UW Health Sports Medicine 

James, Latz win medals at World Rowing Championships

Aug. 30, 2014

MADISON, Wis. -– A pair of former Wisconsin rowers got a taste of international success on Saturday at the 2014 World Rowing Championships as both captured medals at the event in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Grant James (DeKalb, Ill.), in the men’s four, edged Australia to grab the silver medal. One of the crew’s recent nemesis countries, the Aussies beat the Americans at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in South Korea and again earlier this year at the 2014 World Rowing Cup II, but the third time proved to be the charm for the Americans.

Great Britain won the gold in 5:40.24, but the U.S. clocked a 5:42.90 to hold off Australia (5:43.47) for second.

It marked James’ second medal in the men’s four after his crew captured bronze at the 2013 worlds. James also boasts a fourth-place finish in the men’s eight at the 2012 Olympics and a gold medal in the eight at the 2008 World Rowing Under 23 Championships on his international resume that includes six national team appearances.

Also winning a medal, in her first international appearance, was Grace Latz (Jackson, Mich.) in the women’s quadruple sculls.

“If you had asked me last year if I would be here, I would be so surprised,” said Latz. “This is great. This is a dream.”

The U.S. boat battled with China for the second spot, taking the spot at the 500-meter mark. But China regained the position over the final quarter of the 2000-meter race to grab the silver.

Germany won the gold in 6:06.84, with China taking silver in 6:10.51 and Latz and the Americans earning the bronze medal in 6:12.03.

The last of the five Badgers who have taken part in the 2014 World Rowing Championships finishes her event on Sunday as Vicky Opitz (Middleton, Wis.) goes for her second consecutive world championships gold medal in the women’s eight. Opitz will look to help the American women’s eight win its ninth consecutive world crown.

The other two Wisconsin alumni finished up on Friday, with Kristin Hedstrom (Concord, Mass.) winning the B final of the lightweight women's quadruple sculls to place seventh, and Andy Weiland (Upper Arlington, Ohio) finishing fifth in the lightweight men's eight.
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