SYDNEY-Four more American boats advanced in Olympic rowing Wednesday, including the women's quad sculls which trains in Augusta.
The U.S. quads, with Hilary Gehman, Jennifer Dore, Laurel Korholz and Kelly Salchow, finished second in their repechage, or second chance race, qualifying them for the finals on Sunday. They jumped out to a quick lead and held it through about half the race before the Ukraine overtook them.
They only needed to finish in the top two and finished more than seven seconds ahead of the third boat in the 2,000-meter race.
The American women have said they get better as the week goes on, and now they have put themselves in a position to win a medal. They join heavy favorite Germany, Russia, Ukraine, Great Britain and Denmark in the finals.
"We never really go into a race thinking we're going to settle for anything," said Gehman. "We go expecting a race.
"I'm trying not to overplay this in my mind. I'm trying to keep the nerves down, but nerves are to be expected. At the venue it's no problem, but when you're in the village or other places, it's kind of crazy."
Salchow agreed that nervousness is a factor, but their team is prepared and will continue to improve.
"It's not quite as overwhelming as I thought it would be," she said. "We talked to the people at Colorado Springs (at the U.S. Olympic Training Center) to try to get us ready. We were a little prepared but not for everything you face in the Olympics.
"But we're optimistic."
The women's quad team finished fourth at last year's world championships and won a medal at the world cup stop in Lucerne. They train at the U.S. Rowing Training Center in Augusta.
Other boats advancing Wednesday were the men's lightweight double sculls and the men's and women's eights. The three-time defending world champion men's eights were shocked by their third-place finish in a heat race Monday but bounced back to barely beat Romania in the repechage.
The women edged Canada in their race. Both crews will row in finals Sunday.
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