Canadian rowers Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens have won bronze in the women’s pair event at the Tokyo Olympics, Canada’s 10th medal at these Games.
New Zealand’s Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler claimed gold, while Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) rowers Vasilisa Stepanova and Elena Oryabinskaya took silver at the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo on Thursday.
“I was just listening to Caileigh, she was calling the perfect race,” Janssens told the CBC’s Marivel Taruc.
“It’s been a long extra year, and we’re just really happy we got here and we were able to come away with it.”
Filmer, from Victoria, and Janssens, of Cloverdale, B.C., were in first place after the first 500 metres and held off a surge by New Zealand to maintain that position after 1,000 metres.
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But the Kiwis overtook the Canadian boat shortly after the halfway mark and never looked back, finishing in six minutes 50.19 seconds.
The ROC boat finished in 6:51.45 after a late push, while the Canadians clocked in at 6:52.10.
“Our last [kilometre], it was with heart,” said Filmer.
Canada’s rowers are looking to rebound after a disastrous showing at the 2016 Rio Games that saw the program secure just one medal.
The Canadians qualified 10 boats for Tokyo — the most since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Canada’s women’s eight will race for gold on Friday.
Men’s pair just miss podium
Earlier, Canada’s Kai Langerfeld and Conlin McCabe just missed the podium in the men’s pair event as Croatia’s Martin Sinkovic and Valent Sinkovic surged to gold.
Romania’s Marius-Vasile Cozmiuc and Ciprian Tudosa won silver, while Denmark’s Frederic Vystavel and Joachim Sutton took bronze.
Langerfeld, of North Vancouver, and McCabe, of Brockville, Ont., were sitting in third after the first 500 metres, but dropped to sixth by the 1,000-metre mark. The two did work their way back to fourth after 1,500 metres and kept it competitive over the final stretch.
The Canadians finished with a time of 6:20.43, just over half a second behind the Danish boat that won bronze in 6:19.88.