Olympic silver medal winners Lindsay Jennerich and Patricia Obee knew they’d be in the mix for the lightweight double sculls.
As three-time medalists on the world stage, they’ve experienced how closely competitive their field is, having missed the podium at World Cup races after winning silver in two previous events. It’s clear now that the gold Jennerich and Obee won at the May World Cup race in Switzerland was a sign they were in top form.
The duo picked up the pace at the halfway mark of Friday’s final in the 2,000-metre race and moved up from fifth to second. The Dutch team of Ilse Paulis and Maaike Head won gold in a time of seven minutes, 4.73 seconds. Jennerich and Obee came in at 7:05.88 ahead of China and South Africa.
“We’re in fourth and I thought, ‘we’re getting a medal for sure,’” Obee said on the Olympic.ca website. “Our last [250m] is so strong that I knew we were going to go through one [crew] at least. I could sense China and I could sense South Africa.”
Obee, 24, is a Stelly’s secondary grad while Jennerich, 34, graduated from and later coached at Claremont secondary. Both came through the Victoria City Rowing Club at Elk Lake, with Obee going on to compete for the University of Washington Huskies and Jennerich for the UVic Vikes.
The two came together in 2011 when Obee was just 19 and won a World Cup silver but failed to advance to the final at the London 2012 Olympics. They returned to form with a World Cup silver in 2014, and now have an Olympic silver, World Cup gold and two World Cup silver medals to their name. Jennerich had previously won a World Cup gold in 2010 with former partner Tracy Cameron.
Jennerich said the final 1,000m of the race felt like a sprint.
“I just felt like a machine, and Obee felt like a machine,” she said. “I knew the person Obee is, having her know we were fourth and only going to get something more…It left us just finishing our last drops of gas.”
Caldwell bronze in backstroke
Saanich Commonwealth Place regular Hilary Caldwell won bronze in the 200m backstroke
The transplant, who came to Saanich from White Rock via UVic, finished third in the 200m backstroke final in 2:07.54, behind American Maya Dirado (2:05.99) and Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu (2:06.05).
It was a disappointing finish for Saanich’s two-time Olympic medalist Ryan Cochrane, who finished sixth in the 1,500m freestyle, his specialty. Cochrane was unable to win a third Olympic medal but still finishes the Olympics as Canada’s most-decorated swimmer with eight world championship medals as well as four golds at the Commonwealth Games.
On the beach, Saanich’s Jamie Broder (Claremont) and her beach volleyball teammate Kristina Valjas finished ninth overall, as they were unable to advance past fellow Canadian team Heather Bansley and Sarah Pavan in the quarterfinals at the Copacabana beach arena. The latter finished fifth overall.
As of Monday, another Claremont grad, Fred Winters, continued to compete with Canada’s indoor volleyball team.
Hilary Stellingwerff was unable to advance to the 1,500m semifinals, finishing 31st in the qualifying round.