July 14, 2012
TRAKAI, Lithuania-Virginia rowing rising senior Susanne Grainger and former Cavalier Christine Roper (Class of 2011) won gold for Canada in the women's four grand final Saturday (July 14) on the fourth day of the 2012 World Under-23 Rowing Championships in Trakai, Lithuania.
Grainger and Roper helped the Canadian women's four finish first in a time of 7:11.24, over four seconds faster than second-place Australia (7:15.38). After trailing the Aussies at the 500-meter mark, the Canadians stormed ahead and were out in front by about five seconds at the 1,000m mark, never looking back. The UVa duo won gold in the women's eight at last year's World Under-23s in Amsterdam.
"It feels amazing to win again," Roper said. "We knew we had the power and the ability to do it, so we really focused and got the job done. Susanne and I both agree that Virginia rowing and the support we received played a huge role!"
This is the fourth major championship Grainger has won in the last 12 months. After the win in Amsterdam in late July of 2011, she was a part of the Cavaliers' varsity eight that claimed the Championship Eights title at the Head of the Charles in Boston in the fall. She capped the 2011-12 collegiate campaign as part of the first UVa varsity eight boat to win an NCAA Championship in May.
An All-American at UVa, Roper has earned a medal for Canada at the World Under-23s for the third consecutive year. Before gold in 2011 and 2012, she earned silver at the 2010 regatta with the women's eight.
In other action, the American duo of graduated senior Cara Linnenkohl and rising junior Carli Goldberg along with incoming freshman Holly Nixon of Ireland competed in the semifinals of the women's double sculls. Nixon placed fourth in the first heat in 7:51.91, while Goldberg and Linnenkohl finished fifth in the second heat in 7:55.97. They will all compete in the petite final on Sunday.
In the women's quadruple sculls petite final, graduated senior Martha Kuzzy and the American crew placed fourth in the race to finish 10th overall in 7:19.15.
The regatta concludes Sunday (July 15), highlighted by American rising senior Kristine O'Brien competing in the women's eight grand final.
Women's Four grand final - Susanne Grainger, Christine Roper (CAN) - 1st - 7:15.38
Women's Double Sculls semifinal - Holly Nixon (IRL) - 4th in semi - 7:51.91
Women's Double Sculls semifinal - Carli Goldberg and Cara Linnenkohl (USA) - 5th in semi - 7:55.97
Women's Quadruple Sculls petite final - Martha Kuzzy (USA) - 4th (10th overall) - 7:19.15
2:51 a.m. - Women's Double Sculls petite final - Goldberg, Linnenkohl and Nixon
7:09 a.m. - Women's Eight grand final - Kristine O'Brien (USA)
All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).