Three medals for Canada at World Rowing Cup

Jeremiah Brown and Doug Csima (Photo: McMaster Communications)

Canada brings home three medals – silvers in the women’s eight and men’s pair, and bronze in the men’s eight – from the Samsung World Rowing Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland.

As promised, the women’s eight race was competitive to the end, with Canada and the U.S. in a photo finish. The Americans edged out Canada by .03 of a second to win gold in a time of 5:59.26 (2000m). Canada’s silver-medal winning time was 5:59.29, and the Netherlands took bronze in 6:03.20.

The eight rowing here is Lesley Thompson-Willie (London), Darcy Marquardt (Richmond, B.C.), Ashley Brzozowicz (London), Lauren Wilkinson (North Vancouver, B.C.), Andreanne Morin (Montreal), Rachelle Viinberg (Regina), Krista Guloien (Port Moody, B.C.), Cristy Nurse (Georgetown) and Natalie Mastracci (Thorold).

Earlier today, Scott Frandsen (Kelowna, B.C.) and David Calder (Victoria, B.C.) got back on the podium, this time as 2012 World Cup silver medalists in the men’s pair.

Favourites New Zealand won in 6:24.04, overtaking Canada – Beijing silver medalists – who led for half of the race and finished in 6:26.77. Greece finished with a bronze medal in 6:30.04; and Germany (6:30.79), Great Britain (6:31.60) and Italy (6:35.86) rounded out the field.

The men’s eight had big hopes after setting a world’s best time in the heat on Friday. They had a decent final, but finished in third to take a bronze. The crew included McMaster alumni Jeremiah Brown and Doug Csima.

A native of Oakville, Csima was a member of the McMaster Varsity Rowing Crew from 2003-07 and has been a top performer for Hamilton’s Leander Boat Club and a member of the National rowing team since 2008. Brown, a Cobourg native, got started rowing a little later. A former offensive tackle with the Marauder football team from 2004-2007, Brown did not take up the sport until 2008 and joined the Canadian men’s eight in 2011.

The results in Switzerland clearly established the Canadian team as a medal contender at the upcoming 2012 London Summer Olympic Games. The Canadian men’s eight won the last Olympic Gold medal at the 2008 games in Beijing.

Germany’s time was 5:27.47, Great Britain finished in 5:28.64 and Canada crossed the 2000-metre mark in 5:29,62.

This Canadian crew also includes coxswain Brian Price (Belleville, ON), Will Crothers (Kingston, ON), Andrew Byrnes (Toronto, ON), Malcolm Howard (Victoria, BC), Conlin McCabe (Brockville, ON), Rob Gibson (Kingston, ON), and Gabe Bergen (100 Mile House, BC).

The lightweight men’s double of Doug Vandor (Dewittville, QC) and Morgan Jarvis (Winnipeg, MB) looked strong and in medal contention, until the finish when they were edged out by Denmark for the final medal position. France won in 6:22.78, followed by New Zealand in 6:24.32 and the Danes in 6:24.97. Canada’s time was 6:25.18.

Overall, the A finals played out well for Canada. “We are on track of reaching our medal potential goal,” said Peter Cookson, High Performance Director. “We’ve seen improvement in some of the boats, and with the weeks of solid training coming up, leading up to London, we will be in shape for the Games.”

Earlier today, the Canadian men’s four of Derek O’Farrell (Montreal, QC), Anthony Jacob (Vancouver, BC), Mike Wilkinson (North Vancouver, BC) and Peter McClelland (Aurora/King City, ON) won the B final, and finish seventh overall in 6:01.47.

The alternate men’s pair – Spencer Crowley (Lantzville, BC) and Will Dean (Kelowna, BC) – finished fourth in 6:43.39 in this morning’s B final, to finish 10th overall at this regatta.

The lightweight women’s double – Tracy Cameron (Shubenacadie, NS) and Lindsay Jennerich (Victoria, BC) – finished second in the B final, or eighth overall at this regatta.

In the women’s pair, Larissa Lagzdins (Burlington) and Carolyn Ganes (Saskatoon, SK) – was second in its B final, finishing eighth overall. China won this B final in 7:22.27, followed by Canada in 7:23.31.

The men’s double of Kevin Kowalyk (Winnipeg, MB) and Michael Braithwaite (Duncan, BC) finished third in the B final, or ninth overall, today in 6:28.97.

Canada has seven boats qualified for the London 2012 Olympics. Most of the Canadian team will now head home to train, while the women’s eight will stay to train and compete in Europe.

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