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Rower wins bronze at world eights

Burnaby Lake Rowing Club sculler is off to Rio de Janeiro for 2016 Summer Games

Burnaby Lake Rowing Club’s Lauren Wilkinson helped Canada’s women’s eights finish third at the World Rowing Championships at Aiguebelette, France on Sunday.

Canada, which won Heat 1 over runner-up New Zealand earlier in the week, finished with the bronze medal behind race winner the United States and the Kiwis in a time of 6.09.05 over the 2,000 metre course.

With the bronze, Wilkinson and the women’s team qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Canadian eights crew included Lisa Roman, Cristy Nurse, Jennifer Martins, Ashley Brzozowicz, Christine Roper, Susanne Grainger, Natalie Mastracci, Wilkinson and coxswain Lesley Thompson-Willie.

“The event has really become competitive,” said Wilkinson in a Rowing Canada press release. “Everyone is so close, it’s great to see.”

Canada will use the experience from the worlds to prepare for gold at the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.

“We use this as fuel to fire up the next 12 months of training,” Wilkinson added.

Canada also picked up a second bronze medal with the 2016 Paralympic-bound leg/trunk/arms mixed coxed fours earlier in the week at the world championships in France.