What's buzzing:

Eh Game

Women’s eight scores another Olympic silver for Canada

Don Landry
Eh Game

View photo

.

The Canadian women's eight celebrating their silver medal at the London Olympics. (Reuters)

It's only fitting that the final in the women's eight rowing event at the Olympics came down to two sensational rivals, with not much to choose between them.

The Americans, favoured by many to take the gold, did just that, building a lead that could not be overcome by Canada, despite a furious rush to the finish line over the last 500 metres.

In the end, it meant silver for Canada for the second consecutive day in the eights - the men's team turning the trick on Wednesday.

[Slideshow: Canadian medal winners]

In a hotly contested start to the race, the Canadians dropped slightly back of the U.S. and the eventual bronze medalists, The Netherlands, within the first 250 metres.

By the time the crews reached the 500 metre mark of the 2000 metre race, the Americans looked strong and had built about a half boat lead over Canada, stretching that to three quarters of a boat at the halfway mark and they held that margin through the 1500 metre mark.

The U.S., who'd won the last five world championships and a gold at the Beijing Games in 2008, were given all they could handle by the hard charging Canadians, who had shaved the lead to half a boat and might well have been gaining, as they reached the finish line. But the Americans, who've consistently shown their mettle in this event over the last half decade, dug in to impressively reach the top of the podium.

That last push was an all out war, as Canadian team member Natalie Mastracci told the Globe And Mail:

"Keep attacking, and that's what we were doing," said Mastracci, who described that last few hundred metres as "all heart."

The Canadians and Americans have been great rivals this year, with the U.S. scoring a 3/100th of a second win over Canada at a World Cup event in Lucerne, Switzerland just last May. Their margin of victory here was bigger, as they finished in a time of 6:10.59, with Canada almost a second and a half behind, at 6:12.06

That's a bit of a turnabout, as the two competed in separate Olympic heats on Sunday, with Canada scoring the best time of the day, three quarters of a second faster than the Americans.

The Canadian team is led by coxswain Lesley Thompson-Willie and crewed by Mastracci, Ashley Brzozowicz, Janine Hanson, Krista Guloien, Darcy Marquardt, Andreanne Morin, Rachelle Viinberg and Lauren Wilkinson.

While the second place finish might not been exactly what the Canadians were after here, coxswain Thompson-Willie told the Globe's Eric Reguly that it'll do:

"We had a good race. You always race to win and it didn't happen, so there is always a bit of disappointment, but when you stand and see your flag on the Olympic podium, you've got to enjoy it."

Thompson-Willie was appearing in her seventh Olympics, and she becomes the first Canadian to win medals at five different Olympic Games. Canada's last gold in this event came in Barcelona, in 1992, again with Thompson-Willie as the cox.


More London Olympics coverage on Yahoo! Sports Canada:
Brent Hayden claims bronze in 100-metre freestyle
Was 'luck loonie' key to Canada's rowing silver medal?
South Korean fencer turns down special medal
Canada's hammer throw brother-sister duo
Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (31)
  • Maturing QBs to be tested when Michigan hosts Wisconsin

    Maturing QBs to be tested when Michigan hosts Wisconsin

    Jim Harbaugh reflected a bit on his own playing days when assessing the quarterback matchup for this weekend's Michigan-Wisconsin showdown. ''I think back when I was the same age as they were, the same kind of experience playing your first couple … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Mets in good position heading into series with Phillies

    The New York Mets are in the position every team would like to be in when on the playoff bubble come the end of September. Win at least one of three in Philadelphia, and their season will continue beyond the weekend. The Mets (85-74) sit atop the … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Pirates out to spoil Cardinals' wild-card bid

    Back in April when the season started, it was easy to expect the Pirates' season-ending trip to Busch Stadium meaning something for both Pittsburgh and the St. Louis Cardinals. Instead, all Pittsburgh can do when it closes the season is play the … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Henry brace helps reduce India to 57 for three at lunch

    Henry brace helps reduce India to 57 for three at lunch

    New Zealand paceman Matt Henry celebrated his test return with a two-wicket burst to help reduce India to 57 for three at lunch on the opening day of the second test at Eden Gardens on Friday. Beaten comprehensively in the series opener in Kanpur, … More »

    Reuters - 8 minutes ago
  • Fore! South Korea golf course to get anti-missile battery

    Fore! South Korea golf course to get anti-missile battery

    By Ju-min Park SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's military aims to deploy an advanced U.S. missile defence unit on a golf course, a defence ministry official said on Friday, after it had to scrap its initial site for the battery in the face of … More »

    Reuters - 10 minutes ago