30 Jul 2012

Mixed success for rowers on Day Two

11:44 am on 30 July 2012

Former New Zealand Olympic rowing champion Rob Waddell says it was a privilege to see New Zealand rowers break a world record in their heat at the London Olympics.

New Zealand's rowing squad made a good start to their Olympic campaign, highlighted by Hamish Bond and Eric Murray setting a record time, while the double scullers Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan set a Olympic record.

On Monday the former world champion lightweight double of Storm Uru and Peter Taylor were second in their heat.

Waddell says the New Zealand camp will be happy with their start, but Bond and Murray, who have been unbeaten in the 4 years they have been together, were outstanding.

"We're privileged to be seeing that crew racing," Waddell told Morning Report. "I think it's abolutely phenomenal.

"The world record they beat - it wasn't a 'soft' world record. It was set by some great British oarsmen: Sir Steve Redgrave, who had five Olympic gold medals ... and these guys have come out and beaten his best time by 10 seconds. It's just unbelieveable".

Rowing New Zealand high performance manager, Alan Cotter, told Morning Report that many of the team's performances are promising, heading into the quarter and semi-finals.

"We're pretty pleased with the first two days .. some crews need to do a little better, but at least we're on the pace.

"Certainly, with the men's pair going so well and breaking the Olympic record ... we're pretty pleased."

New Zealand lightweight double scullers Uru and Taylor - who finished second in their heat behind Great Britain - will progress directly to the event's semi-finals at the Olympic rowing regatta at Eton Dorney.

They will compete in the semi-finals on Wednesday.

The women's lightweight double scullers did not achieve the same success, with a disappointing finish in their first race.

Louise Ayling and Julia Edward led at the start of the race but faded towards the end to finish third.

The placing was not enough to progress straight to the semi-finals but Ayling and Edward have another chance to qualify in the repechage on Tuesday.