Canada and United States qualify all boat classes at Pan Am Games
Flat water and another clear day made for good racing on the second day of the Pan American Games regatta in St. Catharines, Canada. Host nation Canada along with the United States have both advanced crews through in every event with the conclusion of the heats and repechage races.
Finals will be held over three days begin Monday and run through to Wednesday making for a somewhat relaxed regatta schedule. With many athletes racing in multiple events, however, the schedule is well warranted..
Lightweight Men's Four (LM4-) – Heats and repechages
Argentina became the first nation of the day to advance to the A-final. Alejandro Colomino, Nicolai Fernandez, Carlo Lauro and Pablo Aguirre finished well ahead of second place Cuba, who along with Mexico and Brazil moved into the repechage for another shot to advance. This Argentine crew without Fernandez had placed 16th at World Rowing Cup II in Varese (ITA) in June.
Heat two went to the United States with rowers Robin Prendes, Peter Gibson, Andrew Weiland and Matthew O’Donoghue crossing the line first in front of Canada and Chile to automatically advance to the A-final. Prendes was a member of the US lightweight men’s crew that finished 8th at the London 2012 Olympic Games and more recently 10th at the 2014 World Rowing Championships. Weiland and Gibson were the stroke pair of the US lightweight men’s eight that finished 5th at the 2014 World Rowing Championships. O’Donoghue most recently raced in the US lightweight men’s four that placed 7th in the 2014 World Rowing Under23 Championships.
For the repechage, Canada led from start to finish and crossed the line first. This crew of Maxwell Lattimer, Brendan Hodge, Nicolas Pratt and Eric Woelfl had raced to a 10th place finish at World Cup III in Varese and without Pratt had placed 13th at the 2014 World Rowing Championships. Mexico’s Klaus Rasmussen, Hugo Carpio, Jose Arriaga and Omar Lopez advanced in second place. Arriaga and Lopez raced together in the men’s pair at the 2014 World Rowing Championships where they placed 14th. Carpio also has recent international experience as a member of the lightweight men’s quad that finished 8th at the 2014 World Rowing Championships.
Chile advanced to the A-final after finishing third, with their crew of Andres Oyarzun, Luis Saumann Salas, Felipe Cargenas and Bernardo Guerrero and Cuba was the remaining boat to qualify.
Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Heats and repechage
Canada’s Carling Zeeman is the clear favourite. She finished first in the second heat several boat lengths ahead of Soraya Jadue of Chile. Zeeman has recently been an integral component of the Canadian quadruple sculls and recently moved into the single placing 4th at World Cup II in Varese. Katherine McFetridge of the United States won the other heat and will line up beside Zeeman in what will be her first major international final.
The repechage was a close race with Jadue crossing first and Paraguay’s Alejandra Alonso and Cuba’s Yariulvis Cobas very close to one another in second and third while Argentina secured the final A-final slot.
Men’s Pair (M2-) – Heats and repechage
Chile’s Felipe Leal and Oscar Vasquez won the first heat. This duo have been together since 2013 and raced to 17th in the men’s pair at the 2014 World Rowing Championships and earlier this year they finished 4th at World Cup I in Bled (SLO). Heat Two went to Mexico’s Diego Sanchez and Leopoldo Tejeda, who finished ahead of Brazil and Cuba to qualify for the A-final. Sanchez and Tejeda won silver in the 2014 American and Caribbean Games in this event.
Mike Evans and Martin Barakso of Canada won the repechage to advance to the A-final along with Vinivios Delazeri and Victor Ruzicki Pereira of Brazil, Matthew Mahon and Brendan Harrington (USA) and Axel Haack and Diego Lopez (ARG). This is the first major international event in a Canadian crew for Evens, who holds dual nationality with Great Britain and has raced in the British eight winning bronze at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 World Rowing Under23 Championships. Barakso was a member of the Canadian men’s four that won gold at the 2014 World Rowing Under23 Championships.
Lightweight Women's Single Sculls (LW1x) – Heats and repechage
Fabiana Beltrame garnered Brazil’s only first place finish of the weekend, winning the first heat of the lightweight women’s single by nearly 20 seconds. With three Olympic Games under her belt, Beltrame has the experience required to win this event. Recent success this season at World Rowing Cup I where she won gold and World Rowing Cup II where she earned silver also indicate her speed. Lucia Palermo of Argentina advanced to the A-final from second position. Palermo is a two-time Olympian.
Mary Jones of the United States crossed the line first in the second heat. Jones placed 7th at the 2014 World Rowing Championships as part of the lightweight women's quadruple sculls. Mexico’s Kenia Lechuga advanced by finishing second. Lechuga placed 16th in this event at the 2013 World Rowing Under 23 Championships.
Canadian Liz Fenje won the repechage by a significant margin ahead of Cuba’s Yislena Hernandez and both will race in the A-final.
Men’s Quadruple Sculls (M4x), Women’s Quadruple Sculls (W4x), Men's Eight (M8+) – Race for lanes
Both men’s and women’s quadruple sculls boat classes were races for lanes with six crews in each event. The Canadians, Matt Buie, Julien Bahain, Will Dean and Rob Gibson (M4x) and Kate Goodfellow, Karry Shafer, Carling Zimmerman and Antje von Seydlitz (W4x) were dominant in both races.
The Cuban’s were closest to the Canadian men with the US sprinting in the final 500m of the race to finish 0.5 seconds ahead of Mexico.
In the women’s quadruple sculls, the United Sates finished second and will likely be the main competition for the Canadians in the A-final. Cuba, Brazil, Chile and Argentina finished in a group indicating that there will be quite a battle for who will stand on the podium in the final.
In the men’s eight the United States and Canadian crews pushed one another through the first half of the race. Both were well ahead of the rest of the field and when Canada edged ahead in the third quarter of the race, the US fell back, looking like they were content to give Canada first.
Brazil, Argentina and Cuba finished in that order. Following a substitution, the Cuban crew included their star athlete, Angel Fournier Rodriguez, who will now be racing in four events throughout the Pan Am Games regatta.
Follow results live online on the official Pan American Games web page http://results.toronto2015.ets.net/IRS/en/rowing/