Aquil Hashim Abdullah became the first black male rower to qualify for the U.S. Olympic squad yesterday, teaming with U.S. Navy officer Henry Gantt Nuzum to win double skulls at the Qualified Olympic Small Boat Trials in West Windsor, N.J.
Their victory in 6 minutes 23.59 seconds highlighted a morning in which all four races produced Olympic qualifiers, completing the small boat roster for the U.S. team.
Artour Samsonov and Luke Walton won the men's pair in 6:37.15. Kate MacKenzie and Sarah Jones won the women's pair in 7:13.33, marking the second straight race in which they edged Liane Malcos and Portia Johnson by less than one second.
Stacey Borgman and Lisa Schlenker won the lightweight women's double sculls in 7:02.43.
All four qualifiers won two straight races in the best two-of-three finals.
Nuzum, who was stationed on the USS John S. McCain on Persian Gulf deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2002 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003, qualified for his second straight Olympics in doubles sculls.
Abdullah is making his first trip, overcoming the disappointment of losing the deciding race of the 2000 men's singles finals by 0.33 seconds.
MacMillan, Mullinix Cut
Forward Shannon MacMillan and goalkeeper Siri Mullinix were cut as the U.S. women's soccer team reduced its roster to 20 in preparation for the Olympics.
MacMillan and Mullinix were part of the American team that finished third last year at the Women's World Cup. Mullinix replaced Briana Scurry as the U.S. starter after the 2000 Olympics, but lost her job back to Scurry in 2003.
MacMillan tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in May 2003 and returned in time for the tournament in September. Her spot in the starting lineup is likely to be taken by 19-year-old Heather O'Reilly.
The decision to cut Mullinix, who played for the WUSA's Washington Freedom, leaves Scurry and Kristin Luckenbill as the remaining goalkeepers. Coach April Heinrichs will make her final cuts today. . . .
Thousands turned out to see the Olympic flame's return to Berlin, the site of the first modern torch relay more than six decades ago. Former ice skating gold medalist Katarina Witt was among more than 130 who ran with the torch.