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Canadian men’s eights hope possum act pays off

Canada's men's eight rower Gabriel Bergen carries oars following a training session ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Eton Dorney on Friday.

DARREN WHITESIDE/REUTERS

The men's heavyweight eights has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for Canadian rowers, and Saturday sees the 2012 crew take to the water.

The Canadians should once again contend for a medal - to win gold they'll have to beat a German boat that has been all-conquering for nearly two years - but no one really knows how strong they'll be.

That's because the Canucks have pursued a deliberate strategy of playing possum; they only competed in one World Cup event, blazing to a world record in the heats before ultimately losing to the Germans in the final.

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Canada's crew has a stiff test right off the hop: they're up against the Germans in their heat, along with a powerful Great Britain crew.

Given only the top boat advances to the final at least two of the pre-competition medal favourites will have to go the more circuitous - and tiring - repechage route.

In addition to Germany and the hosts, Canada's main competition in the event will come from a game American crew that narrowly qualified for the Games.

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About the Author
National Correspondent

Sean Gordon joined the Globe's Quebec bureau in 2008 and covers the Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact, as well as Quebec's contingent of Olympic athletes. More

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