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.


  1. Japan kayaker Yasuhiro Suzuki banned eight years for lacing rival's drink

    ESPN news services

    A top Japanese kayaker has been banned for eight years, disqualifying him from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, for lacing his rival's drink with a prohibited drug that caused the rival to fail a doping test.

    Story | Conversation | January 09, 2018
  2. Traci Lynn Martin is attempting what no one has done before -- circumnavigating the Great Lakes

    Audrey Cleo Yap, Special to espnW.com

    Competitive kayaker Traci Lynn Martin has been paddling around the Great Lakes since March. She's determined to set a new record in doing so -- and even the intense pain from rheumatoid arthritis won't stop her from fulfilling her mission.

    Story | Conversation | November 30, 2017
  3. Jimmy Butler gets a Minnesota welcome: canoes, s'mores and cold lake water

    Sam Alipour, ESPN The Magazine

    The new Wolves wing dishes on Thibs, the Wolves' young core and how the Bulls chose Fred Hoiberg over him.

    Story | Conversation | November 08, 2017
  4. Alohas, sisterhood and grit: the Queen Lili'uokalani Long Distance Canoe Race

    Susan B. Barnes, special to espnW.com

    Paddling in the Queen Lili'uokalani Long Distance Outrigger Canoe Races isn't just about the 18-mile course -- it's also an expression of self-determination and sisterhood for many participants.

    Story | Conversation | September 18, 2017
  5. How an unusual paddle sport changed Hildren Francis' life forever

    Doug Williams, Special to espnW.com

    Hildren Francis was dealing with a divorce and her mom's cancer diagnosis when she found dragon boat racing -- and she says the sport truly saved her during a seemingly hopeless time.

    Story | Conversation | September 17, 2017