ST. CATHARINES, ON — Canada’s Pan Am Games medal haul at the Royal Canadian Henley finished as it started — with gold.
The men’s eight led their race from start to finish — something they’re used to, as most of the rowers in that boat already won medals in smaller boats over the last few days.
Their gold brings Canada’s total at the rowing venue to 11 medals, including eight golds.
The winning eight team is made up of Mike Evans, Will Dean, Julien Bahain, Martin Barakso, Tim Schrijver, Colin McCabe, Kai Langerfeld, Will Crothers and cox Jacob Koudys.
Argentina took silver. The U.S., which doesn’t have its best team here, settled for bronze.
Just prior to that, Canada’s women won the quadruple sculls event in decisive fashion, also leading from beginning to end. The second place U.S. boat was simply unable to offer a challenge.
Like the men’s eight, many of the athletes in that boat have already found a place on a podium in other rowing events at the Games.
Carling Zeeman, a 24-year-old from Cambridge, Ont., dominated in her single sculls victory on Tuesday, as did Antje Von Seydlitz, a 24-year-old from Smithers, B.C., and Kerry Maher-Shaffer, a 31-year-old from nearby Welland, who won in double sculls.
Kate Goodfellow, a 25-year-old from Perth, Ont., joins the squad for today’s gold.
Less than an hour earlier, Canada’s lightweight men’s coxless four also took gold.
The Canadian boat was leading by the 500-metre mark with the U.S. team a fraction of a second back, and kept powering through the rough conditions to extend their lead throughout the 2-kilometre race.
The two veteran rowers on the team are Brendan Hodge, a 30-year-old from South Delta, B.C., who left rowing to become a lawyer but was drawn back into the sport after watching the 2012 London Olympics, and Nicolas Pratt, who also took a five-year break before returning to single and double sculls and now coxless fours.
The younger talents are Maxwell Lattimer, a Delta, B.C. native who turned 22 on Tuesday, and Eric Woelfl, a St. Catharines native, who turns 26 on Saturday.
The U.S. took silver and Chile got bronze.
Just 10 minutes earlier, Rob Gibson rowed his way to a silver medal in men’s single sculls. The 29-year-old from Kingston, Ont., and the gold medal-winning Cuban Angel Fournier were well away from the rest of the field in the challenging conditions, with strong winds and rough water.