Under the scorching Bulgarian sun, the 2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships witnessed a display of remarkable talent and determination from the Canadian rowing team. Amidst fierce competition and challenging conditions, the Canadian contingent showcased their potential, securing three well-deserved bronze medals in thrilling A Finals.
In an intense A Final of the Women’s Lightweight Single, Karissa Riley displayed exceptional skill and determination, earning her first international medal – a bronze. Battling fiercely with Elis Ozbay from Turkey and Ilaria Corazza from Italy throughout the first 1000m, the trio created a gap from the rest of the field. In a tight battle for the medals, Riley narrowly missed the silver to the Italian rower in the final 500m, securing a remarkable bronze for Canada.
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In one of the most dramatic finishes of the regatta, the Canadian Women’s Eight secured a bronze medal by the slimmest of margins – edging out the British Women’s Eight by a mere 0.06 of a second. Executing a patient race plan, the Canadian crew found themselves in fifth place after the initial 500m. However, they steadily gained momentum, chasing down their competitors and launching a powerful surge in the final 500m to claim the coveted bronze on the podium.
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The Men’s Lightweight Quad (Giancarlo DiPompeo, Emerson Crick, Lucas Celia, and Connor Dodds) displayed their potential and class by securing bronze in the A Final on Saturday. This remarkable achievement marked the first international medals for the promising rowers. Employing a controlled approach in the last 1000m, the Quad held their ground and clinched the final step on the podium, behind the Italian and German boats.
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In a spirited race, the Canadian Women’s Four (Emma Seawright, Maya Meschkuleit, Leia Till, and Abby Dent) put up an impressive fight, finishing in fifth place in the A Final. After a dominant performance in the heats, they showcased their strength as a team. However, it was the Polish crew that surprised everyone by securing gold by launching to a commanding lead at the 1000m mark and daring the opposing crews to chase them down. Under the blazing sun, no crew could as the Poles took gold.
In the B Finals held on Sunday, the Men’s Four (Julian Black, Julien Wiese, Aidan Hembruff, and Axel Ewashko) secured a second-place finish, earning them an overall eighth position in the regatta. Their performance concluded a whirlwind tour, as the four athletes had also competed at World Cup III in Lucerne, Switzerland, in the weeks leading up to the Under 23 Championships. Meanwhile, Stephen Harris claimed third place in the B Final and an overall ninth position.
During Saturday’s events, the Women’s Pair (Sally Jones and Rachel Weber) demonstrated their strength and determination, securing a convincing six-second victory in the B Final. It was bittersweet after missing out on progressing to the A Final by a slim margin in the repechage, the pair responded with an exceptional performance in the B Final. In the Men’s Pair B Final, Bob Bryden and Michael Keane competed valiantly finishing in fifth place and claiming an overall 11th position against a highly competitive field of boats.
Earlier on Saturday, the Canadian Men’s Double, represented by Andrew Hubbard and Michael Ciepiela, finished in fourth position in the C Final and securing an overall 16th place in the regatta.
Rowing Canada Aviron extends heartfelt congratulations to all the team members, their coaches, families, and their local rowing clubs, where they began their journey in the sport for their efforts at the 2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
2023 World Rowing Under 23 Championships – Canadian Team Results:
Women’s Lightweight Single (BLW1x) – Bronze
Karissa Riley (Calgary Rowing Club / University of Western Ontario / Alberta)
Men’s Lightweight Quad (BLM4x) – Bronze
Giancarlo DiPompeo (St. Catharines Rowing Club / University of Victoria / Ontario)
Emerson Crick (Halifax Rowing Club / University of British Columbia / Nova Scotia)
Lucas Celia (Kingston Rowing Club / Queen’s University / Ontario)
Connor Dodds (Regina Rowing Club / Brock University / Saskatchewan)
Women’s Eight (BW8+) – Bronze
Lyndsey Bryden (University of British Columbia / BC)
Claire Ellison (Kingston Rowing Club / Queen’s University / Nova Scotia)
Parker Illingworth (Montreal Rowing Club / University of Texas)
Mira Calder (Victoria City Rowing Club / University or Washington / BC)
Ellie Sousa (Victoria City Rowing Club / University of Victoria / BC)
Lucy Black (Four Bridges Rowing Club / Stanford University / New Brunswick)
Fiona Elliott (London Western Rowing Club / Washington State University / Ontario)
Jana Peachey (North Star Rowing Club/ University of Michigan / Nova Scotia)
Jack Pankratz (c) (Argonaut Rowing Club/ University of Toronto / Ontario)
Women’s Four (BW4-) – 5th in A Final
Emma Seawright (Don Rowing Club / University of Tennessee / Ontario)
Maya Meschkuleit (Don Rowing Club / Yale University / Ontario)
Leia Till (Brockville Rowing Club / University of Virginia / Ontario)
Abby Dent (Kenora Rowing Club / University of Michigan / Manitoba)
Women’s Pair (BW2-) – 1st in B Final – 7th Overall
Sally Jones (Victoria City Rowing Club / University of British Columbia / BC)
Rachel Weber (Ottawa Rowing Club / University of Western Ontario / Ontario)
Men’s Four (BM4-) – 2nd in B Final – 8th Overall
Julian Black (University of British Columbia / BC)
Julien Wiese (University of British Columbia / BC)
Aidan Hembruff (Ottawa Rowing Club / University of Western Ontario / Ontario)
Axel Ewashko (University of British Columbia / Alberta)
Men’s Lightweight Single (BLM1x) – 3rd in B Final – 9th Overall
Stephen Harris (Guelph Rowing Club / Brock University / Ontario)
Men’s Pair (BM2-) – 5th in B Final – 11th Overall
Michael Keane (Victoria City Rowing Club / University of British Columbia / BC)
Bob Bryden (Kingston Rowing Club / Queen’s University / Alberta)
Men’s Double (BM2x) – 4th in C Final – 16th Overall
Andrew Hubbard (Calgary Rowing Club / Queen’s University / Alberta)
Michael Ciepiela (Brock University / Ontario)