There’s good news from Switzerland!
Canada will send seven boats to the start line of the Olympic rowing competition in Rio following a successful effort by the men’s quad sculls at the final qualification regatta in Lucerne on Tuesday.
After earning Olympic berths in six events at the world championships last September, Rowing Canada sent the crew of Julien Bahain, Will Dean, Rob Gibson and Pascal Lussier to secure one more spot with a top-two result. They did just that, running second to Russia from start to finish and finishing in 5:42.88, three-quarters of a second back but well ahead of third place New Zealand.
“We’ve been training a year for this race,” Lussier told World Rowing. “We are really happy to go. It is a big stress off of our backs. We will now take a couple days rest, then compete here at the World Cup before we head home to Canada to prepare for the Olympics.”
Bahain, Dean and Gibson had all been in the boat that finished 11th at the worlds and missed out on one of the eight Olympic spots available there. Lussier was switched in for Matthew Buie, who had helped the crew win gold at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
The quad sculls joins the previously qualified men’s boats in the four and lightweight four events as well as four women’s boats – single sculls, lightweight double sculls, pair, eight. Those crews will all compete at the second World Rowing Cup of the season, also in Lucerne, starting on Friday. It will be Canada’s final international competition prior to Rio 2016, for which the team will be announced on June 28.
The Olympic rowing competition will be held August 6-13 at the Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in the Copacabana zone of Rio (video below, must be logged in to Facebook to view).