New Zealand burst on to the 2016 international scene last month with a win at World Rowing Cup II. Two days ago they won their heat, but winners of the other heat, Denmark had the faster time. Today New Zealand and Denmark met to race in the final and New Zealand left the starting blocks on a 52 stroke rate pace. But it was France that got to the first 500m mark first ahead of Denmark in second. The Danes have a huge legacy in this boat class with a number of Olympic medals garnered.

Going through the middle of the race, New Zealand pushed into the lead as France dropped off the pace. Great Britain moved with New Zealand as Denmark tried to get back up from third place. Then under the guidance of stroke James Hunter, New Zealand started to move away from the field. This left a huge battle to go on behind them between Denmark and Great Britain. New Zealand won with Denmark finishing just ahead of Great Britain.

Results: NZL, DEN, GBR, FRA, GER, ITA

Matthew Dunham, New Zealand, gold
“We just wanted to have a good race and to get from A to B as fast as possible. Now we have a big training block ahead of us and we’ll just stick to our plan until Rio.”

Jacob Larsen, Denmark, silver
“I think we’ve put in a good race as a test for the Olympics. We wanted to show what we have been doing in training and if we could perform it in the race. Our start was ok, but not great. We will up our game for Rio.”

Chris Bartley (b), Great Britain, bronze
“It was really good to get on the podium here because there are a lot of strong crews here.”