Up until the final results of this past weekend’s Pan American Championships in Foz do Iguassu, Brazil, were announced, there was a distinct possibility that the men's U.S. C-1 and C-2 paddlers weren’t going to qualify for a spot in the London 2012 Olympic Games. They needed to win both the C-1 and C-2 events in order to secure the two remaining slots. It was a tall order, to say the least.
But that’s exactly what they did. U.S. paddlers Eric Hurdand and Jeff Larimer took first in the Men’s C-2 final Saturday, and Benn Fraker took home the Gold medal in Men’s C-1 Sunday, ensuring Team USA will have Olympians in both the C-1 and C-2 categories at the London 2012 Summer Games.
Now that the slots are secured for American paddlers, Fraker, Hurdand, Larimer and the three other Team USA canoeists will continue to compete for the opportunity to fill it. The Olympians will be determined by their performance at the 2012 Slalom National Team Trials in Charlotte, N.C., April 12-14–the first stop on the 2012 World Cup circuit.