Saturday July 24, 2021 – Tokyo, Japan
The Olympic cauldron has been lit, and Canada has completed heat racing at Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway after a busy day on the water that saw three more Canadian boats progress to A/B semifinals.
For the second day in a row, Canada opened racing with a win, with Caileigh Filmer (University of Victoria) and Hillary Janssens (University of British Columbia) crossing the finish line first in heat one of the women’s pair. Despite pressure from the Romanian and Italian crews, Filmer and Janssens held the lead for the entire race, finishing with a time of 7:18.34. Next up for the 2018 World Champions is the A/B semifinals, which are scheduled for Tuesday July 27 Japan Standard Time (Monday July 26 Pacific Time/Eastern Time).
“I think a strength of our partnership is our work ethic, and we just work as hard as we can every single day. I think that together we push each other and hold ourselves to the highest standards,” said Filmer. “We just have to trust that what we do in our training is going to result in us being able to reach our goals. I think that we just trusted each other and trusted our coaches and our program and I think clearly our program has been doing well across the board. It’s just really exciting to be here.”
“Our federation has paved the way for us by doing all the hard work to get us here,” said Janssens. “We have simple jobs. Come out here and row fast.”
In heat three of the men’s pair competition, Kai Langerfeld (University of Victoria) and Conlin McCabe (Brockville Rowing Club) secured a spot in the A/B semifinals with a third place finish. The pair finished behind Denmark and Croatia with a time of 6:40.99 and will race again on Tuesday July 27 Japan Standard Time (Monday July 26 Pacific Time/Eastern Time).
“We’ve been training for this for the past five years, so it is exciting to be out there racing,” said McCabe. While impending weather has altered the race schedule slightly, McCabe and Langerfeld are confident in their adaptability. “It’s an outdoor sport so we are used to these changes. Back home we deal with all sorts of weather, so this doesn’t faze us.”
Making their Olympic debut, Canada’s lightweight women’s double of Jennifer Casson (Kingston Rowing Club) and Jill Moffatt (Western University) battled with Japan for the second of two lucrative A/B semifinal spots available from their heat. Casson and Moffatt were successful, finishing second (7:11.30) behind the Netherlands, and will next race on Tuesday July 27 Japan Standard Time (Monday July 26 Pacific Time/Eastern Time).
The third lightweight men’s double heat featured a nail-biting race for second place between Belgium, Spain and Canada’s Patrick Keane (Victoria City Rowing Club/University of Victoria) and Maxwell Lattimer (University of British Columbia). The three crews were neck-in-neck all the way through to the finish line, where Keane and Lattimer crossed in third place (6:27.54) just 1.03 seconds behind Belgium. Canada will get a second shot at making the A/B semifinal in the repechage on Sunday July 25 Japan Standard Time (Saturday July 24 Pacific Time/Eastern Time).
Canada’s women’s four and men’s four crews will also race in repechages tomorrow. Tokyo 2020 marks the first time the women’s four has been contested at the Olympics since 1992, and the competition was tight. After the Dutch took a comfortable lead, Canada surpassed Great Britain, but was unable to catch up to China, finishing in third place (6:40.07). The men’s four finished fifth in their heat with a time of 6:05.47.
“It certainly wasn’t quite what we wanted for our first race, but we are looking forward to racing again tomorrow,” said Gavin Stone (Island Lake Rowing Club/Queen’s University) of the men’s four. “It is the first Olympic Games for three of us. We are leaning on the expertise of three-time Olympian Will Crothers and all rallying around that. We have been visualizing this moment for the past two years. Lining up against the best in the world is amazing.”
Heat one of the women’s eight competition was one of the top races of the day, with the first place spot being a toss up between Canada, China and New Zealand with 500 metres to go. Canada pushed hard to edge in front of China, finishing in second (6:07.97) just 0.3 seconds behind New Zealand, the reigning World Champions. The women’s eight will race in the repechage on Wednesday July 28 Japan Standard Time (Tuesday July 27 Pacific Time/Eastern Time).
“We’re just really proud to represent Canada,” said coxswain Kristen Kit (University of British Columbia/St. Catharines Rowing Club). “We’re really excited to show Canada what we’re made of.”
Due to anticipated adverse weather, the race schedule for Saturday July 24, Sunday July 25 and Monday July 26 has been changed. No racing will take place on Monday July 26 Japan Standard Time (Sunday July 25 Pacific Time/Eastern Time). An up to date schedule can be found here.
Team Canada Results and Progressions
Men’s Single – Trevor Jones
1st in Heat > Quarterfinal
Women’s Single – Carling Zeeman
2nd in Heat > Quarterfinal
Women’s Double – Jessica Sevick & Gabrielle Smith
2nd in Heat > A/B Semifinal
Women’s Pair – Caileigh Filmer & Hillary Janssens
1st in Heat > A/B Semifinal
Men’s Pair – Kai Langerfeld & Conlin McCabe
3rd in Heat > A/B Semifinal
Lightweight Women’s Double – Jennifer Casson & Jill Moffatt
2nd in Heat > A/B Semifinal
Lightweight Men’s Double – Patrick Keane & Maxwell Lattimer
3rd in Heat > Repechage
Women’s Four – Stephanie Grauer, Nicole Hare, Jennifer Martins & Kristina Walker
3rd in Heat > Repechage
Men’s Four – Jakub Buczek, Will Crothers, Luke Gadsdon & Gavin Stone
5th in Heat > Repechage
Women’s Eight – Susanne Grainger, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Kristen Kit, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Andrea Proske, Lisa Roman, Christine Roper & Avalon Wasteneys
2nd in Heat > Repechage
More information on the Tokyo 2020 regatta and the 10 Canadian crews competing can be found here.
Join the conversation @rowingcanada: #tokyo2020 #rowingcanada #truenorthstrong #teamcanada
For more information:
Colleen Coderre (Tokyo based)
RCA Communications Lead
Liz Montroy (Canada based)
RCA Communications and Events Coordinator