2019 World Rowing Championships-Canada qualifies first boat for Tokyo 2020

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copyright Rowing Canada Aviron

Canada took the first steps towards Tokyo 2020 today with Olympic qualification in the Women’s Pair, the Women’s eight advanced to the A final with a commanding repechage win and two lightweight singles booked their tickets into the A Finals tomorrow.

2018 World Champions, Hillary Janssens (Cloverdale, BC) and Caileigh Filmer (Victoria, BC) lined up in the first of two semi-final races in the women’s pair with top three advancing to the A Final. Canada battled down the 2000m course alongside the Aussies crossing the line in 2nd (7:00.45) with Australia in (6:58.00). Janssens and Filmer clinched their spot in the A Final on Saturday and earned Canada’s first berth for Tokyo 2020. The Pair did not have time to celebrate as they headed straight back to the start to prepare for the Women’s eight repechage a few hours later.

“I’m really happy with how today went,” said Janssens. “We tried to make it as easy as possible for us to secure that Olympic spot, conserve our energy and start mentally preparing for the next one. We knew today was going to be the biggest day for us and we just had to trust our training, our fitness and trust the girls behind us in the boat that we were ready to go.”

The Women’s eight repechage progression saw the top two boats advancing into the A Final with Canada lining up against Australia, Denmark, China and the Netherlands. Canada blasted off the start and into the lead with Aussie’s close behind. Canada never relinquished their position to book their spot in the A Final and opportunity for Olympic qualification (Top 5).

“There was a lot of calmness at the start but as soon as that light switched, there was so much intensity onboard,” said bow seat, Lisa Roman. “It was a really cool feeling to execute what we needed to do.”

Ellen Gleadow rowed a stellar semi-final race in the women’s lightweight single, rowing side by side with Chiaki Tomita from Japan, overtaking the lead in the final 500m to clinch the win and secure an A final spot. “I’m pleased with the way my race went and all my races are getting better and better,” said Gleadow. “I know that whether I get out in front or behind I can hit a pace that is fast and challenge everyone to come with me. I’m really excited for the A Final as every opportunity to race is an opportunity to learn.”

Aaron Lattimer (Delta, BC) also secured his spot in the A Final tomorrow, finishing 3rd in his A/B semi-final (6:52.72). “It wasn’t my best race but I still put down a fast time. I’m looking for redemption,” said Lattimer. “Last year’s 4th place finish definitely left a sour taste in my mouth and motivated me through the whole fall and winter of training. It’s going to be a hot race but I trust in the Dick Tonks effect. He pushes you to be ready for anything and know you’ve put in the most miles.”
Maxwell Lattimer (Delta, BC) and Patrick Keane (Victoria, BC) finished 6th in their lightweight semi-final moving to the B Final on Saturday. Winner takes all in the B Final as only the top crew in this final will secure an Olympic berth in the men’s lightweight double.

Jill Moffatt (Bethany, ON) and Jennifer Casson (Kingston, ON) placed 5th ahead of Australia and will also contest for the single spot available for Olympic qualification in the women’s lightweight double B Final.

The men’s eight repechage saw only 2 boats progressing through to the A Final today. Canada had a fast start, falling back slightly at the 1000m mark to Netherlands and New Zealand. Canada could not respond, and finished 4th behind Romania. The men’s eight will contest Sunday’s B Final.

The women’s four crew Madison Mailey (Burnaby, BC), Sydney Payne (Toronto, ON), Jennifer Martins (Toronto, ON), and Stephanie Grauer (Vancouver, BC) will contest a B final on Saturday with the top two finishers earning an Olympic berths.

Matt Buie (Duntroon, ON) and two-time U23 World Champion Trevor Jones (Lakefield, ON) qualified for the C Final with a 2nd place finish just 0.01 of a second behind the Italian crew.

Jeremy Hall (St. Paul, AB) and PR2 Mixed Double partner Jessye Brockway (Mill Bay, BC) finished 6th to progress to the B Final. There is a total of eight Tokyo 2020 berths available in the PR2 Mixed Double in Linz and the Canadian crew is keen to confirm one of the remaining two spots during Saturday’s B Final.

Tomorrow will be an exciting day of racing for Team Canada, racing in four A finals in the PR2 M1x, PR3 M2-, men’s and women’s lightweight singles along with three A/B semi-final action in the women’s double, women’s single and men’s pair.