Rowing: America's elite eight aim to cement legacy

Sun Aug 7, 2016 9:32am EDT
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By Amy Tennery

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The seemingly unstoppable American women's eight rowing team launch their quest for another Olympic gold medal when the heats get underway on Monday with a possible dynasty in the making.

The U.S. have claimed gold in the past two Olympics and underlined their dominance of the event by winning a 10th consecutive world title at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France, last September.

Matthew Pinsent, Britain's four-time Olympic gold medal rower, called the U.S. women's eight the "most dominant outfit in world rowing at the moment".

"It has a sort of gravitational pull within the rowing (community)," Pinsent said. "It attracts the best people."

Pinsent pointed to the boat's high turnover rate as evidence of the exacting standards and high level of performance required to make the squad.

"No seat is ever really safe," he said.

Just two of this year's crew are returning Olympians: Eleanor Logan, 28, who competed in both the 2008 Beijing Games and the 2012 London Games, and Meghan Musnicki, 33, a member of the eight crew in London.

The success story began after Tom Terhaar became the women's head coach at the U.S. rowing federation (USRowing) in 2001.   Continued...

Rower Meghan Musnicki poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson