RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Sequim rower Elise Beuke begins competition at the World Junior Championships early this morning.
Beuke, a 2015 graduate of Sequim High School, and her partner in the women’s double sculls, Isabella Strickler of Grosse Pointe, Mich., will race at 5:40 a.m. on Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon.
The duo will compete against crews from Norway, Japan, Germany, Great Britain and Denmark in the second of three heats.
The race can be followed online with a live tracker at www.tinyurl.com/pdnTrackRowers.
Beuke, 18, and Strickler will advance straight to Saturday’s semifinals with one of the top finishes in their heat.
Otherwise, they will drop into the repechage round, in which they will have another shot at reaching the semifinals.
The top crews in each heat of the semifinals advance to the A finals, which will be held Sunday at 7:15 a.m.
The other crews in each heat of the semifinals will move onto the B finals, which are Sunday at 5:05 a.m.
The A final determines places 1-6, while the B final determines 7-12.
There also will be a C final for places 13-19 Saturday at 7:46 a.m.
At the 2014 World Junior Championships, the United States team of Claire Campbell and Mary Campbell placed 12th in the women’s double sculls. Romania won the gold, Germany took silver and Greece earned bronze.
The United States’ best-ever finish in the event was sixth place at the 2012 World Junior Championships.
Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon also will be the site of the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The lagoon is a well-known rowing venue that has hosted many important national and international regattas, the 2007 Pan Am Games regatta, the 2013 South American Championships and two Olympic qualification regattas (1996 and 2007).
There also are 10 rowing clubs with members who row every day on the Lagoa.
However, last week, The Associated Press reported that the “waters where Olympians will compete in swimming and boating events next summer in South America’s first games are rife with human sewage and present a serious health risk for athletes.”
In response, U.S. Rowing said in a news release that it already was aware of the potential issues related to the AP report, and that it has been “in continual contact with our international governing body, FISA, regarding the water quality.
“FISA has indicated that water-quality testing is, and has been, taking place,” the release said.
“U.S. Rowing is relying on the USOC, FISA, Rio 2016, and IOC to assure a safe playing/living environment for our athletes.”
U.S. Rowing also said that its medical staff has been prepped on the potential risks and has “prepared and communicated a sanitation protocol to minimize the risk to our athletes and team members, and is prepared should there be issues related to athlete health.”
See the complete AP report at www.tinyurl.com/pdnAPBrazil.
Sports Editor Lee Horton can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at [email protected]