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Canada’s women’s eight wins gold at World Cup regatta

Canada's Darcy Marquardt - file photo.

Andy Clark/REUTERS

Canada's women's eight showed again Sunday it will be a boat to watch at the upcoming Olympics after a win at a World Cup regatta.

Canada won with a time of six minutes 19.31 seconds, with Romania taking silver in 6:20.72. Britain was third with a time of 6:22.31.

"We went out to set the tone through the middle of the race, and it paid off with a decent margin going into the last 500 metres," said Canadian team member Darcy Marquardt. "This is just another step on the road to London and we're excited to go home and get faster before the big competition in August."

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The Canadian squad also included Winnipeg's Janine Hanson, Regina's Rachelle Viinberg, Krista Guloien of Port Moody, B.C., Lauren Wilkinson of North Vancouver, B.C., Natalie Mastracci of Thorold, Ont., Ashley Brzozowicz of London, Ont., Darcy Marquardt of Richmond, B.C., Montreal's Andreanne Morin and (coxswain) Lesley Thompson-Willie of London, Ont.

"We raced well today," said Morin, a two-time Olympian. "Last night, we reminded ourselves that we are capable of racing in all scenarios whether we are ahead or when we have to push through crews. We were ready to do what it takes."

The eight had a close encounter with gold last month in Lucerne, when they were beaten by only .03 seconds by the U.S., which wasn't at this weekend's meet.

In the women's pair final, Saskatoon's Carolyn Ganes and Larissa Lagzdins of Burlington, Ont., finished fifth in 7:47.95.

Meanwhile, Australia claimed a narrow victory over Britain in the men's four final.

The Australian boat containing triple Olympic gold-medallist Drew Ginn beat Britain by 0.87 seconds, ending the reigning world and Olympic champions' dominance in the event over the last two years.

With the men's four being the flagship boats for both countries, the race is set to be one of the highlights of the Olympic regatta on Dorney Lake from July 28-Aug. 4.

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The New Zealand men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray won by almost five seconds to stay unbeaten since 2009 and five-time Olympic medallist Ekaterina Karsten won the women's single sculls.

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