BELGRADE, SERBIA — Team Canada has qualified its second boat class for the Paris 2024 Olympics, after the Women’s Coxed Eight held on in the A Final to claim the fifth and final automatic qualification slot for the Games next year.
The final race was a true nail-biter, with all six crews fiercely battling, separated by a mere two seconds as they passed the 1000m mark. The Canadian crew initially held the third position, pursuing the leading Romanian and Australian crews. However, a powerful surge from the United States crew during the third 500 meters upset the field, pushing the Canadians to fight tooth and nail to retain the precious final qualification spot.
While the outcome may not have entirely matched the team’s initial aspirations, coxswain Kristen Kit (University of British Columbia / St. Catharines Rowing Club) believes that Olympic qualification is a well-deserved reward for the crew and their dedicated support networks.
“Really proud of our crew, we stepped up each race and I think today was another step. Just really grateful and honoured to be in a boat that just qualified this boat class for the Olympic Games,” Kit said. “This group of women is just such a treat to be with and such an honour to compete with. I have a lot of gratitude for them, but also for all the people that have helped us get the boat here and across the line.”
The condensed qualification period following the Tokyo Olympics has brought new challenges and new experiences for the Women’s Eight crew, which features four Tokyo gold medallists. But for Kit, these new experiences are an invaluable part of the process as attention turns to Paris.
“I am really proud of us for how much we have learned and that was a super competitive final. This was the first time this quadrennial, that we have brought a Women’s Eight to a World Rowing regatta and had to race in a heat, so even the learnings like that at this regatta have been huge,” Kit said. “Really proud of our crew in that final, it was super feisty final, our goal was to go out there and chase the win. We didn’t get the win. But it still feels like we won a little bit, because we did qualify the boat and we have next year. I feel very honoured.”
Earlier in the day, the Men’s Coxed Eight vented their frustrations with a blistering performance in the B Final, securing second place and ultimately ranking 8th overall at the Championships.
“The team camaraderie is the driving force behind the pursuit of their goals,” said coach Maksym Kepskyy, “ With their level of commitment and hunger for success, the Men’s Eight is poised to come back stronger and write a new chapter on their Olympic journey,”
The Women’s Double of Katie Clark (University of British Columbia) and Marilou Duvernay-Tardif (Knowlton Rowing Club) finished third in the C Final, concluding the regatta in 15th place overall in their category. Unfortunately, Men’s Single rower Trevor Jones was unable to compete in the D Final due to a medical withdrawal.
With two boat qualifications for the Paris 2024 Olympics, Canada adds the Women’s Eight boat class to the Women’s Lightweight Double boat class, which secured its spot earlier in the regatta by advancing to the A Final.
As the 2023 World Rowing Championships draw to a close in Belgrade, Serbia, the countdown begins to the last chance qualifiers for Paris qualification. The Final Qualification Regatta will take place in Lucerne, Switzerland, on 19 – 21 May 2024.
2023 World Rowing Championships – Canadian Team:
Women’s Lightweight Double Scull (LW2x) – 4th in A Final
*Boat class qualified for Paris 2024 Olympics
Jill Moffatt – Western University Rowing Club / Ontario
Jennifer Casson – Kingston Rowing Club / Ontario
Women’s Coxed Eight (W8+) – 5th in A Final
*Boat class qualified for Paris 2024 Olympics
Morgan Rosts – Ridley Graduate Boat Club / Ontario
Cassidy Deane – Kingston Rowing Club / British Columbia
Avalon Wasteneys – University of Victoria Rowing Club / British Columbia
Sydney Payne – Brentwood College Rowing Club / Ontario
Kirsten Edwards – University of Victoria Rowing Club / British Columbia
Alexis Cronk – University of Victoria Rowing Club / British Columbia
Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski – Club d’Aviron Knowlton / Alberta
Jessica Sevick – University of British Columbia / Calgary Rowing Club / Alberta
Kristen Kit (cox) – University of British Columbia / St. Catharines Rowing Club / Ontario
Men’s Coxed Eight (M8+) – 2nd in B Final (8th Overall)
Will Crothers – Kingston Rowing Club / Ontario
Jakub Buczek – St. Catharines Rowing Club / Ontario
Curtis Ames – Calgary Rowing Club / Alberta
Gavin Stone – Queen’s University Rowing Club / Island Lake Rowing Club / Ontario
Cody Bailey – London Western Rowing Club / Ontario
Liam Keane – Victoria City Rowing Club / British Columbia
Joel Cullen – University of British Columbia / University of Washington / British Columbia
Ryan Clegg – Western University Rowing Club / Ontario
Laura Court (cox) – St. Catharines Rowing Club / Ontario
Women’s Coxless Four (W4-) – 4th in B Final (10th Overall)
Rebecca Zimmerman – University of Victoria Rowing Club / Brockville Rowing Club / Ontario
Kristen Siermachesky – Brockville Rowing Club / BC NextGen Performance Centre / Ontario
Kristina Walker – Kingston Rowing Club / University of British Columbia Rowing Club / Ontario
Piper Battersby – Victoria City Rowing Club / University of Victoria Rowing Club / British Columbia
Women’s Quadruple Scull (W4x) – 4th in B Final (10th Overall)
Shannon Kennedy – London Western Rowing Club / Ontario
Grace VandenBroek – Peterborough Rowing Club / Trent University / Ontario
Carling Zeeman – Sudbury Rowing Club / Ontario
Elisa Bolinger – University of Western Ontario / Ontario
Women’s Double Scull (W2x) – 3rd in C Final (15th Overall)
Katie Clark – University of British Columbia Rowing Club / British Columbia
Marilou Duvernay-Tardif – Knowlton Rowing Club / Quebec
Men’s Quadruple Scull (M4x) – 5th in C Final (17th Overall)
Liam Smit – University of British Columbia Rowing Club / South Africa / British Columbia
Terek Been – Montreal Rowing Club / Quebec
Steven Rosts – Ridley Graduate Boat Club / Ontario
Daniel De Groot – St. Catharines Rowing Club / Ontario
Women’s Coxless Pair (W2-) – 6th in C Final (18th Overall)
Caileigh Filmer – University of Victoria Rowing Club / British Columbia
Maya Meschkuleit – Don Rowing Club / Ontario
Men’s Coxless Pair (M2-) – 3rd in D Final (21st Overall)
Josh King – Ottawa Rowing Club / Ontario
Luke Gadsdon – Leander Boat Club / Brock University / Ontario
Men’s Single Scull (M1x) – DNS in D Final – Medical Withdrawal
Trevor Jones – Peterborough Rowing Club / Ontario