Canada delivered a spectacular performance in the Women’s Eight A-Final today, racing with intensity and determination to secure a Silver medal behind the United States. Rebecca Zimmerman , Jennifer Martins, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Stephanie Grauer, Christine Roper, Sydney Payne, Lisa Roman and coxswain Kristen Kit lined up for action in Lane 2, mentally preparing for the race of their lives.
“Going into this A-Final we had to be mentally tough as we had a lane that was not favoured so we needed to pull together and commit to that mental strength,” said Jen Martins.
Canada sat in fourth position at the halfway mark when they began to charge. Overtaking the Dutch, Canada increased their stroke rate to 42 and closed in on Australia at a rate of 40. It was a photo finish at the line with Canada stealing the silver away from Australia by an eighth of a second. Canada came in with a time of 6:03.05 with Australia in 6:03.86. The United States regained their World Championship title they held from 2006 until 2016 with a time of 6:00.97.
“Kit (Kristen) made the call at the 600m mark, we all responded and it was an awesome race,” said Martins. “We were a bit shaken after our heat but we still believed we were better than that. We knew we had another gear that we hadn’t shown yet.”
The Canadian Women’s Eight secure back to back silver medals at World Rowing Championships with Rebecca Zimmerman, Jennifer Martins, Susanne Grainger, Christine Roper, Lisa Roman and Kristen Kit all returning from last year’s silver medal boat.
“It is a really big honour to race in this boat with these girls because they have so much combined experience from previous World Championships and Olympic Games,” said U23 W8+ Gold medalist, Stephanie Grauer. “They have been my idols and to have an amazing regatta like this really speaks to their leadership on and off the water.”
Carling Zeeman finished third in the Women’s Single B Final today behind Australia and New Zealand. Zeeman expressed her disappointment after missing out on A-Final qualification. “It’s obviously not the outcome of a semi-final that any athlete wants to be in, especially after months of relentless miles and training however this result made me realize how much this sport means to me and what a gift it is to feel such euphoric highs and devastating lows.”
Andrea Proske and Gabrielle Smith raced to a sixth place finish in the Women’s Double A-Final today. The duo had a strong week of racing at their first World Championships as a crew and will look to build on this experience moving forward.
The Men’s Eight, consisting of Matt Buie, Kai Langerfeld, Conlin McCabe, Ben de Wit, Tim Schrijver, Martin Barakso, Dave DeGroot, Jakub Buczek and coxswain Jane Gumley charged down the course in the B Final with the Netherlands and New Zealand. The Netherlands maintained their hold on the lead while Canada battled with the Kiwis to take second place and wrap up their event in eighth overall.
As a newcomer to the sport, Tracy Van Asseldonk gained immense amount of international racing experience in Plovdiv qualifying for the A Final in the PR1 Women’s Single and placing 6th overall.
“Our focus coming into the 2018 World Championships was to achieve A Final performances (top 6) while fighting for the podium,” said High Performance Director Iain Brambell. “This was accomplished with 10 of 15 crews making the Finals, with four podium performances and three forth place finishes. I am impressed with the leadership of our returning veterans, coupled with the tenacity of athletes that represented Canada at a World Championship for the first time. While in Plovdiv it was mentioned to me many times that Canada was a team on the upward performance trajectory, and this is an area that I am very keen to work closely with our athletes, coaches and support staff to bring to fruition for the 2019 Olympic and Paralympic qualifiers and most importantly Tokyo 2020.”
Canada won a total of four medals at the 2018 World Rowing Championships and placed 6th overall in medal standings. Canada captured medals in the following events:
GOLD – Women’s Coxless Pair – Hillary Janssens and Caileigh Filmer
GOLD – PR3 Men’s Pair – Andrew Todd and Kyle Fredrickson
SILVER – Women’s Eight – Rebecca Zimmerman , Jennifer Martins, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Stephanie Grauer, Christine Roper, Sydney Payne, Lisa Roman and coxswain Kristen Kit
SILVER – PR2 Men’s Single – Jeremy Hall