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Canadian women’s eight crew win Olympic rowing gold for the first time since 1992

The Canadian women’s eight rowing crew has captured gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

The country crossed the line first in Friday’s final with a time of five minutes 59.13 seconds at Sea Forest Waterway.

It’s Canada’s first gold in the event since the 1992 Barcelona Games, the first women’s gold at the Olympics since 1996, and the program’s first podium-topping performance since 2008.

New Zealand grabbed silver (6:00.04), while China took bronze (6:01.21).

“We had some really tight races,” said Lisa Roman of Langley, B.C. “We built up every race. We decided today was going to be the best race. We knew if we laid down our best race we could probably win the gold medal.

Canada will leave the Tokyo Olympics with two rowing medals, after Victoria’s Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens of Surrey, B.C., secured bronze in Thursday’s women’s pair.

The double-podium performance comes after Canada won just one medal — in the lightweight women’s double sculls — at the Rio Games five years ago.

“It’s huge,” Roman added. “We’ve worked so hard. I’m so grateful I got to be a part of this … It’s wonderful.”

Canada made two other finals at the pandemic-delayed Games.

Conlin McCabe of Brockville, Ont., and Kai Langerfeld of North Vancouver, B.C., just missed the podium with a fourth-place finish in the men’s pair, while Jessica Sevick of Strathmore, Alta., and Gabrielle Smith of Unionville, Ont., were sixth in women’s double sculls.

Canada qualified 10 boats at a Games for the first time since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, and fielded a gender-balanced crew for the first time.

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