Canada advances to women’s pair final at worlds, qualifies for Olympics

LINZ, Austria — Hillary Janssens and Caileigh Filmer advanced to the women’s pair final at the world rowing championships and qualified a Canadian boat in the event at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Janssens of Cloverdale, B.C., and Victoria’s Filmer finished second in their semifinal Thursday just behind Australia to book their spot in Friday’s final. The top three boats from each semifinal advanced.

“I’m really happy with how today went,” said Janssens, who teamed with Filmer to win a world title last year. “We tried to make it as easy as possible for us to secure that Olympic spot, conserve our energy and start mentally preparing for the next one. We knew today was going to be the biggest day for us and we just had to trust our training, our fitness and trust the girls behind us in the boat that we were ready to go.”

Janssens and Filmer were also part of the women’s eight team that finished first in their repechage race and advanced to Sunday’s final. The top five boats in the final will qualify for a spot at the Tokyo Games.

“There was a lot of calmness at the start but as soon as that light switched, there was so much intensity onboard,” said bow seat Lisa Roman. “It was a really cool feeling to execute what we needed to do.”

Vancouver’s Ellen Gleadow won her women’s lightweight single semifinal, overtaking Japan’s Chiaki Tomita over the final 500 metres to secure a spot in Friday’s A final.

“I’m pleased with the way my race went and all my races are getting better and better,” said Gleadow. “I know that whether I get out in front or behind I can hit a pace that is fast and challenge everyone to come with me. I’m really excited for the A final as every opportunity to race is an opportunity to learn.”

Aaron Lattimer of Delta, B.C., secured a spot in the men’s lightweight single A final, finishing third in his A/B semifinal.

“It wasn’t my best race but I still put down a fast time. I’m looking for redemption,” Lattimer said. “Last year’s fourth place finish definitely left a sour taste in my mouth and motivated me through the whole fall and winter of training. It’s going to be a hot race but I trust in the Dick Tonks effect. He pushes you to be ready for anything and know you’ve put in the most miles.”

Maxwell Lattimer of Delta and Patrick Keane of Victoria finished sixth in their men’s lightweight double semifinal moving to the B final on Saturday. The B final winner will secure an Olympic berth.

Jill Moffatt of Bethany, Ont., and Jennifer Casson of Kingston, Ont., placed fifth in their women’s lightweight double semifinal and will also compete for a single Olympic berth in the B final.

Canada’s men’s eight team finished fourth in its repechage and will compete in Sunday’s B final.

The women’s four crew Madison Mailey (Burnaby, BC), Sydney Payne (Toronto), Jennifer Martins (Toronto), and Stephanie Grauer (Vancouver) will contest a B final on Saturday with the top two finishers earning an Olympic berths.

Jeremy Hall of St. Paul, Alta., and Jessye Brockway of Mill Bay, B.C. finished sixth in their PR2 mixed double semifinal to progress to Saturday’s B final, where two Paralympic spots will be up for grabs.

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