Three Medals for Canada at World Rowing Cup

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(ISN) – 
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 only 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, ON), Darcy Marquardt (Richmond, BC), Ashley Brzozowicz (London, ON), Lauren Wilkinson (North Vancouver, BC), Andreanne Morin (Montreal, QC), Rachelle Viinberg (Regina, SK), Krista Guloien (Port Moody, BC), Cristy Nurse (Georgetown, ON) and Natalie Mastracci (Thorold, ON).

“It was a good race, but we would have liked to have had a different result,” said Darcy Marquardt. “This definitely fuels the fires for London.”

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

“Our training and hard work has proved that you can teach an old dog new tricks,” said three-time Olympian, Dave Calder. “We’re pretty pumped and have got the countdown to London in our heads right now.” (See video interview here:

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 today 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.

“Both Germany and Great Britain got out to a bit of a quick start on us, and not that that is surprising because we know they are quick starters and so are we, but they got up on us,” said experienced coxswain, Brian Price. “It made it a little harder on ourselves from the 500 to 1500 (metres). When you don’t win, you start to pick things apart – I think it’s good for us to get back to Victoria and get back to our training and focus on the Olympics.”

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 is coxswain Brian Price (Belleville, ON), Will Crothers (Kingston, ON), Jeremiah Brown (Cobourg, ON), Andrew Byrnes (Toronto, ON), Malcolm Howard (Victoria, BC), Conlin McCabe (Brockville, ON), Rob Gibson (Kingston, ON), Doug Csima (Oakville, 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.

“We’ve been learning a lot this weekend,” explained Olympian Doug Vandor. “We were progressively getting better and it felt really strong this morning. We tried to take the best of our first race in the heat and the best of our second race, the semi, and combine them. The only place that we stumbled was the last 200 metres today, falling apart a bit. We were leading for most of the race; it’s just learning how to hold onto that lead – stay composed under pressure and do what we have to do. I guess it’s a good step forward, it’s better to come fourth here than in two months time at the Olympics.”

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, ON) 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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Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.