Canadian men’s 8 wins silver at rowing worlds

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Photo courtesy of Jackie Skender, Rowing Canada
Photo courtesy of Jackie Skender, Rowing Canada

CBC Sports

Canada’s men’s eight won silver on the final day of competition at the world rowing championships in Poland on Sunday, as two other boats just missed the podium.

The men’s eight finished in a time of five minutes 27.15 seconds, well back of the German boat that won with a time of 5:24.13. The Netherlands took bronze (5:28.32).

The team consists of:

Coxswain Mark Laidlaw of Mississauga, Ont.
Derek O’Farrell of Unionville, Ont.
James Dunaway of Duncan, B.C.
Malcolm Howard of Victoria.
Andrew Byrnes of Toronto.
Doug Csima of Oakville, Ont.
Gabe Bergen of 100 Mile House, B.C.
Rob Gibson of Kingston, Ont.
Steve VanKnotsenburg of Beamsville, Ont.
Howard and Byrnes were the only holdovers from the gold-medal winning men’s eight at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

Laidlaw said he expected the race to be a challenging one.

“I was very aware of Germany during the race, but I knew that the Dutch were making a push and Poland had made an impressive charge,” said Laidlaw.

Coach Mike Spracklen was pleasantly surprised by the result.

“It was nice to get a silver medal in the eight,” he said. “If you asked me three months ago I would have not predicted that would happen. There are a lot of new guys.”

Canada won two medals at the worlds this weekend, as the women’s four won bronze on Saturday.

Just off the podium

Laidlaw was also the coxswain of the men’s pair, with Jan Tize of West Vancouver and Conlin McCabe of Brockville, Ont. They finished fourth in 6:57.55. The Americans won the race in 6:53.58, followed by the Czech Republic (6:54.58) and Germany (6:55.44).

The lightweight women’s quad team just missed out on a medal, as they couldn’t hold on to third place when the Americans chased them down.

The team, made up of Katya Herman of Sudbury, Ont., Kristin Jeffery of Newmarket, Ont., Lauren Wells of London, Ont., and Tanya Lahdenranta of Surrey, B.C., finished in 6:37.36, just behind the Americans’ time of 6:36.88.

“We’ve tended to be good in the last 500 metres,” said Herman. “But the other crews just stepped it up.”

Germany (6:32.91) won gold as Britain (6:35.42) took the silver.

Other Canadian medal hopefuls come up short, as Doug Vandor of Dewittville, Que. and Cam Sylvester of Caledon, Ont. finished fifth in the lightweight men’s double, and Lindsay Jennerich of Victoria and Sheryl Preston of North Delta, B.C. finished sixth in their lightweight women’s double final.

“One and one just didn’t add up to two,” said Preston. “We are disappointed but not discouraged.”

Preston and Jennerich have made the podium twice in World Cup events this year.

The Canadian women’s eight finished sixth, as the U.S. won gold ahead of Romania and the Netherlands, respectively.

The women’s eight consists of:

Sarah Bonikowsky of Orangeville, Ont.
Ashley Brzozowicz of Toronto.
Peggy DeVos of Kamloops, B.C.
Larissa Lagzdins of Burlington, Ont.
Romina Stefancic of Victoria.
Jane Rumball of Fredericton, N.B.
Krista Guloien of Port Moody, B.C.
Lauren Hutchins of North Vancouver, B.C.
Lesley Thompson-Willie of London, Ont.

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