Canada scores gold at World Rowing Cup in Serbia
Caileigh Filmer, Hillary Janssens race to victory in women's pair
Victorious Canadian rowers Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens maintained their standout and consistent performance through Sunday's women's final at the World Rowing Cup in Belgrade, Serbia.
After overtaking early leaders Merlott Chitty and Rebecca Girling, the Canadians widened their gap with a 36 stroke rate and cruised to the finish in the six-team final, leaving Spain, the Netherlands and the British to go toe-to-toe.
"We had a good start, we decided to just not hold back for the 1K and get ahead of the other boats," said Janssens, who hails from Cloverdale, B.C. "We've had a good training group that is at this regatta and everyone is doing well. For the rest of the season, we'll be in whichever boat, eights maybe, whatever our coach decides."
Spain's Anna Boada Peiro and Aina Cid placed second while the Dutch duo of Elsbeth Beeres and Laila Youssifou rounded out the podium.
Filmer of Victoria and Janssens had been the talk of this regatta leading into Sunday after setting the fastest time by a large margin in Saturday's semifinals.
They have worked well in their first season together coming from last year's silver medal eight, thanks in part to work of their coaches, Dave Thompson and Dick Tonks of New Zealand.
Elsewhere, lightweight men's double, Patrick Keane and Maxwell Lattimer placed fourth in the A final in six minutes 17.27 seconds.
The Canadians stopped the clock in 6:32.69 in Friday's heats, beating the 2017 world champions from Ireland, before climbing to second in the semifinals (6:23.02).
"It's an exciting first step for the lightweight men's program," Keane told Rowing Canada Aviron. "We were really happy with our body rhythm but will be looking for improvement in the coming months."
Other Canadian results Sunday:
Lightweight double — Jill Moffatt and Jennifer Casson, 1st in B final (6:55.88)
Women's single — Carling Zeeman, 3rd in B final (7:27.34)