ATHENS, Aug 15 (Reuters) By Kate Holton- Three world best times were set in fast conditions at the Olympic regatta on Sunday but the fierce rivalry
between the United States and Canada grabbed the spotlight as the U.S. men's eight qualified for the final.
The U.S beat Canada, who had led the race until metres from the finish line, in a world best time in front of a raucous crowd at Schinias.
But the fast winds which assisted the rowers were expected to get stronger on Monday and the day's racing programme was cancelled.
The disruption to the programme follows a year of warnings from locals and national team officials that Schinias was the wrong choice of venue due to
the winds, known locally as Meltemia and traditional in August.
The first round of heats was completed on Sunday, with the U.S. setting the standard as both their men's and women's eights won in new world best
The Canadian men's eight were world champions in 2002 and 2003, with America finishing third and second respectively.
The U.S. set a time of five minutes, 19.85 seconds, almost three seconds faster than the previous record set in 1999 by Holland.
Canada will now contest the repecharge on Tuesday along with Olympic champions Britain who finished fourth. Australia won the other heat.
In the women's eights, the United States continued their domination to set a world best time and hold off the fast-finishing Olympic champions
The U.S. crew finished in five minutes and 56.55 seconds, over two tenths of a second ahead of Romania and just under half a second faster than the
previous mark set in 1999 by Romania.
In the third race of the day, the Australian lightweight women's double of Sally Newmarch and Amber Halliday also set a world best time of 6:49.90.
The Australian duo beat the previous mark, set in 1995 by a Danish crew, by seven tenths of a second.