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Saturday, September 23, 2000
PROFILE: Derek Porter
Canadians sadly finish fourth

By CHRIS STEVENSON -- SLAM! Sports

 ENRITH LAKES, Australia -- The tears in Derek Porter's eyes said it all.

 Part of it was the disappointment.

 Part of it, surely, was grim reality.

 And there was frustration, with his fourth place finish, with the idea he's time has caught up to him, with the constant battles for funding for Canada's Olympic athletes.

 At 32, the Canadian sculler, Canada's best hope for a rowing medal, thinks maybe he just isn't good enough anymore.

 Porter, from Victoria, B.C., rowed what he felt was a fine race Saturday and was stunned after crossing the finish line in fourth place.

 "It's amazing that three people could beat me feeling the way I did today," said Porter, who had to blink back tears from his penetrating blue eyes.

 "This might be the writing on the wall. Everything happens for a reason as they say."

 Porter was left behind New Zealand's Rob Waddell, Switzerland's Xeno Mueller and Germany's Marcel Hacker, finishing about 1.5 seconds in the wake of Hacker's boat.

 Minutes later, the women's coxless pair of Winnipeg's Emma Robinson and Theresa Luke of 100 Mile House, B.C., finished fourth in their event, leaving the once powerful Canadian rowing team with but one chance for a medal.

 The women's eights will try and prevent what would be a stunning shutout for Canada Sunday. The rowers won six of Canada's 22 medals in Atlanta four years ago.

 The stunning reality for Porter was he rowed what he thought was a great race and it still wasn't nearly good enough. He said he used what fuel he had efficiently. His strategy, to pace himself better during the race, was executed the way he wanted.

 He had energy in the tank for a finishing sprint, but it simply wasn't enough to get him to the podium.

 When he entered the final 400 metres, he figured he had a great chance at a medal. He was keying on Germany's Marcel Hacker, whom he led by about half a boat length.

 "I had him in my scopes," he said. "I figure in the last 500 with that sprint, I'd get the bronze, or better. I was a bit surprised when I crossed the finish line and saw Canada was fourth.

 "I just wasn't fast enough. Hacker had an incredible last 500."

 Porter said it was unlikely he would continue as a single sculler, but didn't rule out competing in some other events.

 He also sounded off about the lack of support for Canada's athletes back home in the face of mounting criticism of Canada's poor results so far here. He pointed to the financial support athletes from other countries are getting.

 "That's something Canada doesn't do," he said. "We've done well despite the system. (The government) says why bother? They're doing well. Why spend? It's catching up to us. There's not enough money train at the level we have to.

 "We've been resting on our laurels for the last eight years. Things have changed. We've got to get more focused on winning than qualifying."

 Robinson and Luke didn't have much time to dwell on their fourth-place finish behind boats from Romania, Australia and the USA.

 "We're tired, but ready to start thinking about the eight," said Robinson. "We'll go race and see what we can do. It's another chance to get to the podium."

 Results
 SYDNEY (AP) -- Results Saturday from the rowing event at the Summer Olympics:
 Men
 Single Sculls
 Final
 1, Rob Waddell, New Zealand, 6:48.90.
 2, Xeno Mueller, Switzerland, 6:50.55.
 3, Marcel Hacker, Germany, 6:50.83.
 4, Derek Porter, Canada, 6:51.10.
 5, Ivo Yanakiev, Bulgaria, 6:57.32.
 6, Juri Jaanson, Estonia, 6:59.15.
 6, Juri Jaanson, Estonia, 6:59.15.
 Pair Without Coxswain
 Final
 1, France (Michel Andrieux; Jean-Christophe Rolland), 6:32.97.
 2, United States (Ted Murphy, West Newton, Mass.; Sebastian Bea, San Francisco), 6:33.80.
 3, Australia (Matthew Long; James Tomkins), 6:34.26.
 4, Britain (Edward Coode; Greg Searle), 6:34.38.
 5, Yugoslavia (Djordje Visacki; Nikola Stojic), 6:38.70.
 6, South Africa (Ramon di Clemente; Donovan Cech), 6:43.10.
 Heavyweight Double Sculls
 Final
 1, Slovenia (Luka Spik; Iztok Cop), 6:16.63.
 2, Norway (Olaf Tufte; Fredrik Raaen Bekken), 6:17.98.
 3, Italy (Giovanni Calabrese; Nicola Sartori), 6:20.49.
 4, Germany (Sebastian Mayer; Stefan Roehnert), 6:23.58.
 5, Hungary (Tibor Peto; Akos Haller), 6:27.04.
 6, Poland (Adam Korol; Marek Kolbowicz), 6:32.11.
 Heavyweight Four Without Cox
 Final
 1, Britain (James Cracknell; Steven Redgrave; Tim Foster; Matthew Pinsent), 5:56.24.
 2, Italy (Valter Molea; Riccardo dei Rossi; Lorenzo Carboncini; Carlo Mornati), 5:56.62.
 3, Australia (James Stewart; Ben Dodwell; Geoff Stewart; Bo Hanson), 5:57.61.
 4, Slovenia (Janez Klemencic; Milan Jansa; Rok Kolander; Matej Prelog), 5:58.34.
 5, United States (Michael Wherley, Sun Prairie, Wis.; Eric Mueller, Cedarburg, Wis.; James Koven, Green Village, N.J.; Wolfgang Moser, Moultonboro, N.H.), 6:02.34.
 6, New Zealand (Dave Schaper; Scott Brownlee; Toni Dunlop; Rob Hellstrom), 6:09.13.
 Lightweight Double Sculls
 Classification
 Heat 1
 1, Australia (Haimish Karrasch; Bruce Hick), 6:26.21.
 2, Greece (Vasileios Polymeros; Panagiotis Miliotis), 6:27.79.
 3, Spain (Juan Zunzunegui; Ruben Alvarez), 6:31.49.
 4, Mexico (Romulo Bouzas Rodriguez; Gerardo Miguel Gomez Counahan), 6:31.70.
 5, United States (Steve Tucker, Mooresville, Ind.; Conal Groom, Northford, Conn.), 6:32.41.
 6, Netherlands (Maarten van der Linden; Pepijn Aardewijn), 6:40.18.
 Heat 2
 1, Argentina (Ulf Lienhard; Sebastian Rodrigo Massa), 6:29.19.
 2, Britain (Tom Kay; Tom Middleton), 6:32.67.
 3, Sweden (Josef Kaellstroem; Anders Baatemyr), 6:34.11.
 4, Hong Kong (Sing Yan Lo; Kam Chi Lui), 6:49.19.
 5, Pakistan (Zahid Ali Pirzada; Hazrat Islam), 6:52.12.
 Lightweight Four Without Cox
 Classification
 1, Canada (Iain Brambell; Chris Davidson; Gavin Hassett; Jon Beare), 6:04.31.
 2, Netherlands (Joris Trooster; Jeroen Spaans; Simon Kolkman; Robert van der Vooren), 6:05.96.
 3, Austria (Helfried Jurtschitsch; Bernd Wakolbinger; Martin Kobau; Wolfgang Sigl), 6:07.84.
 4, Russia (Dmitri Kartachov; Andrei Chevel; Serguei Boukreev; Alexandre Ziouzine), 6:09.12.
 5, Ireland (Neville Maxwell; Neal Byrne; Gearoid Towey; Anthony O'Connor), 6:09.84.
 6, Germany (Roland Haendle; Bjoern Spaeter; Thorsten Schmidt; Marcus Mielke), 6:15.31.
 Quadruple Sculls
 Classification
 1, United States (Sean Hall, Arlington, Va.; Nicholas Peterson, Alexandria, Va.; Ian McGowan, Snohomish, Wash.; Jake Wetzel, Berkley, Calif.), 5:49.76.
 2, Poland (Karol Lazar; Slawomir Kruszkowski; Adam Bronikowski; Michal Wojciechowski), 5:51.79.
 3, Belgium (Stijn Smulders; Arnaud Duchesne; Luc Goiris; Bjorn Hendrickx), 5:54.17.
 4, France (Yvan Deslaviere; Guillaume Jeannet; Sebastien Vieilledent; Samuel Barathay), 5:55.41.
 5, Austria (Raphael Hartl; Horst Nussbaumer; Arnold Jonke; Norbert Lambing), 5:57.58.
 6, Cuba (Leonides Same; Eusebio Acea; Yoennis Hernandez; Yosbel Martinez), 6:00.63.
 Eight With Coxswain
 Classification
 1, Canada (Michael Belenkie; Bryan Donnelly; Matt Swick; Tom Herschmiller; Lawrence Varga; Morgan Crooks; David Calder; Adam Parfitt; Chris Taylor), 5:36.30.
 2, Netherlands (Adri Middag; Peter van der Noort; Niels van der Zwan; Gerritjan Eggenkamp; Geert Jan Derksen; Gijs Kind; Geert Cirkel; Nico Rienks; Merijn van Oijen), 5:36.63.
 3, Russia (Serguei Matveev; Alexandre Litvintchev; Pavel Melnikov; Andrei Gloukhov; Dmitri Kovalev; Vladimir Volodenkov; Dmitri Rozinkevitch; Anton Tchermachentsev; Alexandre Loukianov), 5:42.72.
 
 Women
 Single Sculls
 Final
 1, Ekaterina Karsten, Belarus, 7:28.14.
 2, Rumyana Neykova, Bulgaria, 7:28.15.
 3, Katrin Rutschow-Stomporowski, Germany, 7:28.99.
 4, Ioulia Alexandrova, Russia, 7:36.57.
 5, Georgina Douglas, Australia, 7:37.88.
 6, Sonia Waddell, New Zealand, 7:43.71.
 Pair Without Coxswain
 Final
 1, Romania (Georgeta Damian; Doina Ignat), 7:11.00.
 2, Australia (Rachael Taylor; Kate Slatter), 7:12.56.
 3, United States (Missy Ryan, Bloomington, Ind.; Karen Kraft, San Mateo, Calif.), 7:13.00.
 4, Canada (Emma Robinson; Theresa Luke), 7:15.48.
 5, South Africa (Helen Margaret Fleming; Colleen Jill Orsmond), 7:16.84.
 6, Germany (Lenka Wech; Claudia Barth), 7:20.08.
 Heavyweight Double Sculls
 Final
 1, Germany (Jana Thieme; Kathrin Boron), 6:55.44.
 2, Netherlands (Pieta van Dishoeck; Eeke van Nes), 7:00.36.
 3, Lithuania (Birute Sakickiene; Kristina Poplavskaja), 7:01.71.
 4, United States (Carol Skricki, Norwood, Mass.; Ruth Davidon, Haverford, Pa.), 7:02.61.
 5, Romania (Elisabeta Lipa; Veronica Cochela), 7:05.05.
 6, Australia (Marina Hatzakis; Bronwyn Roye), 7:05.35.
 Lightweight Double Sculls
 Classification
 Heat 1
 1, France (Benedicte Luzuy; Christelle Fernandez-Schulte), 7:10.70.
 2, Poland (Elzbieta Kuncewicz; Ilona Mokronowska), 7:12.76.
 3, Canada (Fiona Milne; Tracy Duncan), 7:13.76.
 4, China (Yu Hua; Ou Shaoyan), 7:15.31.
 5, Greece (Angeliki Gkremou; Chrysi Biskitzi), 7:17.11.
 6, Bulgaria (Viktoriya Dimitrova; Margarita Petrova), 7:17.64.
 Heat 2
 1, Hungary (Anna Alliquander; Monika Remsei), 7:13.22.
 2, Japan (Ayako Yoshida; Akiko Iwamoto), 7:15.01.
 3, Cuba (Marlenis Mesa; Dailin Taset), 7:19.63.
 4, Mexico (Ana Sofia Soberanes Gonzalez; Maria de Lourdes Montoya Castorena), 7:25.00.
 5, South Korea (Mun Hae-Young; Im Jin-Myung), 7:42.07.
 Quadruple Sculls
 Classification
 1, Australia (Kerry Knowler; Monique Heinke; Julia Wilson; Sally Robbins), 6:37.22.
 2, China (Liu Lijuan; Han Jing; Sun Guangxia; Liu Lin), 6:39.51.
 3, Romania (Doina Tudora Spircu; Aurica Chirita; Elena Popa; Crina Violeta Serediuc), 6:46.78.

Derek Porter in the news
Canadians sadly finish fourth
Porter's best still not good enough
Canadians resent being called losers
Porter in pictures
Sydney frustration
4th place
With Tara Moss
Single sculls heat
Sydney training
A new uniform
Yes!
Hugging Theresa Luke
Relaxing after a win
Showing off a medal
After a win
Winning silver