1 Aug 2012

Rowers advance at Games

5:48 am on 1 August 2012

New Zealand rowers edged closer to medal chances at the London Olympics on Tuesday, led by five-time single sculls world champion Mahe Drysdale.

Drysdale, 33, looked relaxed on the Eton Dorey course and had a comfortable win in his quarterfinals race with a time of 6min 54.86s to make the semis.

However, his time was two seconds slower than the fastest qualifier Alan Campbell, of Britain, who won the second quarterfinal race in 6min 52.10s.

In the women's single sculls quarterfinals, Emma Twigg secured a place in the semis, but had to settle for second in race 1 as Australia's Kim Crowe blitzed the field. Crowe posted a time of 7min 34.29s, with Twigg five seconds behind on 7min 39.07s.

Also pushed hard were the double sculls team of Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan, who had to dig deep to clinch second place in their semifinal race won by the strong Argentinian team of Ariel Suarez and Cristian Rosso in 6min 19.40s.

Cohen and Sullivan's time was 6min 19.79s, one second faster than the Italian team.

The New Zealand men's four also fought off a fast finish from the Italians to claim second place in their repecharge, two seconds behind Serbia, to make the semifinals.

The Serbian team won in a time of 6min 01.97s, while the New Zealand four of Chris Harris, Sean O'Neill, Jade Uru and Tyson Williams posted a time of 6min 03.66s. Italy are into the semis.

In the lightweight men's double sculls repecharge, Greece's Panagiotis Magdanis and Eleftherios Konsolas powered away from the field to win race 1 in a time of 6min 31.13s to secure a semis spot. The Hungarian duo of Zsott Hrling and Tamas Varga came second and are also through.

In race 2, Cuba's Manuel Suarez Barrios and Yunior Perez Aguilera won in 6min 37.04s, ahead of Japan's Kazushige Ura and Daisaku Takeda. Both teams are also into the semis.

The New Zealand team of Peter Taylor and Storm Uru earlier qualified, as have teams from Great Britain, Portugal and Italy.

NZ women double sculls into semis

In the repecharge for the women's lightweight double sculls, New Zealand's Louise Ayling and Julia Edward claimed second place behind the Netherlands on Tuesday - a result good enough to take them into the semifinals.

Ayling and Edward's posted 7min 21.29s, two seconds behind Riane Sigmnond and Maaike Head who won race 1 in 7min 19.26s. In race 2, teams from the United States, Canada and Cuba qualified for Thursday's semifinals.

In the double sculls repecharge, China's Min Wang and Weiwei Zhu took first place with 7min 09.65s but were chased hard by second place-getters Margot Shumway and Sarah Trowbridge from the United States to make the final.

The New Zealand team of Fi Paterson and Anna Reymer on Monday qualified for the final after placing second in their heat behind Great Britain in a time of 6min 49.44s.