4 Sep 2011

More gold medals for NZ rowers

2:52 pm on 4 September 2011

Single sculler Mahe Drysdale reclaimed his world title at the World Rowing Championships as the New Zealand team posted their best ever championship results.

Mahe Drysdale took his fifth title and Hamish Bond and Eric Murray won their third straight gold medal in the men's pair at the championships in Slovenia.

Anna Reymer and Fiona Patterson capped their first season together with their bronze medal in the women's double sculls race, won by Britain with Australia second.

Murray and Bond took the lead almost immediately, and stretched it to nearly two lengths. British team Peter Reed and Andrew Triggs attacked hard in the final 500 metres, but Murray and Bond held on to win by just under a length in the second fastest race of all time.

Drysdale, challenged by champion Ondrej Synek with 250 metres to go, produced a robust defence, keeping him at bay by about half a length.

The lightweight women's double scull of Louise Ayling and Lucy Strack were second in their semi-final to make the A final, with London qualification achieved.

Men's lightweight double scullers Storm Uru and Pete Taylor won their semi to notch up another A final start and Olympic entry for New Zealand, and Emma Twigg followed suit with a comfortable second place in her semi.

The men's quadruple scull sealed their Olympic spot with fourth in the B final race, where the whole field was covered by two seconds.

The men's four made the B final and face the same scenario as the men's quad - if they avoid last place they will also qualify for London.

New Zealand now has a record 11 boats qualified for the London Olympics.

Retired Olympic champion rower Caroline Meyer (nee Evers-Swindell) says Drysdale's win is perfect preparation for next year's Olympics.

She says that finishing the season with a world title will give Drysdale confidence as he prepares for the Olympics in London.