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Canada races to women’s eight bronze at world rowing championships

Canada’s women’s eight rowing team continued its medal-winning ways at the world championships on Sunday.

After following their Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold with a World Cup silver in July, the Canadian crew added a bronze medal in Racice, Czech Republic.

Alexis Cronk, Kirsten Edwards, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Sydney Payne, Morgan Rosts, Jessica Sevick, Gabrielle Smith, Avalon Wasteneys and coxswain Kristen Kit finished in six minutes 7.51 seconds.

“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,” Payne said. “We went for it and here we are, bronze!” 

The bronze performance was 6.37 seconds slower than victorious Romania, which concluded sixth in Tokyo. The Dutch crew was second on Sunday in 6:05.04.

Canada edged the fourth-place Americans by 2.29 seconds to secure a place on the podium after finishing behind the U.S. in a preliminary race on Tuesday.

Coming in as Olympic champions didn’t serve as a distraction for the team, said Kit. 

“We didn’t feel any pressure as it is always a new story,” said the coxswain. “We just started this new story today in lead up to Paris 2024. For us, this is brand new.”

Earlier Sunday, the Canadian men’s eight team concluded fifth in its event. Great Britain struck gold, with the Netherlands and Australia rounding out the podium.

Canada’s team included Curtis Ames, Terek Been, Jakub Buczek, Will Crothers, Ryan Clegg, Luke Gadsdon, Josh King, Peter Lancashire and coxswain Laura Court.

“All in all it was a good race week for us,” Crothers said.

“It was 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.”

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