Wednesday July 28, 2021 – Tokyo, Japan
Canada’s women’s double finished sixth overall and three more Canadian crews secured spots in A finals at Tokyo’s Sea Forest Waterway on Wednesday.
In the first A final of the Tokyo Olympics for Canada, the women’s double of Jessica Sevick (University of British Columbia/Calgary Rowing Club) and Gabrielle Smith (Club d’Aviron Knowlton) came in sixth with a time of 6:53.19. This was Sevick and Smith’s Olympic debut, and the first time Canada has competed in the women’s double Olympic event since 1996.
“I think overall we have a lot to be proud of and a lot to learn from it. I’m obviously super grateful for having Gabby and having the support of my family and my hometown with me,” said Sevick. “I’m super proud of us keeping fighting right to the end, and maybe it wasn’t enough today, but we didn’t stop, so we will carry that into the future.”
“It’s been a really fun and exciting ride,” said Smith. “I think I’m more proud of the years it took to get here. The struggles and the heartache and the late nights and early mornings, that’s what got us here, that’s what I’m proud of.”
Kai Langerfeld (University of Victoria) and Conlin McCabe (Brockville Rowing Club) will compete in the men’s pair A final after a riveting comeback to claim third (6:19.15) in their A/B semifinal. The Canadian pair was in fifth at the 1500 metre mark, but made a last minute push to edge in front of the Dutch and Italian crews.
“Right when we crossed the finish line we weren’t really sure if we got it,” said Langerfeld. “That was pretty surreal, and then emotions were at a high. We put the boat away and got on the bikes and then it sunk in for me, that was a pretty cool moment for me personally.”
“As we started to sprint, it just felt good,” said McCabe. “We knew we had gears to go, and we knew what was at stake and we were going to push for it.”
The second Canadian boat to progress to the A finals was the women’s pair of Caileigh Filmer (University of Victoria) and Hillary Janssens (University of British Columbia), who raced to a third place A/B semifinal finish (6:49.46). The women’s eight then booked their A final ticket by claiming second (5:53.73) in their repechage. Canadian records were broken by the men’s pair, women’s pair and women’s eight.
“We’ve done a lot of racing at home obviously over the past two years, but it’s different when you’re lining up next to the best eights in the world and it’s been really exciting,” said Christine Roper (Ottawa Rowing Club). “I think it reignites the passion of why we do what we do. Nothing can feel as special as lining up on the Olympic start line. I think we’re just all excited to be back out there and we’re eager for more.”
Canada’s lightweight men’s double will race in the B final following an eventful 2000 metres that saw difficult water conditions causing Norway’s crew to capsize. Patrick Keane (Victoria City Rowing Club/University of Victoria) and Maxwell Lattimer (University of British Columbia) came in fifth with a time of 6:18.29.
Jennifer Casson (Kingston Rowing Club) and Jill Moffatt (Western University) will represent Canada in the lightweight women’s double B final after posting a time of 7:00.82, sixth place in their A/B semifinal.
“We want to leave here with our heads held high, and I don’t think we had our best race by any means today,” said Moffatt. “We’re both obviously upset about it, wondering what just happened, and we don’t want to feel that way, and the best way not to feel that way is to do something about it. So we’re kind of excited to have another opportunity to go out there and enjoy ourselves and see what we can do.”
Canada also raced in two B finals on Wednesday. The men’s four gave a strong final effort in the last half of their race to surpass Switzerland and finish second (eighth overall) behind Poland with a time of 5:58.29.
“That was the best race of our regatta for sure. It is awesome to be able to put one down in the final that we can really walk away and be proud of,” said Will Crothers (Kingston Rowing Club). “We struggled to get our legs under us in the first two races, which put us on to a tough path, and put us into a place where we weren’t fighting for medals, but fighting for the performance of our lifetime so far. I’m just really happy to walk away from that with our heads held high, and be able to look each other in the eye knowing we laid it all out there.”
The women’s four B final featured a photo finish between Canada and Romania, with Canada taking fourth place (tenth overall) 0.01 seconds behind Romania.
Racing continues on Thursday July 29 Japan Standard Time (Wednesday July 28 Pacific Time/Eastern Time) with the men’s pair and women’s pair A finals, the lightweight men’s double and lightweight women’s double B finals, and the men’s single and women’s single A/B semifinals. The women’s eight A final will be contested on Friday July 30 Japan Standard Time (Thursday July 29 Pacific Time/Eastern Time).
Team Canada Results and Progressions
Men’s Single – Trevor Jones
1st in Heat > 2nd in Quarterfinal > A/B Semifinal
Women’s Single – Carling Zeeman
2nd in Heat > 2nd in Quarterfinal > A/B Semifinal
Women’s Double – Jessica Sevick & Gabrielle Smith
2nd in Heat > 2nd in A/B Semifinal > 6th in A Final > 6th Place
Women’s Pair – Caileigh Filmer & Hillary Janssens
1st in Heat > 3rd in A/B Semifinal > A Final
Men’s Pair – Kai Langerfeld & Conlin McCabe
3rd in Heat > 3rd in A/B Semifinal > A Final
Lightweight Women’s Double – Jennifer Casson & Jill Moffatt
2nd in Heat > 6th in A/B Semifinal > B Final
Lightweight Men’s Double – Patrick Keane & Maxwell Lattimer
3rd in Heat > 2nd in Repechage > 5th in A/B Semifinal > B Final
Women’s Four – Stephanie Grauer, Nicole Hare, Jennifer Martins & Kristina Walker
3rd in Heat > 4th in Repechage > 4th in B Final > 10th Place
Men’s Four – Jakub Buczek, Will Crothers, Luke Gadsdon & Gavin Stone
5th in Heat > 4th in Repechage > 2nd in B Final > 8th Place
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 > 2nd in Repechage > A Final
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