Johnson takes US trials gold and secures third Games ticket
Saturday, 21 April 2012
April 21 - Carrie Johnson (pictured) is going to her third Olympic Games this summer after she beat her 500 metres single kayak rivals at the United States flatwater sprint trials at Oklahoma City's City Boathouse District.
After her performance in Oklahoma, she is the first US Canoe/Kayak qualifier for the Olympics.
Johnson won her race in a time of 1min 57.76sec, beating Maggie Hogan, a Beijing 2008 qualifier and also a World Championship medallist, to a spot.
She will now be hopeful of repeating her success at last year's Pan American Games in Guadalajara, where she won two gold medals in the K1 200m and K1 500m and will also be keen to improve on her performances at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, where she went out at the semi-final stage in both Olympics.
Kaitlyn McElroy, who won a bronze alongside Hogan in the K2 500m at last year's Pan American Games, was third.
"It was a good race," said Johnson.
"[I] went out hard and was able to hold out in the end."
"I think lining up at the Games is a little bit more pressure.
"You really know that you're with the top people in the world.
"And I think having done that two times now, I can go in, hopefully, a little bit more relaxed, a little bit more comfortable with the situation and be able to put out a better race than I did four years ago."
"Carrie did the job," said Shaun Caven, the US Canoe/Kayak national team coach.
"It's what she expects of herself, to be able to paddle at that ability.
"She just demonstrated that she's the best female kayaker in the US right now."
Ryan Dolan (pictured below) also had the chance to qualify this weekend but was beaten agonisingly by 12 time national champion Tim Hornsby in the men's 200m single kayak, by just 0.08sec.
Their battle for an Olympic place will continue in Duisburg, Germany, at the World Cup event on May 19 and 20.
Hornsby is keeping his London 2012 hopes alive.
"I'm very excited," he said.
"One of us will be in London, so that's pretty exciting for both of us.
"I think we'll both be able to put some things together, race a little bit faster, and hopefully be a little bit of a threat in Europe."
Dolan, who also claimed a bronze medal at the Pan American Games, added: "I was happy, a little disappointed in myself because I felt like I was leading and I, for whatever reason, slowed down.
"Hats off to Tim, he had a great race.
"Me and him have been going at it the last two years over 200 [metres], so he got me today.
"It's unfortunate because I can't yet go to the Olympics but there's still the next World Cup in May for the race-off."
Also in Oklahoma, Rob Finlayson and Ben Hefner were nominated for the US's 2012 World Cup Team in the men's 200m single canoe.
The 2012 US Paracanoe World Championship team was also confirmed, with Kelly Allen, Ryan Padilla and Danzig Norberg all making it to Poznan, Poland, next month.
Paracanoe will become a part of the Paralympics programme at Rio 2016.
April 2012: US canoeists to race hard for two London 2012 places