The Canadian women's four and pair both raced to silver medals today at the 2002 FISA World Rowing Championships in Seville, Spain.
The pair of Jacqui Cook of Burlington, Ont. and Karen Clark of Delta, B.C. improved on its 2001 World bronze medal, coming second to Romania, and beating Belarus. "This year we put more pressure on ourselves to perform," said Cook.
Clark agreed, "Last year, we were brand new, but we knew we had to step up to the challenge. The work we've done in training on every detail of our race definitely came through for us today." Canada’s time was 6:57.08.
The conditions were fast, and the Romanians, Georgeta Andrunache and Viorica Susanu, smashed a world's best time in this race in 6:53.80 - the previous best was 6:56.27, held by Canadians Emma Robinson and Theresa Luke since 1999.
The Canadian four of Pauline Van Roessel of Bow Island, Alta., Darcy Marquardt of Richmond, B.C., Rachelle deJong of Regina, Sask., and Roslyn MacLeod of Burlington, Ont. will also bring home silver. Australia was first in 6:26.11, second for Canada in 6:28.32, and China got the bronze in 6:31.28 - followed by crews from New Zealand, the U.S. and Germany.
"What impressed me most is that they basically did everything according to plan," said women's coach Al Morrow. "We knew the Aussies were fast - they were the 2001 World Champions - but we thought the U.S. was going to be more of a threat."
"We had an OK start," said Roslyn MacLeod. "It was pretty close until the 500-metre mark, and around the 1000 (half-way), we made a push. We're ready to go out there in the eight and push again."
The silvers are the Canadian women's team highest World or Olympic medals since 1999, when the women's pair won gold at the Worlds in St. Catharines. All members of the four and pair will race in Canada's women's eight tomorrow afternoon.
Although they didn't make it to the medal round, the men's pair of Scott Frandsen of Kelowna, B.C. and Cam Baerg of Saskatoon, Sask. proved they belong in this field by winning their B final race, finishing seventh overall in the world.
"We had a clean start, found our rhythm and moved through everyone," said Frandsen, who was part of the men's eight that won the Under-23 World regatta in 2001, and has now raced in his first senior Worlds. "We weren't labouring and we had extra energy to push. It would have been great to be in the finals, but to win the B race in this strong field is great."
The A finals of this event saw British champions James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent set a new world best time in 6:14.27, breaking rowing legend Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent's best of 6:18.34. Several other world’s best times were established in today’s tailwind conditions.
In other Canadian action, Gen Meredith of Ste.-Anne de Bellevue, Que. had a strong race in the first half of her B final in the lightweight women's single, but then crossed the line in third, finishing ninth overall.
The women's double of Buffy Williams of St. Catharines, Ont. and Kubet Weston of Tillsonburg, Ont. were also third in the B final of this event - ending up ninth overall.
Canada's medal-winning day was capped off with the presentation of the Thomas Keller medal for outstanding achievement in rowing to three-time Olympic gold medallist, Marnie McBean of Toronto, Ont.
Tomorrow is the final day of the Worlds - with Canada in four finals - the men's and women's eights, and the lightweight men's pair and four.
Canadian Results (in order of racing) - Sept. 21/02 FISA World Rowing Championships - Seville, Spain
Lightweight women's single (final B) 1. GER 07:42.16 2. ROM 07:43.79 3. CAN 07:44.94 4. GRE 07:46.13 5. GBR 07:50.07 SUI dns
Men's pair (final B) 1. CAN 06:28.45 2. LTU 06:28.89 3. BRA 06:29.63 4. ARG 06:35.45 5. ITA 06:40.34 6. EGY 06:45.42
Women's double (final B) 1. LTU 06:51.74 2. USA 06:54.80 3. CAN 06:56.38 4. POL 07:04.46 5. ROM 07:19.47
Women's four (final A) 1. AUS 06:26.11 2. CAN 06:28.32 3. CHN 06:31.28 4. NZL 06:34.25 5. USA 06:35.29 6. GER 06:35.88
Women's pair (final A) 1. ROM 06:53.80 2. CAN 06:57.08 3. BLR 06:59.21 4. UKR 07:02.62 5. RSA 07:06.51 6. AUS 07:08.60
Full results can be found at www.worldrowing.com Canadian updates at http://www.rowingcanada.org/en/news/index.html --
Jackie Skender - Rowing Canada Aviron