as both teams earned berths for Athens.

British lightweight double Helen Casey and Tracy Langlands, third last year, earned some compensation by leading a new Spanish team and Hungary to next year’s Olympics.

New Zealand’s Sonia Waddell capped her return from 18 months out to have a baby by winning the singles. She beat Spain’s Nuria Dominguez Asensio and Switzerland’s Caroline Luethi, who all qualified for Athens. Waddell, the wife of Olympic singles champion Rob Waddell, was sixth at Sydney.

New Zealand also captured the men’s pairs race when Rob Hellstrom and Nathan Twaddle won a photo finish.

Italy won the only berth available in the men’s eight B final, fending off Poland and Romania. Greece qualified its first boat with a fifth place _ 11th overall _ in the lightweight men’s double B final.

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