Penalties cost county kayakers in London -- Gazette.Net


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Darnestown native Caroline Queen had a difficult choice to make as she neared the end of her second Olympic run in the women's slalom kayak competition Monday in London.

After missing the second-to-last gate Queen could either accept the 50-second penalty for the omission or try to find a way through the gate.

Queen went for the latter.

“For me, sport is a lot about heart, and that was a heart moment,” Queen said in a news release. “[My second run] was going pretty well, I had some penalties. But I think that the boat was moving well, so I think I would have been able to survive those penalties.”

The fastest of the athletes' two runs in Monday's heats counted and the top 15 boats advanced to Thursday's semifinals.

Queen finished 17th.

She was 13th after her first run of 117.05 seconds but four athletes surpassed that time on their second runs. Queen finished her second run in 146.23 seconds.

“Olympics are an experience that's different than anything else and it can be very helpful if she takes the right conclusions out of this kind of competition and makes a plan for how to go from here and not make the same mistakes and to improve,” U.S. Olympic Coach Silvan Poberaj said.

On Sunday three-time Olympian Scott Parsons of Bethesda finished 16th in the men's slalom kayak competition, barely missing the semifinal cut for the second straight Olympics.

Parsons' 94.16-second first run was good for 13th place but he was unable to improve upon it in the second run — he received 52 seconds worth of penalties — and was passed by three paddlers.

“The first run had a lot of good bits,” he said in a news release. “I had two kind of slow sections that made the run as a whole not very competitive, which is too bad. I was happy with about 90 percent of the first run, it was just that 10 that really sort of pushed the time up. The whole experience so far has been really, really good, and I'm actually looking forward to the next week or so of hopefully watching some other events and having some more good times.”

jbeekman@gazette.net