Island rowers win gold at world U-23 championship

Patrick Keane of Victoria is with the current generation of 29 Canadian Olympic team rowers at its training camp in Sagamihara, Japan, preparing for this month’s Tokyo Games. But, with apologies to The Who, the kids are alright coming up behind him.

The elder Keane watched online Sunday as the next generation, including brother Liam Keane, a Victoria City Rowing Club member who rows in the Ivy League for Dartmouth, won gold in the men’s four at the world U-23 championships in Racice, Czech Republic.

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The Canadian crew, which eclipsed silver-medallist Ireland at the line, consisted of Liam Keane, Brentwood College-graduate Peter Lancashire, Claremont Secondary-graduate Jack Walkey and Adam Krol. Lancashire, Walkey and Krol are in the NCAA with the Pac-12 University of Washington Huskies.

“As a crew, it’s really special,” said Lancashire, in a statement.

“Reaching this destination, and putting an exclamation mark on it, just makes it that much more special.”

The pandemic didn’t make it easy. But the foursome were able to train in a bubble set up in Washington state for them by Rowing Canada.

“[The last year] was challenging with COVID,” said the Brentwood College-product Lancashire.

“But being flexible and being able to row and train in [their] Washington [bubble] just shows that if you have the right environment, coach and support, you can be successful.”

Another Canadian crew almost made the podium at the U-23 worlds as the women’s pair of Alexis Cronk and Kirsten Edwards, both from the University of Victoria Vikes, placed fourth, less than three seconds behind bronze-medallist Germany.

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