28 Aug 2014

Drysdale made to work for win

6:32 am on 28 August 2014

The Olympic single sculls champion Mahe Drysdale survived an early scare before storming into the semi-finals at the Rowing World Championships with a come from behind win in Amsterdam.

New Zealand rower Mahe Drysdale at the 2014 world rowing championships

New Zealand rower Mahe Drysdale at the 2014 world rowing championships Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Lithuanian sculler Mindaugaus Griskonis led New Zealand's five-time world champion for the first half of the 2000m quarter-final race, but shortly after passing the midway mark Drysdale took control.

With a top three finish required to advance to the semi-final in Amsterdam, Drysdale found another gear to open up a comfortable winning margin over the Lithuanian, who finished second, with the French sculler Francesco Cardaioli third.

Drysdale's winning time was 7:09.68.

In the repechages of the women's double sculls Zoe Stevenson and Fiona Bourke finished first to nail a semi-final spot.

The New Zealand duo required a top two placing to keep their world championship dreams alive and clocked in a time of 7:23.33, with the Russian crew taking the second qualification spot.

New Zealand women's single sculler Emma Twigg was competing against the Olympic Champion Czech Mirka Knapkova and China's Jingli Duan, with the trio dominating the field to claim the top three spots in the first quarter-final.

Twigg took the early lead in the three boat race and never looked like relinquishing it as she continued to build on her boat speed throughout the race, eventually finishing first in 7:48.84.

Duan claimed the second placing just over three seconds back to 7:51.99, while Knapkova grabbed the final qualifying position.

Tomorrow morning New Zealanders are in action in the quarter finals for the men's double scull, while the women's pair, men's pair, women's lightweight double scull, the women's quad and men's quad will race their A/B semi-finals.