2 Aug 2012

Bronze for NZ women's rowing pair

12:31 pm on 2 August 2012

Rowers Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown have won New Zealand's second medal at the London Olympics, battling hard to get a bronze in the pairs.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning from Great Britain dominated from the start and comfortably won the nation's first gold medal of the Games to the delight of a roaring crowd at the Eton Dorney course.

Glover and Stanning never looked troubled and won in a time of 7min 27.13s on Wednesday.

After going through the 1500m mark Haigh and Scown, who had been in second for most of the race, began to struggle and it became a three-way battle for silver.

But Australians Kate Hornsey and Sarah Tait pipped the New Zealanders, who were closely followed by the United States pair.

The Australians' time was 7min 29.86s, while Haigh and Scown finished in 7min 30.19s.

Afterwards, Haigh was ecstatic and proud of their performance.

"This was the race in which we wanted to put it all together. We had the best start we had all season and gave it everything we could. We were hanging on for dear life stroke after stroke."

Scown said winning an Olympic bronze medal felt better than winning a world title, because the competition was far more intense than any other rowing tournament.

New Zealand's equestrian team won bronze in the three-day event on Tuesday.

Drysdale, men's pairs into final

World champion Mahe Drysdale had an easier time of it at Eton Dorney, cruising into his final in the single sculls on Wednesday.

The New Zealander finished in a time of 7min 18.11s, ahead of Sweden's Lassi Karonen and Marcel Hacker from Germany in their semifinal.

Drysdale holds the current world record and is favourite to win gold on Friday, but is likely to be pushed by the Czech Republic's Ondrej Synek, who posted the fastest time of the semis with 7min 16.58s.

In the men's pairs, New Zealand's Eric Murray and Hamish Bond booked a place in the final after a comfortable win.

The world champions led the field from early on, before powering away to win their race in 6min 48.11s.

Murray and Bond are favourites for a gold medal on Friday and will compete against teams from Italy, Canada, Great Britian, France and Australia.

Quadruple sculls out of final

In the men's quadruple sculls, the New Zealanders could only manage fourth in their semifinal and have missed out on a chance for a medal.

Croatia blitzed the field in a time of 6min 03.39s, followed by Australia and Great Britain on Wednesday.

The New Zealand team of Michael Arms, Robbie Manson, John Storey, Matthew Trott recorded a time of 6min 10.95s.

They must now compete in the B final against teams from Russia, Switzerland, France, Ukraine and Italy.

In the women's quadruple sculls, the New Zealanders pulled off a last-gasp win against Poland in their B final.

Poland were leading until the last seconds of the race, but the team of Fi Bourke, Sarah Gray, Eve Macfarlane, Louise Trappitt dug deep to win by one second in 6min 56.46s.