Canada row to spectacular gold in women's eight

The Canadian team win their first gold in women's eight since Barcelona 1992. New Zealand take silver and People's Republic of China bronze.  

Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Canada have won gold in the women's eight rowing final, the first time a team that is not the USA or Romania have won the title since 1992. The Canadian team, made up of Lisa Roman, Kasia Gruchalla-Wesierski, Christine Roper, Andrea Proske, Susanne Grainger, Madison Mailey, Sydney Payne, Avalon Wasteneys and Kristen Kit, went out fast from the beginning, building an unassailable lead that no other team could live with.

And while New Zealand could not match Canada's pace, they fought valiantly to finish second and claim the silver medal. The People's Republic of China crew finished an impressive third to win bronze.

The final time for Canada at the Sea Forest Waterway was 5:59.13, a mere 0.91 ahead of second-place New Zealand. People's Republic of China were a further second back, ending the race in 6:01.21.

After the race, Canadian crew member Roman spoke about what it felt like to win a gold medal. "It's amazing. We worked so hard and we trusted each other," she said. "We knew we could do it if we put it on the line today and that's what we did. It's amazing, it's a great feeling."

Gruchalla-Wesierski, who was badly injured before Tokyo 2020 was thrilled by the team's win: "Six weeks ago I was told I was lucky to be alive, and when they made the team announcements I was literally limping out of the hospital with a broken collarbone," she said.

"I just can't believe I'm here. I knew if I could make it in the boat we had a chance of winning. This is a super special crew.

"I fought back not to go to the Olympics, but to compete for gold."