Jacobi only former medalist on men's team
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former kayaking world champion Rebecca Giddens and Olympic canoeing gold medalist Joe Jacobi will compete for the United States in Athens next month.
The final U.S. canoe and kayak roster was completed Sunday evening, with Jacobi the only former medalist on the team.
Racing in a two-man canoe, he won a whitewater slalom event in the 1992 Barcelona Games, his only prior Olympic appearance. He will be back in the same event this year, paired with Matt Taylor, who has competed internationally for more than a decade.
Giddens competed in the 2000 Sydney Games, finishing seventh.
This year, the canoe and kayak events will consist of 12 flatwater sprints (nine for men, three for women) and four whitewater competitions through slalom gates (three for men, one for women).
Several U.S. paddlers will race in more than one event.
In sprints, Rami Zur will lead the American men. At the 2003 world championships, he finished fourth in the 500-meter single kayak race. For Athens, he is entered in both the 500 and 1,000.
Zur competed in Sydney for Israel in 500 and 1,000 two-person kayak events, but finished outside the top 10.
Other former Olympians on the team are Taylor, Kathy Colin and Jordan Malloch. Colin will race in both the two- and four-person kayak events at 500 meters, while Malloch is entered in the 500 and 1,000 canoe pair.
The first-time Olympians are: Andrew Bussey and Jeffrey Smoke in the 1,000 kayak pair; Benjamin Lewis and Bartosz Wolski in the 500 kayak pair; Carrie Johnson in the 500 kayak single and four; Marie Mijalis in the 500 kayak four; Lauren Spalding in the 500 kayak pair and four; Nathan Johnson in the 500 and 1,000 canoe pair; Brett Heyl and Scott Parsons in kayak slalom; and Chris Ennis in canoe slalom.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press