In an extremely close race in Lucerne, Switzerland on Sunday, Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee took gold in the lightweight women’s double sculls.
At World Rowing Cup II (the second of such events this season), Jennerich and Obee stayed close to a tight field that included the world champions Sophie Mackenzie and Julia Edward of New Zealand.
The gold medal winners from the previous world cup race in April – Wenyi Huang and Feihong Pan of China – were the early leaders on Sunday, until the South African boat with Kirstin McCann and Ursula Gobler went ahead in the second half of the race with New Zealand closely behind.
Despite these powerhouse boats ahead of them, Jennerich and Obee pushed hard into the final quarter of the race and created clear daylight between themselves and the field clocking in at seven minutes and 10.400 seconds, ahead of South Africa (7:11.470) and New Zealand (7:11.600).
Jennerich and Obee had just missed the podium at the world championships last year finishing in fourth place. At Rowing World Cup I last month in Varese, Italy they were fifth, showing a level of consistency – and now a clear breakthrough – heading into the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.
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This was Canada’s only medal in Lucerne, with two other women’s boats – eight and single sculls – crossing the line in fourth and fifth places respectively on Sunday.
The final world cup of the season will be held in Poznan, Poland in late June, though reportedly, some of the top Olympic competitors are calling Lucerne their final major competition venue ahead of Rio.