4 Sep 2011

World gold again for Drysdale, Murray and Bond

8:05 am on 4 September 2011

New Zealand's rowers have taken three more medals at the World Rowing Championships in Slovenia.

Single sculler Mahe Drysdale reclaimed the world title - his fifth - and Hamish Bond and Eric Murray won their third straight gold medal in the men's pair.

It was an epic day for New Zealand in Bled as the country also returned to the sharp end of the women's double sculling field for the first time since the Evers Swindell twins won in Beijing, with Anna Reymer and Fiona Patterson also taking out the bronze medal in the women's double.

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

Murray and Bond repelled a strong challenge from arch rivals Peter Reed and Andrew Triggs of Great Britain, after taking the lead almost immediately.

Their lead stretched to as much as two lengths but the British had held something in reserve and attacked hard in the final 500 metres, forcing a full on defence by the New Zealand pair, Murray and Bond holding on to win by just under a length in the second fastest race of all time.

Drysdale was back to his best as he rowed through early leader Alan Campbell and current champion Ondrej Synek leaving Lassi Karonen, Marcel Hacker and Olaf Tufte in his wake.

He took the lead and started to move away, taking Synek with him. With 250 metres to go, Synek made a strong challenge but Drysdale produced a robust defence and kept him at bay by about half a length.

Reymer and Paterson capped a great first season together with their outstanding bronze in the double sculls race won by the British, with Australia second.

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 - avoid last place and they'll also qualify for London.