STORY AND PHOTO BY ED MORAN
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The Tokyo Paralympic rowing events will take place over three days between Aug. 27 and Aug 29.
There are four events. They include the PR1 (formerly arms and shoulders) men’s and women’s singles, the PR2 (formerly trunk and arms) mixed double, and the PR3 (formerly leg, trunk and arms) mixed four with coxswain.
The U.S. will have crews in all four events.
PR1 Men’s Single
Blake Haxton will represent the U.S. in this event for the second time. Haxton finished fourth in the event in 2016. He qualified the boat class for the U.S. at the 2019 World Rowing Championships when he finished seventh, winning the B final.
The top qualifying countries in 2019 were Ukraine, Russia, Australia, Great Britain, Brazil, and Israel. Germany qualified at the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta in May. Also qualified through the Continental Qualification Regattas are Spain, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, and Mexico.
The defending Paralympic Champion is Australia’s Erik Horrie.
PR1 Women’s Single
The U.S. will be represented in the event by Hallie Smith. It is her first Paralympic Games and her fourth U.S. national team. Smith won bronze in the event at the 2018 World Rowing Championships. Hallie qualified the boat class for the U.S. at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, finishing sixth.
The top qualifying countries from 2019 are Norway, France, Israel, Ukraine and Germany. Brazil claimed the final position for Tokyo at the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta in May. Also qualified through the Continental qualifiers are Belarus, Kenya, Japan, and Argentina.
PR2 Mixed Double
The U.S. will be represented by Russell Gernaat and Laura Goodkind. This will be Gernaat’s first Paralympics and his second national team. Goodkind is a returning Paralympian. She finished 10th in the event in 2016. Great Britain is the reigning Paralympic Champion.
Gernaat and Goodkind qualified their boat class at the 2019 World Rowing Championships, finishing eighth. The other top qualifying countries are Great Britain, The Netherlands, France, Ukrain, Brazil, Poland and China. Italy and Australia qualified crews at the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta. Added to the lineup through Bipartite Commission nominations are Canada and Uzbekistan.
PR3 Mixed Coxed Four
The U.S. earned a silver medal in the event in 2016, finishing behind Great Britain. Rowing for the U.S. are coxswain Karen Petrik, Charley Nordin, John Tanguay, Dani Hansen, and Allie Reilly.
All five athletes were in the crew that qualified at the 2019 World Rowing Championships. Hansen is the only returning Paralympian. The top qualifying crews at the world championships were Great Britain, the U.S., Italy, Australia, Russia, and Israel. Canada and Brazil qualified crews at the Final Paralympic Qualification Regatta. Added to the lineup through Bipartite Commission nominations are Japan and Spain.