Eight gold regatta for Canada at Pan Am Games
The Toronto 2015 Pan American Games regatta came to a close after fifteen A-finals held over three days at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta course in St. Catharines, Canada.
Host nation Canada garnered eight gold, one silver and two bronze to top the medal chart ahead of the United States (two gold, five silver, two bronze) and Cuba (two gold, three silver, two bronze). Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil also boated crews with podium finishes making this a truly Pan American event.
Some tight races delighted fans in the overflowing grandstands. Strong performances from Latin American crews made for some very exciting racing including an incredible gold medal tie in the men’s pair for Argentina and Chile.
Star performances came from the likes of Cuba’s Angel Fournier Rodriguez, who raced in four different events and earned three medals in as many days. First came gold in the men’s double sculls, then silver in the men’s quadruple sculls, followed by gold in the men’s single sculls and fourth in the men’s eight.
“I feel the competition went very well,” said Fournier following racing on the final day. “I gave everything in every stroke each race. I was also very happy with the results for Cuba and with the organisation of the regatta here in Canada.”
When asked about his favourite race, Fournier had no hesitation in answering. “Definitely the quad was the best race. We didn’t win it, but we fought to the end and it was a very close race with one of the top Canadian crews.”
Fournier also raced in the eight and admitted his sweep rowing was not his strong suit. “In Cuba sometimes I jump into the eight during training with the other guys for fun. It isn’t my best discipline, but I’m comfortable in the eight.”
As for the upcoming World Rowing Championships and looking ahead to Rio, Fournier is optimistic. “I am feeling very confident. I am going back to Europe in August for a camp in Italy before the World Championships. I feel I’m very close and have been racing the top guys all year and I am ready to face them. It will be a very good competition.”
Jean-Christophe Rolland, President of the World Rowing Federation, FISA, was on site during the finals and was pleased with the event. “Being part of a multi-sport event like the Pan American Games is really important for our sport,” said Rolland. “The Games have gone very well with good racing and good organisation. Team Canada had many impressive performances and it was excellent to see the South and Central American countries performing really well. It is really important to see countries across the region improving their level and standing on the podium.”
Women’s Pair (W2-) – Final
The American crew of Emily Huelskamp and Molly Bruggeman were dominant in this event, leading from start to finish to cross the line a few lengths ahead of Melita and Antonia Abraham (CHI) and Rosie Deboef and Kristin Bauder (CAN), who took silver and bronze respectively. With a World Rowing Championship gold in 2013 in the US women’s four (Huelskamp) and Under23 World Rowing Championship gold in 2014 in the US under 23 women's eight (Bruggeman), each brought a short, but successful background to this new combination.
Results: USA, CHI, CAN, ARG, CUB, NCA
Women’s Double Sculls (W2x) – Final
Canadian’s Kerry Shaffer and Antje Von Seydlitz only just captured gold following a fumble in the third 500m of the race that saw them fall from first to fourth. A final sprint to the line that saw them pull back into first ahead of Nicole Ritchie and Lindsey Meyer (USA) , who took silver, and Aimee Hernandez and Yariulvis Cobas (CUB), who finished with bronze. Shaffer and Von Seydlitz are new this season to the double sculls and race together to 11th place at World Rowing Cup III in Varesa, Italy this June.
Results: CAN, USA, CUB, ARG, CHI, BRA
Men’s Double Sculls (M2x) – Final
Despite a slow first 500m, Cuba’s Eduardo Rubio and Angel Fournier moved into first place in the second quarter of the race. The Cubans strengthened their lead with a powerful middle section, which allowed them to maintain their position ahead of a final charge from Rodrigo Murillo and Critian Rosso (ARG). The Argentine crew took silver, while Pascal Lussier and Matthew Buie (CAN) were close behind in bronze medal position.
Results: CUB, ARG, CAN, USA, PER, MEX
Men’s Fours (M4-) – Final
Canada's Will Crothers, Tim Schrijver, Kai Langerfeld and Conlin McCabe found themselves bow to bow with Argentina in the first quarter of the race, gaining an advantage in the second quarter and never looking back. With Canada in a clear gold medal position, the race for silver heated up with Argentina holding on to their lead over the United States. Something unexpected seems to have happened in the final 500m as Cuba hammered things into high gear and surged past the United States and then Argentina to clinch silver.
Results: CAN, CUB, ARG, USA, BRA
Women’s Single Sculls (W1x) – Final
Canada’s Carling Zeeman was dominant throughout the race, finishing in first place in front of a home crowd. Zeeman moved steadily away from the field for the first three quarters of the race, nearly doubling her lead over Katherine McFetridge (USA) with each passing 500m. McFetridge, came back from a slow first 500m and moved from fourth up to second place, managing to take back a length from Zeeman’s lead in the final few hundred metres. Soraya Jague took the bronze.
Results: CAN, USA, CHI, CUB, ARG, PAR
Lightweight Double Sculls (LW2x) – Final
Liz Fenje and Katherine Sauks (CAN) led the entire race to take gold in the women’s lightweight double sculls. Yinslena Hernandez and Licet Hernandez (CUB) were particularly strong between 1000m and 1500m, but could not catch the Canadians. The race for bronze seemed uneventful with Argentina in a strong third place position coming through the 1500m, but Sarah Giancola and Victoria Burke (USA) charged through the Argentine crew in the last quarter of the race to take bronze.
Results: CAN, CUB, USA, ARG, BRA, MEX
Lightweight Men's Double Sculls (LM2x) – Final
Alan Armenta and Lexis Lopez (MEX) fought it out with the Colin Ethridge and Austin Meyer (USA) the entire way down the course. First it was Armenta and Lopez in the lead, then Ethridge and Meyer, then Armenta and Lopez again regained the top spot in the third quarter and slowly pushed the US crew back stroke by stroke, holding on to gold. Raul Hernandez and Liosbel Hernandez (CUB) took bronze.
Results: MEX, USA, CUB, CHI, CAN, URU
Men’s Pair (M2-) – Final
In what was perhaps the most exciting finish yet of this Pan American Games, Axel Haack and Diego Lopez (ARG) surged in the final moments to cross the line bow to bow with Felipe Leal and Oscar Vasquez (CHI) in an incredible photo finish. Both crews posted a time of 6:27.77 and climbed the podium as joint Pan American gold medalists. Despite an early US lead in the first 500m, it was clear that Chile and Argentina were the dominant players as they crossed the first time check with the identical time of 1:34.55 and continued their duel that carried them into the lead by half way. Leal and Vasquez were able to edge ahead for a half-boat advantage during the middle 1000m stretch, while Argentina gambled everything on their final mad dash to the line. Diego Sanchez and Leopldo Tejeda (MEX) took home the bronze medal while another amazing race took place between Brazil, Canada, and the United States, who crossed the line in 6:38.96, 6:38.99 and 6:39.77 respectively.
Results: ARG, CHI, MEX, BRA, CAN, USA
Men’s Quadruple Sculls (M4x) – Final
Much excitement and anticipation surrounded this event heading into the final. Canada, the home favourites, lined up beside the powerful Cuban crew that included Angel Fournier and Eduardo Rubio.
The Canadian crew of Matthew Buie, Julien Bahain, Will Dean and Rob Gibson pulled out to an early lead and continued to push away from the Cubans, who began to turn the tide in third 500m. Fournier and Rubio along with team mates Orlando Sotolongo and Adrian Oquendo posted the fastest second half of the race, but had given away too much water to the Canadians earlier on, crossing the finish line 2.17 seconds back in silver position. Argentina’s Brian Rosso, Osbaldo Suarez, Rodrigo Murillo and Cristian Rosso earned bronze.
Results: CAN, CUB, ARG, MEX, USA, GUA
Men’s Single Sculls – Final
As expected, Angel Fournier (CUB) was out in front early on and he just kept going to take the gold. Rob Gibson (CAN) finished in a safe second place for silver while Brian Rosso (ARG) snatched bronze away from Yohann Rigogne (USA) in the final stretch.
Results: CUB, CAN, ARG, USA, MEX, GUA
Men’s Lightweight Four – Final
Maxwell Lattimer, Brendan Hodge, Nicolas Pratt and Eric Woelfl (CAN) led this race from start to finish and claimed gold ahead of the United States and Chile, who went home with silver and bronze respectively.
Results: CAN, USA, CHI, ARG, MEX
Lightweight Women's Single Sculls – Final
Mary Jones (USA) finished with the gold, but this result was far from certain early on in the race. Jones found herself in fifth place at the first 500m check point and well behind a dominant Kenia Lechuga (MEX), who had taken a significant lead, but was unable to hold on through the third quarter. Lechuga fell into fourth place as Jones, Fabiana Beltrame (BRA), and Lucia Palermo (ARG) applied the pressure and crossed the line in that order for gold, silver and bronze.
Results: USA, BRA, ARG, MEX, CAN, CUB
Women’s Quadruple Sculls – Final
The Canadian as the crew of Kate Goodfellow, Karry Shafer, Carling Zeeman and Antje Von Seydlitz steadily opened up a significant lead over the United States and Argentina, who finished with silver and bronze respectively. Argentina has moved into silver position by the half way point, but the US were able to take back that spot and held it to the line.
Results: CAN, USA, ARG, CUB, CHI, BRA
Men’s Eight – Final
Canada was the favourite crew in this event from the start and commanded the race through each 500m time check. This crew of Mike Evans, Will Dean, Julien Bahain, Martin Barakso, Tim Schrijver, Conlin McCabe, Kai Langerfeld, Will Crothers and coxswain Jacob Koudys finished a length up on Argentina, who had been battling with the United States through the middle of the race for silver. The Argentine crew finally pulled away in the final quarter to claim the silver, while the American’s took bronze. Cuba’s eight with sculler Angel Fournier in his second final of the day had a strong race, and finished within the US boat with open water on Brazil, who finished fifth.
Results: CAN, ARG, USA, CUB, BRA
Full results can be found on the official site of the Pan American Games http://results.toronto2015.ets.net/IRS/en/rowing/schedule-and-results.htm