Twigg and Drysdale on track at NZ championships
The New Zealand Rowing Championships, held last week on Lake Karapiro was critical for athletes on the road to Olympic selection.
Results were used by selectors to help determine the rowers that will line up at the 2016 national selection trials starting 27 February. After these trials, Rowing New Zealand will announce their 2016 Olympic Rowing Team.
Racing at the national championships confirmed Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg's ongoing supremacy in the single sculls. Twigg had won the national title in the women’s event six years running, from 2009 to 2014. After taking a year out in 2015 to complete the FIFA Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport in Europe, the 2014 World Champion demonstrated her form by winning national gold 5.03 seconds ahead of defending national champion Lucy Spoors and Zoe Stevenson. At the end of May, Twigg will aim to qualify her boat for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Final Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Drysdale claimed his ninth New Zealand title in the men’s single, showing that his loss to John Storey at the Cambridge Town Cup a few weeks ago was not a sign of things to come. Drysdale crossed the line 1.29 seconds ahead of Robert Manson in second. John Storey finished third.
In the men’s double sculls, Manson teamed up with his 2015 world bronze medal partner Chris Harris to claim the national title ahead of John Storey and George Bridgewater in second and Jade Uru and Nathan Flannery in third.
In the men’s pair, the Olympic Champions and multi World Champions Eric Murrray and Hamish Bond did not line up together. Bond raced instead with lightweight James Lassche and finished second behind Thomas Murray and James Hunter. In 2015, Thomas Murray was part of New Zealand’s men’s eight while Hunter competed in the lightweight men’s four. Eric Murray raced in the men’s four and in the men’s eight, winning gold in both events.
In the women’s lightweight single sculls, Zoe McBride confirmed her ownership of the event, winning gold ahead of Sophie MacKenzie and Lucy Jonas. McBride is the current World Champion and World Best Time holder in this event. She also has two under-23 world titles to her name in the lightweight women’s double sculls.
In the women’s double sculls, it was Zoe Stevenson and Georgia Perry crossing the line in gold. Perry was part of the New Zealand women’s quadruple sculls that finished sixth last year at the World Rowing Championships, while Stevenson is a two-time World Champion in the double.
The national title in the women’s pair was claimed by Emma Dyke and Grace Prendergast. Both Dyke and Prendergast hail from New Zealand’s 2015 world silver medal women’s eight, while Prendergast also medalled last year in the women's pair.
For full results, click here. http://www.rowit.co.nz/results/nzcc2016
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