Canadian crews rowing their way into medal contention

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Great news from the World Rowing Championships for Canada.

Getty Images
Getty Images
Several crews have moved on to either the finals or semis. Not mentioned in this article is that the lightweight men’s four and the Women’s Eight both moved on. The Women’s Eight and the coxed men’s pairs team are into the final and the men’s four has advanced to the semi-finals. The News is a lot more scarce than it was about the world athletics championships a week ago but still, good reports out of Poznan.

Canadian crews rowing their way into medal contention
Canwest News Service
Published: Monday, August 24, 2009

Canadian boats have taken the next step toward the finals at the world rowing championships in Poznan, Poland.

The Canadian men’s eights crew, which captured the gold medal at the Olympic Games last summer in Beijing, has moved onto the finals, while the lightweight men’s and women’s doubles advanced to the semifinals. Another three Canadian boats will have to qualify through the repechage.

The Canadian eights boat, which consists of Mark Laidlaw (Mississauga, Ont.), Derek O’Farrell (Unionville, Ont.), James Dunaway (Duncan, B.C.), Malcolm Howard (Victoria), Andrew Byrnes (Toronto), Doug Csima (Oakville), Gabe Bergen (100 Mile House, B.C.), Rob Gibson (Kingston, Ont.) and Steve VanKnotsenburg (Beamsville, Ont.), won its heat in a time of six minutes 2.58 seconds.

The Netherlands was second in the heat, followed by Russia, Italy and Poland. Germany won the second heat.

“The Dutch put in some pushes,” said Byrnes, who along with Howard are the only returnees from last summer’s gold-medal winning boat. “They are a top-quality crew that have found a lot of speed. … Buckle your seatbelts, it’s going to be a tight final.”

In the men’s lightweight doubles event, Doug Vandor (Dewittville, Que.), and Cam Sylvester (Caledon, Ont.), were tops in their heat in a time of 7:06.99. Germany was a close second in 7:10.41.

“The race went well,” said Vandor. “We did what we had to do and we’re looking forward to the semi in a couple of days.”

Victoria’s Lindsay Jennerich and Sheryl Preston of North Delta, B.C., finished second in their lightweight doubles heat to advance. The Canadians were clocked in 8:11.26, which was just back of the host boat from Poland (8:08.29).

Canada’s lightweight men’s four, women’s eight and mixed coxed four moved on to the repechage.

The world championships continue through Sunday.

National Post

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