According to Jacqueline Doorey of CBC Sports on Sunday, Carling Zeeman of Hamilton, Ontario won a women’s World Cup single sculls competition in Varese, Italy. Zeeman’s win is key because it comes four months prior to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Zeeman will also enter the 2016 Olympic Games as the reigning Pan American Games gold medalist. She was dominant in winning gold last year on home soil in Toronto.
In Varese, Zeeman posted a first place time of 7:49.41. Ekaterina Karsten of Belarus won the silver medal with a time of 7:50.97. Sanita Puspure of Ireland won the bronze medal with a time of 7:51.4.
Zeeman comfortably reached the podium. She was 2.76 seconds faster than Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland, who finished in fourth place with a time of 7:52.17.
Zeeman also was fortunate because 2011 World Champion and reigning Olympic champion Miroslava Knapkova of the Czech Republic did not qualify for the women’s final. Knapkova and Karsten will be Zeeman’s most toughest competitors at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Karsten, at 43 years old, is a six-time world champion and won the gold medal in women’s single sculls at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Knapkova beat Canadian rowing legend Silken Laumann of Toronto, Ontario to win the gold medal.
Team Canada won two other silver medals on Sunday in events that have Olympic status. The Canadian men won a silver medal in quadruple sculls and the Canadian women won silver in the women’s eights.
In the women’s eights, Netherlands won gold with a time of 6:22.38. Canada won silver with a time of 6:22.62. Russia won bronze with a time of 6:24.05.
The Canadian team was comprised of Canadian Olympic silver medalists Ashley Brzozowicz of Toronto, Ontario, Natalie Mastracci of Welland, Ontario, Lesley Thompson-Willie of Toronto, Ontario, and Lauren Wilkinson of Vancouver, British Columbia. The other Canadian rowers who won a silver in Italy were Susanne Grainger and Christine Roper of London, Ontario, Antje Von Seydlitz-Kurzbach of Smithers, British Columbia, Cristy Nurse of Georgetown, Ontario, Lisa Roman of Langley, British Columbia.
The Canadians were 1.14 seconds faster than Germany, who finished in fourth place. Brzozowicz, Mastracci, Thompson-Willie and Wilkinson won a silver medal for Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in rowing in the women’s eights.
In the men’s quadruple sculls, Canada won the silver medal with a time of 6:04.92. Russia won the gold medal with a time of 6:02.18. Poland won the bronze medal with a time of 6:08.25.
The Canadians reached the podium by 5.55 seconds. Estonia was in fourth place with a time of 6:10.47 seconds. The Canadian team was comprised of Julien Bahain of Victoria, British Columbia, Robert Gibson of Kingston, Ontario, Will Dean of Kelowna, British Columbia and Pascal Lussier of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.