Ed Hewitt · May 23, 2004
1x trial Comes to Extraordinary Finish
The Olympic singles trials do not seem to disappoint when it comes to pure human drama. In a trials that began with the withdrawal of Xeno Muller at about 5 minutes before the 7am start of the first final, the racing had gotten only more intense, and was beginning to display eerie echoes of the 2000 trials, when the event came down to the last stroke of the third final. After splitting the first two finals between them to a net difference of 0.01 seconds, the third and decisive final between Adam Holland and Conal Groom looked certain to be decided in a photo finish as the two scullers blared into the final 500 meters, and then into the final 250 meters, and then into the final strokes of the race, side by side.
Neither appeared ready to relent as the finish line neared, and with Conal Groom perhaps a foot or two ahead with about 40 meters to go, suddenly and apparently a dramatic crab or other mishap (although our photo sequence, viewable as a slideshow, shows he may have taken a pretty bad stroke, however), Adam Holland laid down in his boat. Conal took about two more hard strokes, but when he saw his competition had relented, almost stopped himself, then limped over the the finish line at a paddle to win the trial, and Adam floated across 10 seconds behind.