Canadian rowers, paddlers add eight medals to Canada's haul at Pan Am Games

TORONTO — Canada's paddlers and rowers kept the medals coming on Day 3 of the Pan American Games.

Led by gold-medal performances by the men's coxless four and the women's double sculls, Canadian rowers combined to add three more medals to Canada's impressive early haul on Monday.

"It was pretty amazing. It sent goosebumps down my spine," said veteran rower Will Crothers who could hear the vocal hometown crowd in St. Catharines, Ont., as the men's four — Crothers, Tim Schrijver of Thedford, Ont., Kai Langerfeld of Parksville, B.C., and Conlin McCabe of Brockville, Ont. — entered their final 500-metre sprint. "I started thinking, we're sitting up (starting the final sprint). I yelled to the boys, 'Who wants to sing?'

"I think that probably fired them up pretty good. I think the (stroke) rate went up. We started really chucking down some heaters. Some hot strokes to get to the line."

The men finished six minutes 10.80 seconds, more than three seconds ahead of silver-medallists Cuba (6:14.30) and bronze-medallists Argentina (6:16.52).

Kerry Shaffer, from Welland, Ont., and Antje Von Seydlitz of Smithers, B.C., won gold in the women's double sculls with a time of 7:13.01, just ahead of the United States (7:14.65) in second and Cuba (7:20.00) in third.

Von Seydlitz could hear the partisan crowd from halfway out on the course.

"It was unreal. It kind of brings tears to your eyes," she said. "You're so proud to be racing in your own country in front of your hometown fans."

Canadian rowers also took bronze medals in men's double sculls and women's coxless pairs.

Just down the road in Welland, Canada added four medals in kayak and canoe events.

Ben Russell from Dartmouth, N.S., and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny from Trois-Rivieres, Que., won gold in the C-2 1,000 metres. Canadian flag-bearer Mark Oldershaw from Burlington, Ont., raced to a silver medal in the men's C-1 1,000 metres. Michelle Russell of Fall River, N.S., won silver in K-1 500 metres — her second medal of the Pan Am Games. Veteran Adam Van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., won bronze in the K-1 1,000 metres.

Russell and Beauchesne-Sevigny won gold with a time of 3:46.316, beating Brazil by 0.801 seconds and Cuba by 3.616 seconds.

The duo played it patient before surging into the lead over the final quarter of the race.

"We train consistently that last 250 metres," Russell said. "That's where we want to be the best in the world, so every time we get there we just go for broke, and having the crowd today was just the bonus."

Canada won more gold medals in diving and shooting.

Montreal's Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion from Laval, Que., won Canada's second diving gold in women's synchronized 10-metre platform. They earned 316.89 points to beat Brazil (291.36) and Mexico (287.91).

"This medal has a lot of value to us not only because we put a lot of work in this, but because it's a little balm on my wound of two days ago," said Filion, who won silver in the individual event on Sunday. "These are the Pan Am Games, that's the title that we were missing, so it's really great."

In the men's three-metre synchro final, Montreal's Philippe Gagne and Francois Imbeau-Dulac of St-Lazare, Que., finished second with 413.37 points.

Amanda Chudoba of Spruce Grove, Alta., won Canada's second shooting gold with a victory in women's trap.

Chudoba edged American Kayle Browning in a shoot-off after the final round was tied at 11.

"Actually, I didn't have any prep, it was all new to me," Chudoba said of preparing for the sudden-death session. "I just tried to see the target when it comes out and hit the target."

Also Monday, Toronto's Jordan Belchos won Canada's first ever Pan Am roller speedskating medal with a bronze in the men's 10,000 metres.

"My mom was crying," Belchos said. "It was incredible."

The Canadian Press