ETON DORNEY, England – Oklahoma City-based rowers Tom Peszek and Silas Stafford's Olympic rowing medal hopes survived a tricky crosswind Monday.
The Peszek-Stafford tandem encountered problems over the final 500 meters and was in danger of finishing last until they rallied. A strong finish over the final 100 meters sent Peszek and Stafford to a third-place finish, narrowly edging a charging team from Hungary, and a spot in Wednesday's semifinals.
“We're still alive,” Peszek told USA Today. “It's not the way we wanted to do it, but we made it.”
Peszek, a Farmington Hills, Mich., native and Stafford, who is from Santa Rosa, Calif., led at the halfway point Monday, but had to rally late to edge the Hungarians by 47 hundreths of a second. Their time of 6 minutes, 27.41 seconds placed behind Germany (6:22.76) and Serbia (6:26.61).
Peszek and Stafford finished fourth out of four boats Saturday in their preliminary round, again faltering down the stretch.