Aug. 8, 2007
BEIJING, China - Led by future UCLA rowers Alaizah Koorji and Elise Wilson, the U.S. junior women's eight crew won its heat at the 2007 FISA World Rowing Junior Championships in Beijing, China, on Wednesday, August 8.
The United States' boat led its heat from start to finish, advancing directly to the final. The American crew built a 1.34-second lead in the first 500 meters before pulling away from the rest of the field to pass the finish line at 6 minutes, 41.10 seconds. Romania took second place with a time of 6:46.96. Germany won the other heat, crossing the finish line in 6:45.38, just 4.20 seconds ahead of China.
Wilson, who hails from Montara, Calif., spent four seasons rowing at St. Ignatius Prep. Last summer, Wilson competed as a member of the U.S. Junior National Team eight, leading the crew to a silver medal-winning finish at the World Championships in Amsterdam. The second-place finish tied the mark for the highest-ever U.S. finish in the girls' eight at the Junior World Championships.
Koorji, a resident of Orinda, Calif., rowed as the coxswain for the Oakland Strokes' top eight crew in high school and competed at the U.S. Rowing Junior Women's National Team development camp.
The ongoing regatta in Beijing, which is serving as the test event for the 2008 Olympic venue, runs through August 11 and features more than 600 athletes from 49 countries. Quarterfinals and repechages will be raced Thursday, with semifinals taking place Friday. Finals will be held Saturday. Complete entry lists, heat sheets and results can be accessed throughout the regatta at www.worldrowing.com.