podium

Setting sights on World podium

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Sheryl Preston (front) and Lindsay Jennerich (rear) training in the Women’s Lightweight Doubles in preparation for the World Rowing Championships to be held from August 23-30 in Poznan, Poland.

Preston and Jennerich have been on the podiumjennerich and preston setting out several times this summer on the World Cup circuit, most recently winning a bronze at the prestigious Lucerne Regatta in Switzerland.

They’ll be joined at the World Championships by another contending lightweight crew and a vastly different edition of the Canadian Men’s Eight.

All the crews training at Elk Lake are following in the wake of a dominating gold medal performance by the Canadian M8+ at the Beijing Olympics last summer. And the results so far have been impressive.

vandor sylvester 2Lightweight Doubles partners Doug Vandor and Cam Sylvester (pictured left) recently won a silver medal in Lucerne and are looking for a similar podium result at the Worlds.

Gabe Bergen and Steve van KnotsenburgThe new Men’s Eight has quickly taken up the challenge of filling the large shoes of last year’s gold medal-winning crew by picking up a silver of their own at Lucerne.

The new crew draws from talent across the country. Coxed by Mark Laidlaw, from Mississauga, Ont., the Eight now consists of Derek O’Farrell of Unionville, Ont., Steve Van Knotsenburg of Beamsville, Ont., James Dunaway of Duncan, B.C., Malcolm Howard of Victoria, Toronto’s Andrew Byrnes, Doug Csima of Oakville, Ont., Gabe Bergen of 100 Mile House, B.C., and Rob Gibson of Kingston, Ont.

The next quadrennial is looking very good for Rowing Canada.

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Gary Reed: “you’ve got to fight like hell …”

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This feature was made just prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

After winning Silver in the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Reed found himself just out of the medals last summer in Beijing. Despite missing the podium he considers his results to be a major success. So he should. A second and a fourth in successive years among the world’s 800m elite? That’s better than any other middle distance runner in Canadian track history.

Reed: “Finishing fourth at the Olympics is better than finishing 10th, and 10th is better than finishing 20th and so on. Obviously, you want to win a medal. But do I feel better coming fourth at the Olympics as opposed to ’04, when I came 17th? Yeah, I do. It’s a great accomplishment.”