The final round of Olympic qualification for rowing began today in Poznan, Poland.
Canada's men's pair won its heat in 6:42.10, advancing to the semi-finals of this event. Scott Frandsen of Kelowna, B.C. and Dave Calder of Victoria, winners of the Lucerne World Cup earlier this month, advance to the semi-finals of this cut-throat regatta where the top two pairs will earn an Olympic berth.
Although they are favourites here, the pair is not resting on the recent win in Lucerne. "We don't take any of the crews for granted," Calder said after today's win in the heat.
The Canadian lightweight men's double (Douglas Vandor of Dewittville, Que. and Cameron Sylvester of Caledon, Ont.) was fourth in an extremely tight race that saw Spain finish in 6:27.94, then Slovakia in 6:28.28 to move to the semi final; while Slovenia (6:28.62) and Canada (6:28.64) were just fractions of a second off the times of the top two finishers. Canada will row in a rep tomorrow in order to move to the finals. The top three lightweight doubles will be invited to take place in the Olympic regatta. (It was announced today that an extra boat has been allocated to qualify in this event. Originally, the top two lightweight men's doubles would qualify from this regatta, but now the top three will be on their way to Beijing.)
Racing continues tomorrow and Tuesday, with finals on Wednesday.
Canada has entries in the women's eight, men's four, men's quad, men's pair and lightweight men's double at this Olympic qualification regatta (June 15 to 18). Canada has already qualified five boats for the Olympics (men's eight, women's quad, lightweight men's four, women's pair and lightweight women's double).
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