OTTAWA – Paralympic Games medallist Andrew Todd of Ottawa partnered with newcomer Kyle Fredrickson of Victoria to capture gold medals this weekend in both pairs races in the PR3 disability category at the 2018 Para Rowing International Regatta in Gavirate, Italy this past weekend.
Twenty nations were represented at this event including multiple medalists from the 2016 Paralympic Games and 2017 World Rowing Championships, including Todd a member of Canada’s bronze medal winning fours team at the 2016 Paralympics.
Jeremy Hall of Edmonton captured the bronze in the PR2 single sculls, marking his first appearance and medal on the international rowing stage.
“As a child, I was always told sport and hemophilia weren’t a match and that I’d have to find a different passion. All I ever wanted to do was participate in sport,” said Hall. “Wearing the red and white for the first time has been an incredibly emotional experience, never mind finishing on the podium. Leaving Italy with a bronze medal is a huge confidence boost and I look forward to what comes next.”
Tracy Van Asseldonk of Delta, B.C., also left an impression in her international debut, placing fourth overall in the PR1 women’s single sculls.
Rowing Canada’s High Performance Director Iain Brambell couldn’t have asked for a better start to a world championship season.
“Gavirate served as great opportunity to provide the program and crews with a clear indication as to where they rank on the international stage,” he said. “There is an ongoing need for heightened training intensity to successfully compete against the world’s best at the 2018 World Championships in September.”
This regatta offered an opportunity to test four Paralympic Games events as well as five new Para Rowing events that will be raced for the first time at the 2018 World Championships.
Gavirate was the first international regatta where all Canadian Para Rowers raced 2000m. The International Para rowing race distance was changed following the 2016 Paralympic Games from 1000m to 2000m.