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U.S. Boat Advances in Photo Finish

Thursday, August 19, 2004; Page D13

The Olympic dream of Aquil Abdullah and Henry Nuzum was supposed to end. Then came a furious comeback. And a photo finish. Now Abdullah and Nuzum will be racing for a medal in double sculls on Saturday. The duo finished in a dead heat with Norway for third place in their semifinal at Schinias.

"If we put it all together and have a good race, then there's no reason why we can't make our dreams come true and be standing there on the podium," said Abdullah, a Washington native who attended Woodrow Wilson High and George Washington University.


D.C.'s Aquil Abdullah, left, Henry Nuzum advance to Saturday's final. (Armando Franca -- AP)


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"We get better with each race" added Nuzum, a Navy lieutenant twice deployed to Iraq.

Nils Somonsen and Morten Adamsen accepted the disappointment of the loss and tracked down the Americans to congratulate them. Soon after, Norwegian team officials looked at the photo finish, thought it was inconclusive and asked for a review by FISA, rowing's governing body. Officials agreed and went with the unusual tie, allowing both boats to advance to an unusual seven-boat final.

The only other U.S. boat to stay in medal contention was the women's quadruple scull.

Not as lucky were the men's four, the women's pair, the men's pair and sculler Jennifer Devine, who all were eliminated.

-- From News Services


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