29 Jul 2012

NZ rowers set records on strong opening day

3:32 am on 29 July 2012

The New Zealand rowers have had a strong start to their Olympic regatta, with a new world record and a new Olympic record set on the first day of the competition.

The men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray set a world record time of 6:08.50 to secure their place in the event's semi-final.

Bond and Murray have been unbeaten since 2009.

In the heats of the men's double sculls, world champions Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan set a new Olympic record of 6:11.30, also claiming a place in the semi-finals.

Mahe Drysdale, the bronze medalist in Beijing, easily won his heat in the men's single sculls and will move through to the quarter-finals on Tuesday.

Women's single sculler Emma Twigg also had a comfortable win in her heat and progresses to the quarter-finals.

The world champion women's pair of Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown were the first New Zealand crew in action at the rowing on the opening day of the London Games and eased through their heat to place second behind Australia.

Both teams progress straight to the final, joining the top two teams from the first heat - Helen Glover and Heather Stanning from Great Britain and Sara Hendershot and Sarah Zelenka from the United States.

The remaining teams will go through to a repechage to fight for a final berth.

The men's quadruple sculls team of Michael Arms, Robbie Manson, John Storey and Matthew Trott finished last of the four teams in their heat but will have another chance to progress in the repechage.

The women's quadruple sculls team of Fiona Bourke, Sarah Gray, Eve Macfarlane and Louise Trappitt finished third in their heat.

Only the top team from each of the two heats progresses directly to the final, so the New Zealanders will join the remaining six teams in the repechage.