U.S. clinches second spot in London

September, 11, 2011
Scott Parsons earned an Olympic spot for the United States in men's kayak at the 2011 ICF Slalom World Championships on Sunday.

Two-time Olympian Parsons finished 15th in the semifinals and 11th among nations. While he earned the U.S. a boat in London, Parsons did not advance to the final round in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Parsons was knocked out of the top 10 and the final because of a two-second touch penalty on an early gate.

"I'm disappointed with the touch on my run, for sure. But I'm glad that we have the slot for the Olympics and I can focus on making the Olympic team," Parsons said, according to USA Canoe/Kayak.

The athlete to fill that boat at the Olympics will be determined by performances at the 2012 U.S. Olympic team trials and the first stop on the 2012 ICF Slalom World Cup tour.

"Our men's kayak program not only qualified the Olympic position but proved they are capable of achieving great performances in London," USA Canoe/Kayak CEO Joe Jacobi said.

"Today was a good day for our program."

American Brett Heyl finished in 19th place with a clean run.

Carolina Queen qualified the United States in women's kayak on Friday.

Casey Eichfeld nearly earned a third Olympic slot for the U.S. in men's canoe, as he turned in the 11th best finish among countries. The top 10 nations earn Olympic slots.

The 2008 Olympian in double canoe was kept out of the final because of a four penalty seconds he was assessed.

U.S. slalom clinches first Olympic spot

September, 9, 2011
Sliding into the final qualifying slot, Caroline Queen earned the United States a spot in the London Olympics in the women's kayak on Friday at the 2011 ICF Slalom World Championships.

It was the first Olympic spot the United States has clinched in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Queen placed 37th after two opening heats with the top 15 countries in qualified spots, but many nations placed multiple athletes high in the rankings. Her time was not fast enough to advance to the semifinals, though.

"Under tough circumstances, we're thrilled Caroline gave the U.S. its first Olympic position," USA Canoe/Kayak CEO Joe Jacobi said in a statement. "Over the next 11 months, there is no doubt our women are going to compete extremely hard to for the opportunity to represent the U.S. in London."

Queen said she was nervous earlier in the week, but remained focused on her normal training routine.

"Now that I have secured the spot, all of those nerves can be gone for good!" Queen said. "However, I guess one could say a whole new set of nerves will come my way next year. Despite not making the semis, it's a definite relief to have the spot qualified."

A student at Davidson College, Queen said she will complete the fall semester but take the spring semester off to dedicate herself to training.