August, 25, 2013 (ISN) – The 2013 World Rowing Championships began on Sunday in Chungju, Korea. Racing included heats in ten boat classes, with Canada in six races today.
The Canadian women’s quad won its heat to advance directly to the A final. Antje Seydlitz-Kurzbach (Smithers, BC), Carling Zeeman (Cambridge, ON), Kate Goodfellow (Perth, ON) and Emily Cameron (Summerside, PEI) looked poised in their race today to finish in 6:25.22.
“We didn’t really know where we stacked up against these crews, so our goal was to go out and race our race and see what we could do,” said Goodfellow. “The final is going to be a tough race, but we take encouragement from today and know that we have more to give in the final.”
Only the top finisher went directly to the A final. Germany won the other heat in 6:26.74, also guaranteeing a spot in the medal race.
“It’s really an important stepping stone for the women’s program to see a sculling boat in the final, for the first time in a long while,” said women’s coach John Keogh. “Now we have five days to prepare to see if we can bring home a medal with this crew. It’s very exciting for the program.”
Canada’s first race of the day was in the lightweight men’s single: Nick Pratt (Kingston, ON) was second and advances to the quarter final. Switzerland won the heat in 7:09.71, followed by Pratt in 7:11.44.
“I am looking forward to testing myself against a talented field over the next week.,” Pratt said. “Today went well but there are few areas that I will be focusing on sharpening up as we move into the elimination rounds of the regatta.”
The lightweight women’s single – Patricia Obee of Victoria, BC – had a strong start, but fell back to third place in her heat (7:58.54) and must row in the repechage to advance. Greece won this heat in 7:48.35.
Spencer Crowley (Lantzville, BC) and Steve Van Knotsenburg (Beamsville, ON) were third in a men’s pair heat in 6:53.75. With only the top crew going directly to the semi-final, this pair must now row in a rep.
In a strong heat featuring rowing powers such as Great Britain, the US and Germany, Canada’s men’s four finished fifth in 6:11.76 and go to a rep. The U.S. (6:00.69) and Great Britain (6:02.64) finished first and second respectively to advance to the semi-final. Stacked with rowing talent, the Canadian men’s four is Will Crothers (Kingston, ON), Will Dean (Kelowna, BC), Conlin McCabe (Brockville, ON) and Rob Gibson (Kingston, ON). Crothers, McCabe and Gibson were members of the 2012 Olympic men’s eight that brought home a silver medal from London last year. McCabe and Gibson just recently re-joined the men’s training group.
The men’s quad finished fourth in the heat in 5:57.80. Matt Buie (Duntroon, ON), Kevin Kowalyk (Winnipeg, MB), David Wakulich (St. Catharines, ON) and Mike Braithwaite (Duncan, BC) make up this crew. They move on to the repechage round. Kowalyk and Braithwaite are 2012 Olympians.
“I think the team generally performed as we expected today. It’s day one of an eight-day event, and the team has confidence that they can keep their performances on a steady rise throughout the week,” said Rowing Canada Aviron’s high-performance director, Peter Cookson.
Two other Canadian crews – the women’s eight and lightweight men’s pair – begin their Worlds’ campaign tomorrow, and the women’s four starts on Tuesday.
Full results and summaries at www.worldrowing.com
Athlete bios here: