The US men’s eight came through when it had to Tuesday in Switzerland, easily winning the last-chance Olympic rowing qualifying race on the fabled Rotsee course in Lucerne to earn a chance for a third consecutive medal at this summer’s Games in London.
The Americans, who won gold in Athens and bronze in Beijing, had failed to earn their London ticket after finishing eighth in last year’s world regatta.
If they hadn’t won at Lucerne, they would have missed the Olympic field for the first time.
“Phase one, done,’’ coxswain Zach Vlahos declared after the Americans, with Northeastern’s Will Miller of Duxbury in the Numeral 2-seat, beat New Zealand and France by just under four seconds after leading from the start. “Now it’s time to move on to phase two - go home, train hard, and try to get faster.’’
Also winning yesterday were the women’s double of Sarah Trowbridge of Guilford, Conn., and Margot Shumway and the men’s lightweight four, with former Harvard captain Will Newell of Weston aboard.
If they earn berths in the women’s single (Newton’s Gevvie Stone) and men’s double (Warren Anderson-Sam Stitt) and lightweight double (Will Daly and Harvard sophomore Andrew Campbell of New Canaan, Conn.) Wednesday, the Americans will have qualified in all 14 Olympic events. To accomplish that, Stone needs to place among the top four and the doubles in the top two.
The men’s lightweight four came out of third place after 500 meters to edge the Netherlands by 14 hundredths of a second, with both boats qualifying, while the women’s double beat the Dutch by 1.29 seconds.
“It’s been a long year,’’ said Trowbridge, who with Beijing veteran Shumway received the opportunity to race when the first two finishers at the domestic trials opted out. “We know where we’re going and what we have to do for the first time in a while.’’