Forbes and Bellows Advance on First Day of Pan American Games Qualification Regatta

Jenifer Forbes clocked the fastest time of the day in the heats of the women’s single sculls, while Lucas Bellows advanced to the semifinals in the men’s single sculls on Wednesday as racing got underway at the 2018 Pan American Games Qualification Regatta at the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

With the top two scullers from each heat advancing to the semifinals, Forbes (Baltimore, Md.) bested Brazil’s Milena Viana by nearly 10 seconds to win the first heat in an 8:28.12. Argentina’s Maria Sol Ordas won the third heat with a time of 8:31.13, finishing 2.69 seconds ahead of Bermuda’s Michelle Pearson. Canada’s Michelle Truax took the second heat in a time of 8:34.95, finishing 3.68 seconds ahead of Paraguay’s Alejandra Alonso. The six rowers advanced directly to Friday’s semifinals.

Racing in the first heat of the men’s single, Bellows (Forest Lake, Minn.) advanced to the semifinals by virtue of a second-place finish in the day’s opening race. Bellows clocked a 7:52.71 to finish 5.14 seconds behind Argentina’s Ariel Suarez. Cuba’s Angel Fournier Rodriguez, a 2016 Olympic finalist and 2017 World Rowing Championships silver medalist in the event, recorded the fastest time of the day, winning the second heat in a 7:42.31. He finished 11.53 seconds ahead of Peru’s Johann Geronimo Harmann Ziatar. Brazil’s Lucas Verthein won the third heat in a 7:47.80, finishing more than 14 seconds ahead of Canada’s Charles Alexander. The six scullers advanced directly to their semifinals scheduled for Thursday.

In addition to the men’s single sculls semifinals, Thursday’s racing is scheduled to feature heats and repechages in the women’s double sculls, men’s double sculls, women’s pair, men’s four, lightweight men’s double sculls, and lightweight women’s double sculls.

Nathan Lado (New York, N.Y.) and Wes Vear (Marquette, Mich.) will race in the men’s double against 13 other crews, while Julia Lonchar and Margaret Fellows (Warwick, Mass.) will compete in the women’s double against eight boats. Fournier Rodriguez, who also will race in the quadruple sculls, will join with fellow Olympian Adrian Oquendo Ibanez to race the double as well.

Liz Euiler (Meredith, N.H.) and Solveig Imsdahl (Schoenwald, Germany) will compete against seven other boats in the women’s pair, while the men’s four of Jonathan Zagroba (New Rochelle, N.Y.), Veton Celaj (New York, N.Y.), Paul Verni (New Rochelle, N.Y.), and Thaddeus Babiec (Alexandria, Va.) will take on six other crews.

Cooper Hurley (Andover, Mass.) and James McCullough (Philadelphia, Pa.) are part of a 14-boat field in the lightweight men’s double, while Sydney Taylor (Dover, Del.) and Keara Twist will take on 11 other crews in the lightweight women’s double. In the women’s event, 2016 Brazilian Olympian Vanessa Cozzi is back with a new partner, Isabelle Falck Camargo.

In total, 12 U.S. boats are racing at the qualification regatta. Crews that finish high enough in each boat category will earn the right to be nominated to represent the U.S. at the 2019 Pan American Games taking place July 26-August 11, 2019, in Lima, Peru. An explanation of the qualification system can be found here. Finals will take place on Saturday and Sunday.

Click here for Thursday’s start list.

For more information on the 2018 Pan American Games Qualification Regatta, click here.

For more information on the 2019 Pan American Games, click here.

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