Bronze for Canada
Canada claimed bronze in the women’s eight on Sunday in Račice at the World Rowing Championships.
The women’s eight continue their podium streak, capturing the bronze medal in the penultimate race of the World Championships, clocking 6:07.59. Romania captured the gold medal with a time of 6:01.14, with the Netherlands grabbing the silver in 6:05.04.
“We went out and we wanted to have a race that we would have no regrets and could be proud of every stroke and I think we did that,” said Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Sydney Payne. “We went for it and here we are, bronze!”
The Canadian crew progressed smoothly through their preliminary race on Tuesday, finishing second (6:12.72) behind the United States (6:10.91). Three members of the crew (Avalon Wasteneys, Sydney Payne, and coxswain Kristen Kit) have won three medals in the eight in the last year: Olympic gold, World Cup silver, and now World Championship bronze. This regatta also marked Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski’s return to international competition following Tokyo.
“We didn’t feel any pressure [as Olympic champions] as it is always a new story,” said coxswain Kristen Kit. “We just started this new story today in lead up to Paris 2024. For us, this is brand new.”
The men’s eight finished fifth in the world, surprising its competitors with a remarkable sprint finish to win Tuesday’s heat and advance straight to the A final.
“All in all it was a good race week for us,” said Will Crothers. “It was a really nice, in the heat, to make it straight to the A final and I think there are a lot of lessons learned that are quite close to the surface for us that we will be digesting all the way back to Canada. It’s been a really long time since Canada has raced in a men’s eight final with a target on its back at World Championships, so that part of it is certainly exciting.”
The Canadian crew just recently formed in May and has been making significant strides under the leadership of coach Maksym Kepskyy.
“For me personally, I had a moment during that heat, when athletes are completely in the zone and that moment was a really cool experience, something that has only happened to me once before,” said coxswain, Laura Court. “I am really proud to be working with these guys and have the moments both in and out of rowing that we’ve had thus far.”
Canadians contesting the B finals included the lightweight women’s double (first in the B final, seventh overall), men’s single (fourth in the B final, tenth overall), and the men’s double, women’s double and women’s pair (fifth in the B final, eleventh overall).
More information on the 2022 World Rowing Championships can be found here.
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