See Martin Cross's "Dream Crew" and more statistics below.

New Zealand’s Hamish Bond and Eric Murray have been the stars of the men’s pair since 2009. Having not lost a single race in seven years, they won World Championship after World Championship as well as Olympic gold, and also hold the World Best Time. On the water, they have remained untouchable, often crossing the line several lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

The Kiwis’ dominance has led other nations to pull out of the men’s pair and focus on events in which they have a higher chance of winning gold. Bond and Murray now seem well on their way to win a second Olympic gold medal.

But New Zealand still has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with Great Britain in the historical Olympic stats and figures related to the men’s pair. In this event, New Zealand is currently ranked eighth with one Olympic gold, one Olympic silver and one Olympic bronze to date. These medals were won within a timeframe of 80 years (1932-2012).

It is Great Britain that tops the all-time Olympic medals table in the men’s pair, with a total of ten medals including six gold. Three of those gold medals were claimed at consecutive Games by rowing’s all-time most decorated male athlete: Steve Redgrave.

At the Seoul 1988 Games, aged 26, Redgrave was competing in his second Olympics. He already had an Olympic gold from 1984 in the men’s coxed four.  In Seoul, Redgrave began an Olympic winning streak in the pair that would last until the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games. The first of those Olympic golds in the pair was won in partnership with Andy Holmes and the following two with Matthew Pinsent. These wins, along with other Olympic medals won in other events, have placed Redgrave and Pinsent in the first and second positions respectively on the all-time list of top Olympic male rowing athletes.

Great Britain owned the World Best Time for more than two decades in the pair. After Redgrave and Pinsent set it at the 1991 World Rowing Championships, British rowers set two other Best Times in 1994 and 2002 before New Zealand beat it at the London 2012 Olympic Games by an incredible 5.77 seconds.

In the years before New Zealand’s current appropriation of the event, it was another Oceanic nation leading the men’s pair – Australia. Drew Ginn is fourth on the all-time list of top Olympic male rowers, with four Olympic medals overall. Ginn won two Olympic gold medals in the men’s pair at two successive Games, in 2004 and 2008. In Athens, he partnered with James Tomkins and in Beijing with Duncan Free.

Thirteen boats have now qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games through last year’s World Rowing Championships and the recent Final Olympic Qualification Regatta.

 

ALL-TIME DREAM CREW IN THE MEN’S PAIR

By Martin Cross

Using more than a century of modern rowing, Martin Cross looks at the sport’s legendary performers and plays selector. This is his pick of the best men's pair ever and for the first time in Martin's picks, he has kept a crew intact.

Stroke: Hamish Bond (NZL)
Bow: Eric Murray (NZL)

Probably the finest pair of any era and it’s hard to see how it could be improved by splitting a crew that’s remained undefeated since 2009. Their time of 6:08 on the way to 2012 Olympic gold on Dorney Lake remains a daunting mark. Even Redgrave and Pinsent – between 1990 and 1996 - did not have the same level of dominance as these two All Blacks. 

STATISTICS AND LINKS

Videos

Olympic Games – London 2012

World Rowing Championships – Aiguebelette 2015 

World Rowing Championships – Amsterdam 2014

World Rowing Championships – Chungju 2013

 

 

Olympic Qualification (at 9 May 2016)

No.

Olympic Qualification Regatta

M2- (13)

1

WCH 1

NZL

2

WCH 2

GBR

3

WCH 3

SRB

4

WCH 4

NED

5

WCH 5

ITA

6

WCH 6

AUS

7

WCH 7

RSA

8

WCH 8

FRA

9

WCH 9

USA

10

WCH 10

ESP

11

WCH 11

ROU

12

FOQR

CZE

13

FOQR

HUN

 

 

World Best Times – Historical Evolution

6:08.50

NZL

2012 Olympic Games - Dorney Lake Eton/London, Great Britain (Heat 1)

6:14.27

GBR

2002 World Rowing Championships - Guadalquivir/Seville, Spain (Final A)

6:18.65

GBR

1994 World Rowing Championships - Eagle Creek/Indianapolis, United States (Final A)

6:21.35

GBR

1991 World Rowing Championships - Neue Donau/Vienna, Austria (Final A)

 

Olympic Best Times – Historical Evolution

Time Boat Competition

 

06:08.5

NZL

2012 Olympic Games - Dorney Lake Eton/London, Great Britain (Heat 1)

06:20.1

GBR

1996 Olympic Games - Atlanta, United States (Final A)

06:27.7

GBR

1992 Olympic Games - Estany Banyoles/Barcelona, Spain (Final A)