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Delta rowers impress at World Championships

Aaron Lattimer and Tracy Van Asseldonk both reach "A" finals of their respective events

Delta rowers turned in impressive performances for Canada at the 2018 World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

The regatta concluded on Sunday with Delta Deas Rowing Club’s Tracy Van Asseldonk qualifying for the “A” final and placing sixth overall in the PR1 Women’s Single. It was an outstanding result given she made her debut on the international stage just months earlier in Italy.

She finished third in her initial qualifying heat then earned a spot in the final with a fourth place showing in the repecharge.

It was back in January  when Van Asseldonk, 33, was carded as a PR1 developing para athlete with Rowing Canada Aviron. She has been rowing with DDRC since 2014 — working with coach Julie Stevens, who pioneered the Para-rowing program in Delta.

Meanwhile, it was a near podium finish for Ladner’s Aaron Lattimer on Saturday. The 22-year-old finished fourth in the in the lightweight single “A” final. It puts him in excellent position moving forward with the 2020 Olympic Games in Toyko less than two years away.

Lattimer won his initial qualifying heat then was third in the semi-finals.

“I'm disappointed in the result but not disappointed in my race," said Lattimer. We all raced our best races out there and there is no questioning that. I want to get on that podium so I'm really keen to get back to training in Victoria and work towards that breakthrough!”

His older brother Maxwell, a 2016 Olympian, teamed up with Patrick Keane to finish third in the lightweight men’s double “C” final and 15th overall.

Canada won a total of four medals in Bulgaria and placed sixth overall in medal standings.

“Our focus coming into the 2018 World Championships was to achieve A Final performances (top six) while fighting for the podium," said High Performance Director Iain Brambell. “This was accomplished with 10 of 15 crews making the Finals, with four podium performances and three fourth place finishes. I am impressed with the leadership of our returning veterans, coupled with the tenacity of athletes that represented Canada at a World Championship for the first time. While in Plovdiv it was mentioned to me many times that Canada was a team on the upward performance trajectory, and this is an area that I am very keen to work closely with our athletes, coaches and support staff to bring to fruition for the 2019 Olympic and Paralympic qualifiers and most importantly Tokyo 2020.”

With files from Rowing Canada