Originally created 09/06/97

United States, Germany to meet in rowing finals



CHAMBERY, France (AP) - Germany, the world's top power in rowing, qualified 18 boats in 24 classes at the World Rowing Championships Friday, while the United States qualified 16.

Britain was next with 13 finalists.

The championships end this weekend in the 14 Olympic boat classes and 10 non-Olympic and lightweight divisions. There are 14 men's events and 10 women's events.

At last year's Atlanta Olympics, Germany had 12 boats in the 14 finals.

The United States, with former Soviet and East German coaches, had its best showing in more than 10 years. In 1985, the Americans had 17 finalists, winning nine medals.

After Atlanta, there were a changeover in the United States system with veteran teams breaking up and an emphasis on youth. So it was surprising for coaches Igor Grinko and Harmut Buschbacher to qualify so many teams.

Grinko coached the Soviet national team from 1982-1990. Since moving to the U.S. team, his teams have been making steady progress. In 1991 the men's quadruple sculls team was the first American boat to be in a final since 1979. His 1992 women's team was the first quad to make any Olympic or world final.

Buschbacher coached the former East German rowers before moving to the United States, also in 1991. In 1995, his American women won four gold medals at the World Championships.

The United States is in eight of Saturday's 12 finals.

Saturday's finals include the men's coxless fours, where the British crew headed by Steve Redgrave and Matt Pinsent is favored.

Redgrave and Pinsent dominated the pairs since 1992 and now have moved up to the fours.