23 Jul 2012


12:52 pm on 23 July 2012

Men's rowing has been featured at every Olympic Games since 1900 in Paris, with women's rowing joining the programme at the Montreal in 1976.

New Zealand has won 16 Olympic medals since Darcy Hadfield took bronze at the 1920 Antwerp Games and sits equal with sailing as New Zealand's second-most medalled sport, behind athletics with 20.

This year, 26 rowers will represent New Zealand at the London Games and are some of the strongest medal hopes, boasting four world champion individuals and teams.


Heading the team is five-time world champion in the single sculls, Mahe Drysdale.

The 33-year-old will compete in this event in his third Olympics and is one of New Zealand's best chances for a gold medal.

Drysdale competed in the men's four at the 2004 Athens Games, where the team finished fifth, and in the single sculls at the 2008 Beijing Games, where he won bronze despite having a stomach bug.

In June this year, he suffered a minor injury to a hip and shoulder while training on a bike and did not take part in the World Cup regatta in Munich.


The men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are strong gold medal contenders.

They are the current world champions in the discipline, having been unbeaten in all of their major races this season. Both were in the men's four team at the Beijing Games, where they placed seventh.

The London Games will be the second Olympics in which Bond, 26, has competed, while Murray, 30, will compete in his third Games.

Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown are favourites to win the women's pair event, having won the 2010 and 2011 World Championships, and were only beaten once during that period.

Haigh, 30, has competed at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games in the women's pair with Nicola Coles.

Scown, 28, is competing at her first Olympics, having been part of the women's eight crew that failed to qualify for Beijing.


Two-time world double sculls champions Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan are also a strong gold medal prospect. They teamed up in 2010 and have won back-to-back world titles.

Cohen, 26, is competing at his second Olympics, having placed fourth in the double sculls with Rob Waddell in Beijing in 2008.

London is the first Olympics for Sullivan, 25, who has won a world championship every year since 2007 in either the single or double sculls.

In the final World Cup regatta before the London Games at Munich in June, Cohen and Sullivan came away with a second place.


Other medal prospects are the 2009 men's lightweight double sculls world champions Storm Uru and Peter Taylor, who have won world championship gold, bronze and silver medals during the past three years; single sculls rower Emma Twigg, who finished third at the 2011 World Championships; and Fi Paterson and Anna Reymer, who won bronze at the 2011 World Championships in the double sculls.


Men's: Mahe Drysdale (single sculls), Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan (double sculls), Peter Taylor and Storm Uru (lightweight double sculls), Hamish Bond and Eric Murray (pairs), Michael Arms, Robbie Manson, John Storey, Matthew Trott (quadruple sculls), Chris Harris, Sean O'Neill, Jade Uru, Tyson Williams (fours).

Women's: Emma Twigg (single sculls), Fi Paterson and Anna Reymer (double sculls), Louise Ayling and Julia Edward (lightweight double sculls), Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown (pairs), Fi Bourke, Sarah Gray, Eve Macfarlane, Louise Trappitt (quadruple sculls).

Some information sourced from www.olympic.org.nz

Where and when

Events will be held at the Eton Dorney Rowing Centre at Dorney Lake, about 40km west of London, from 28 July to 4 August (Reserve day: 5 August).