Sept. 2, 2011
BLED, Slovenia – Amanda Polk, a former rower for the Irish and now decorated international racer, and her U.S. women’s eight crew claimed another world title Friday, capturing the 2011 World Rowing Championship. It is the sixth straight world victory for the U.S. eight boat and earns the boat a spot in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
“Every time so far, it’s been completely different,” said Polk. “It’s been explosive. It’s been exciting. It was awesome to race a full 2,000 meters. We always do. No matter where the competition is we push ourselves to the limit. That’s what this year is about. It’s getting ready for next year. London 2012.”
The U.S. boat entered the race knowing that a top-five finish would earn it a spot in the London Olympics but did one better, holding off the likes of Canada, Romania, Great Britain and the Netherlands for the sixth-straight world victory.
With 1,500 meters of the race left to be completed, the American crew found themselves in fifth place but that did not deter the team, as over the second 500 the Americans eclipsed the entire field to claim the lead, one that they would not relinquish to the runner-up Canadian crew over the final 500.
For Polk, the gold medal represents her fifth in international competition and her fourth as a member of the women’s eight boat. Prior to joining the eights, Polk helped the Under-23 eight boat capture gold at the ’08 FISA World Rowing Championships in Brandenburg, Germany. In addition, she also helped the U.S. women’s four to a silver medal at the ’10 World Championships in Poznan, Poland.