Canada earns 3 more spots at Tokyo Olympics at last-chance regatta

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Canada's Maxwell Lattimer, left, and Patrick Keane are shown in competition at the 2021 Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland. On Sunday, the duo qualified a boat for Canada at the Tokyo Games. (Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images - image credit)
Canada's Maxwell Lattimer, left, and Patrick Keane are shown in competition at the 2021 Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland. On Sunday, the duo qualified a boat for Canada at the Tokyo Games. (Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images - image credit)

A last-chance rowing qualifying event in Switzerland on Sunday has produced three more entries for Canada at the Tokyo Olympics.

The success in Lucerne brings Rowing Canada's total Tokyo delegation up to 10 qualified boats, the largest since the 1996 Games in Atlanta.

Canadians Patrick Keane and Maxwell Lattimer qualified a boat for Tokyo in lightweight men's double sculls by winning their final in six minutes, 28.53 seconds.

Trevor Jones finished second in the men's single sculls final to qualify a boat in that discipline for Tokyo. Jones crossed the line in 7:01.48, behind Russian Alexander Vyazovkin, who won in 6:56.90.

"The sprint was a mad dash, just throwing everything at it and hanging on for dear life at the end," Jones said in a statement. "It feels great, it's been a long time coming and is just nice after over 18 months of working toward this to have finally done it and to know that I get to race in Tokyo."

Canada will have a men's four entry in Tokyo thanks to a second-place finish by Jakub Buczek, Luke Gadsdon, Gavin Stone, and Will Crothers. That foursome crossed the line in 6:07.84, behind the winners from South Africa.

"When the race was unfolding in the third 500m, we all just had trust in each other and our race plan," Stone said. "We knew we had to stick to our plan and go for it. We had the speed and we knew going into the sprint that we could turn it on, and that anything they were doing, we could do more."

Tokyo 2020 will mark the first time rowing becomes fully gender equal at the Olympics, with seven events each for men and women.

Canada had already qualified for six other women's events, along with the men's pair race.

"We are incredibly proud of our Canadian crews' achievements today on the Rotsee," Iain Brambell, RCA High Performance Director said. "The final Olympic qualification regatta is a difficult event at the best of times and our crews came through with flying colours. These accomplishments will be celebrated across the entire team and will further affirm the strong performance across all qualified boats.

"The team is excited to be heading to Tokyo with all ten targeted boats secured. We now look forward to the final Paralympic qualification regatta in early June."

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