A day after rain and wind postponed all races, three Canadian boats advanced to rowing A finals on Thursday morning.
First up at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas was Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee in the women’s lightweight double sculls, who were looking for a much better result than their B final appearance at London 2012. While the Dutch crew led their semifinal from start to finish, the Canadians battled back and forth with a crew from Ireland before taking second place, 2.42 seconds behind the Netherlands.
They were followed shortly after by the men’s four. Canada’s semi included Great Britain, which has won gold at each of the last four Games and for whom the four is their priority boat. While the Brits went out strongly and established an open-water lead, the Canadian crew of Will Crothers, Tim Schrijver, Conlin McCabe and Kai Langerfeld found themselves holding off the Netherlands for second place. Crothers and McCabe moved into the smaller boat after winning silver with the eight at London 2012.
“We’re satisfied that we got the job done, but not happy with the back end of the race,” said Langerfeld.
Looking ahead to the final he noted: “We have to keep our composure, sit up strong and do what we do best.”
Also moving on was the women’s eight (Cristy Nurse, Lisa Roman, Antje von Seydlitz, Christine Roper, Lauren Wilkinson, Susanne Grainger, Natalie Mastracci, Caileigh Filmer, Lesley Thompson-Willie). That crew had to compete in the repechage after missing out on automatic advancement to the final when they finished third in their heat on Monday. Three days later they showed what they were truly capable of, taking nearly a full boat length lead at the midway mark and winning by open water over Romania.
The win keeps alive coxswain Thompson-Willie’s chance at becoming Canada’s most decorated summer Olympian. She came to Rio 2016 with five Olympic medals to her credit and, along with Wilkinson and Mastracci, was a member of the crew that won silver at London 2012.
The medal races for the lightweight double sculls and the four are scheduled for Friday morning with the eight on the last day of the rowing regatta on Saturday.