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Victoria-Vancouver duo win bronze for Canada at World Rowing Junior Championships

Victoria resident Ellie Sousa also came 7th in the women’s quad event in Bulgaria
Alexander Gonin, Ellie Sousa and Matteo Banducci in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. (Courtesy Victoria City Rowing Club)

Canada’s two-man rowing team secured bronze in the World Rowing Junior Championships in Bulgaria on Sunday, Aug. 15.

Victoria’s Alexander Gonin and Vancouver’s Matteo Banducci trailed behind the Romanian and German pairs with a final time of 6:45.22, narrowly outpacing the Bulgarian rowers.

“The only way I can describe the race is being difficult,” Gonin said in a press release from Victoria City Rowing Club. “In my opinion, if the Bulgarians had 100 more metres, we would not have been able to hold them off. No matter what, it was amazing and we are really satisfied.”

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The boys saw a fourth-place finish in the first heat but improved from one race to the next before ultimately taking the podium.

This is Canada’s first junior’s rowing medal since 2017 when Grace Vandenbroek and Kieanna Stephens won bronze in the women’s doubles.

The woman’s quadra team, comprised of Firinne Rolfe, Sophie Gower, Ellexi Fulton and Victoria-based Ellie Sousa won the B final on Sunday, placing seventh overall.

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