World rowing championships: Canadians narrowly miss medals
Pair of 4th place finishes on penultimate day
Two Canadian boats narrowly missed out on medals Saturday in finals at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France.
In A finals, Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee, both from Victoria, finished fourth in their lightweight double sculls race behind New Zealand, Great Britain and South Africa.
Getting off to a slow start, the women sat in sixth place until the ¾ marker. The Canadians had too much work to do in the final quarter of the race however, and not enough real estate to do it in. While still clocking the fastest last 500 meters of the field, the duo crossed the line in fourth, just missing the podium.
"Of course it's disappointing," said Jennerich, who won this event in 2010. "But it's a tight field and anything can happen on any given day."
The Vancouver Islanders had a great week of racing. At their last regatta in mid-July, the women placed 14th at a World Cup in Switzerland. Had they repeated that performance this week, they would not have qualified the boat for Rio.
The men's quadruple sculls boat of Will Crothers (Kingston, Ont.), Tim Schrijver (Forest, Ont.), Kai Langerfeld (Parksville, B.C.) and Conlin McCabe (Brockville, Ont.) were also fourth, just over a second behind bronze medal winners from Great Britain. They, like Jennerich and Obee, had already qualified a quota spot for 2016 in Rio thanks to their semi-final results.
In third place for the majority of the race, the foursome faded in the last quarter, finishing just 1.12 seconds out of the bronze medal position.
"It's frustrating," said Langerfeld, 3-seat in the crew. "This wasn't our best race. It felt like we were fighting each other a bit out there. We weren't responding as a unit to Will's calls.
"We have to remember that the goal is Rio and that remains our focus," continued Langerfeld. "The crew is moving in the right direction and we are looking forward to finding those extra seconds in the next twelve months."
Four boats qualified so far
In all Canada has qualified four boats for Rio with one more day of racing to come Sunday. Featured on the final day is the women's 8 race where Canada needs a top 5 finish to qualify for Rio.
The women's pair of Toronto's Jennifer Martins and Cristy Nurse of Georgetown, Ont., who had already secured an Olympic berth, finished their A final in 6th place, which will become their world ranking.
Carling Zeeman of Cambridge, Ont. has also qualified for Rio in the women's single sculls and races Sunday in the A final.
Also on Saturday, the men's pair of Michael Evans (Victoria) and Martin Barasko (Nanaimo, BC) narrowly missed qualifying for Rio when they came in 6th in the B final, and placed 12th overall. Only the top 11 boats qualified.
The men's quad sculls with Matthew Buie (Duntroon, Ont.), Julien Bahain (Victoria), Will Dean (Kelowna, BC) and Rob Gibson (Kingston, Ont.) were 5th in their B final to place 11th overall, but only the top 8 qualified for Rio.
This year's world championships, which continue through Sunday, represent the first chance for countries to qualify crews for next year's Olympics.
Countries can secure boats for Rio in the following ways:
- Women's eight: Top-five finish
- Men's quad sculls: Top-eight finish
- Single sculls: Top-nine finish
- All other events: Top-11 finish
With files from Rowing Canada