Sept. 1, 2011

COLUMBUS, Ohio – With a seventh-place finish in the pair at the 2011 World Rowing Championships in Bled, Slovenia, former Buckeye Claudia Wurzel, who lettered from 2007-09, qualified for the 2012 London Olympic Games Thursday. Representing Italy in the B Final, Wurzel paired with Sara Bertolasi and clipped the United States by .69 seconds to win the race and finish seventh overall.

Competing in the second of three heats this past Sunday, Wurzel and Bertolasi finished third in a time of 7:21.62. After starting out in fifth place the opening 500 meters, the duo raced to third. Unfortunately, only the Top 2 boats from each heat advanced directly to the semifinals. Therefore, Wurzel and Bertolasi had to race the following day in the repechage. This time, with the Top 3 crews from both repechages qualifying for the semifinals, Wurzel and Bertolasi crossed the finish line in 7:12.50, good for second place. Romania won the race with a time of 7:09.70.

With a trip to the A Final on the line, the Italian pair was sitting in sixth place at the 500-meter mark of the semifinal race Wednesday. However, Wurzel and Bertolasi covered the next 500 meters in 3:37.24 which surged them to third. At the 1,500-meter point, the duo dropped to fourth and that is where they remained as they sounded the horn. That finish dropped them to the B Final.

It was in the B Final where Wurzel and Bertolasi won their first race of the championships. Starting out in third place at the start, the two actually dropped to fourth with 1,000 meters left. Racing the next 500 meters with a top time of 5:33.02, the former Buckeye and Bertolasi moved into first place before crossing in 7:22.67 over the United States duo of Caryn Davies and Katherine Glessner (7:23.36).

2011 World Rowing Championships Bled, Slovenia W2- Race

Heat 2 1. United Kingdom 7:08.25 2. Australia 7:12.22 3. Italy 7:21.62 4. France 7:23.90 5. Germany 7:26.05

Repechage 1 1. Romania 7:09.70 2. Italy 7:12.50 3. Germany 7:13.66 4. Argentina 7:15.32 5. Croatia 7:23.68

Semifinal 1. United Kingdom 7:11.72 2. China 7:13.21 3. South Africa 7:16.95 4. Italy 7:21.29 5. Belarus 7:21.90 6. France 7:24.17

B Final 1. Italy 7:22.67 2. United States 7:23.36 3. Canada 7:23.42 4. Germany 7:24.94 5. Belarus 7:32.42 6. France 7:33.36