Olympic gold medalist Anna Goodale is a world champion again.
The 2001 Camden Hills of Rockport graduate and her U.S. teammates led from start to finish Sunday to win the 2,000-meter women’s eight final at the 2009 World Rowing Championships held on Maita Lake in Pouzan, Poland.
The U.S. squad was timed in 6 minutes, 5.34 seconds to defeat second-place Romania (6:06.94) and the third-place Netherlands (6:07.43). Other teams in the final were from Great Britain, Germany and Canada.
“The goal was to go out and row as hard as we could,” Goodale told U.S. Rowing. “We had lots of confidence going in, no matter what anybody else brought. We have a gutsy group of girls; I couldn’t be more proud of them. This is a great beginning for the next quadrennial.”
This marks the third consecutive world championship for Goodale and fourth straight for the U.S. women’s eight. Goodale also was part of world championship women’s eight crews in 2006 and 2007.
Goodale was one of five returning members from the gold medal-winning 2008 U.S. Olympic crew in Sunday’s race, along with Erin Cafaro of Modesto, Calif., Caroline Lind of Greensboro, N.C., Lindsay Shoop of Charlottesville, Va., and Susan Francia of Abington, Pa.
Others on the U.S. squad were Mara Allen, Laura Larsen-Strecker, Kady Glessner and coxswain Katelin Snyder.
After clocking the fastest time of the heats, the United States set the pace early in the final. First off the line, the U.S. crossed the halfway mark with a 1.82-second lead over Great Britain and continued to race away from the field in the third 500 meters. Romania was in fifth place for the first half of the race but moved into second position by the 1,500-meter mark. Romania continued to push in the sprint, but the U.S. held its ground, crossing 1.6 seconds ahead for gold.
The U.S. had the fastest time after each of the 500-meter splits, finishing 500 meters in 1:28.05, 1,000 meters in 3:00.05 and 1,500 meters in 6:05.34.
“I just kept calling for a clean race and no crabs,” said Snyder. “We didn’t know we had it until the last five strokes, or maybe it was the last two.”
Romania was in fifth place through 1,000 meters before rallying to second at the 1,500-meter mark. The win by the United States avenged a loss to Romania at the Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland, on July 12.
“They raced how I always hope to see American boats race,” said U.S. women’s coach Tom Terhaar. “This was a really tough field. They were aggressive and pushed back. That’s the fastest they’ve raced this year. Having several Olympians back this year was key for the younger guys; they are positive people and set good examples. It was a team effort.”