Nanjing 2014: Rugby and rowing lead Canada onto the medal table
Canada won three medals on day four of competition at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
The women’s rugby 7s team captured silver, Canada’s first medal of the Games, after a 38-10 defeat by Australia in the final. China won the bronze medal game over the US.
The stronger Aussies led 12-5 after the first ten minute half and scored three straight tries in the second half to put the game away. Dom du Toit has three of Australia’s six major scores. Kaitlyn Richard and Charity Williams scored Canada’s two tries.
Despite the loss, Canadian captain Hannah Darling was happy with the experience, “I’m super proud of the girls I couldn’t ask for a better squad to do it with. We wanted to finish tired. I couldn’t be prouder to wear the maple leaf,” she said.
Later in the morning, Canada collected two bronze medals from the Youth Olympic regatta. St. Catharines’ Dan de Groot finished a consistent week in single sculls, rowing the 1000m distance in a time of 3:22.21. Germany’s Tim Ole Naske won gold with 3:21.22 and Azerbaijan’s Boris Yotov was second in 3:21.82.
“Right off the start my blade got caught in the water I usually have a decent start I had to fight back into it,” said de Groot who is finishing a successful summer. “Before I left for World Championships (junior) I think our goal was to make the A Final. I came second which was really good so coming into this I knew I was aiming for a medal,” said the 18-year-old, who will head to Princeton University later this month.
The next race featured Victoria’s Caileigh Filmer and Saskatoon’s Larissa Werbicki who won bronze in the women’s pair. The Canadians fought back from an early deficit to create a close race clocking 3:37.75. The winning Romanian pair of Cristina Georgiana Popescu and Denisa Tilvescu were only four tenths ahead with 3:37.32. China’s Luo Yadan and Pan Jie were second with 3:37.52.
“We had a slower start than the other crews. We were in last place 500m in, we were a little panicky. We know our second 500 is a lot stronger than the other crews so we made a call and pulled ahead,” reflected Werbicki on the race.
The two have been together all summer, preparing for both Youth Olympic Games and junior World Championships where they were silver medallists.
“We know each other so well that really helps us in the boat because when we call for each other to come together, we know that we have each other’s trust,” said Filmer.