Canoeist Casey Eichfeld Qualifies For Third Olympic Team

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 2:27 AM

S. Olympic Team Trials for Canoe/Kayak Slalom, held at the National Whitewater Middle in Charlotte, N Carolina. With a fourth-place finish at the two thousand fifteen world championships to his credit, Eichfeld needed only a top-two finish in Charlotte to earn his third Olympic designation.

Canoeist Casey Eichfeld Qualifies For Third Olympic Team

Casey Eichfeld scored a hat stunt of sorts Saturday, earning a ride to his third Olympic Games by winning the men’s single canoe contest at the first leg of the U. S. Olympic Team Trials for Canoe/Kayak Slalom, held at the National Whitewater Middle in Charlotte, North Carolina.

With a fourth-place finish at the two thousand fifteen world championships to his credit, Eichfeld needed only a top-two finish in Charlotte to earn his third Olympic designation.

After placing eleventh in doubles canoe with Rick Powell at the Beijing two thousand eight Olympic Games, Eichfeld went solo in London and finished fourteenth. At latest year’s worlds, he was quick sufficient to win a medal, but a two-second gate touch penalty added to his time was the disagreement between bronze and fourth.

That near-miss, however, was a signal to the world that he's prepared to reestablish the U. S. in C1, a discipline controlled by Americans in the one thousand nine hundred eighty and early ninety. Eichfeld points to paddling legend Jon Lugbill as his inspiration. It was Lugbill who, along with David Hearn, utterly dominated the C1 podium at worlds. In total, he won twelve world gold medals and one silver, when Hearn stepped up to claim his only individual gold at worlds in 1985.

With gold medals in both the C1 and C2 (along with Devin McEwan) from the Toronto two thousand fifteen Pan American Games, 26-year-old Eichfeld has positioned himself as one of the paddlers to look going into Rio. He's five top-10 international finishes to his credit in the past two years.

With a win in C2 in Charlotte, Eichfeld and McEwan are in a powerful position to claim the Olympic berth at the second leg of the Olympic Trials, May 6-7 in OK City, should the U. S. earn a quota in the event (which is currently being determined by the International Canoe Federation). That'd give Eichfeld an opportunity to double in Rio. By qualifying, McEwan would be following in his father’s Olympic footsteps. Jamie McEwan was the first American to win an Olympic canoe/kayak slalom medal with his bronze at the Munich one thousand nine hundred seventy-two Olympic Games. Twenty years later, as the only returning paddler from the sport’s first and only prior Olympic appearance, the elder McEwan teamed with Lecky Haller in C2 and finished fourth in Barcelona, Spain.



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