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Trent University Rower Peter Van Rooijen Wins Silver Medal at Under 23 World Championships

Mr. Van Rooijen follows his 2003 gold medal with a second-place finish

Trent University rower and business student Peter Van Rooijen won the silver medal at the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron (FISA) Under 23 World Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland on August 8. Mr. Van Rooijen was representing Canada for the second year in a row, as a member of the men's eight crew.

In summer 2003, Mr. Van Rooijen won the gold medal as part of the men's eight at the Under 23 Rowing World Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. This year, Mr. Van Rooijen rowed from the sixth seat and was the only team member attending a Canadian university. A native of Brockville, Ontario, Mr. Van Rooijen will be entering his fourth year in Business Administration at Trent in the fall, and was recently named Senior Male Athlete of the Year for 2003 by the City of Peterborough.

In this year's race, Germany finished with the gold, followed by Canada with the silver and Belarus with the bronze. Mr. Van Rooijen said the Canadian team rowed a solid race, despite having been caught in a storm during warm-up.

"That day we couldn't have beaten Germany," says Mr. Van Rooijen. "It all started off with a huge storm coming through, and we had by far the longest warm-up of any of the crews. The German crew wasn't on the water yet when we were caught in the rain - getting cold and having the boat fill with water wasn't a great start."

The German crew had a huge lead off the start, but 1000 metres into the race, the Canadian team overtook the Ukrainian crew to move into second place, says Mr. Van Rooijen. Despite a sprint to the finish, Germany's lead was still significant.

Mr. Van Rooijen is coached by Trent's Head Rowing Coach Carol Love, whom he credits for much of his success. His membership on the under 23 team was the culmination of an outstanding year in which he won gold at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) rowing championships in the men's heavyweight single, as well as a bronze at the Canadian University Rowing Championships in both the heavyweight single and the heavyweight eight. Mr. Van Rooijen was also named OUA Athlete of the Week for October 6, and was featured in the Faces in the Crowd section of Sports Illustrated magazine as an up and coming athlete in North America.

Mr. Van Rooijen is looking forward to coming back to Trent this fall and rowing the single. A training camp is planned for the first week of September for all varsity athletes.

Posted August 18, 2004

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