20 Feb 2016

Drysdale and Twigg win NZ titles

7:39 pm on 20 February 2016

Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg have claimed the men's and women's single sculls titles at the New Zealand rowing championships on Lake Karapiro.

The 2014 world single sculls champion, Twigg, won her seventh national title by comfortably defeating a high-class field containing reigning double sculls world champions, Zoe Stevenson and Eve MacFarlane and defending champion Lucy Spoors.

Emma Twigg takes victory in the NZ single sculls, 2016.

Emma Twigg takes victory in the NZ single sculls, 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Twigg's victory margin of 5.03 seconds over Spoors reunited her with the crown she won for six successive years from 2009 to 2014.

"We have fantastic depth (in New Zealand) so to finish five seconds ahead of those girls is really pleasing," says the 28 year-old.

In the men's race, Drysdale bounced back from a recent loss to John Storey in the Cambridge Town Cup to beat Robbie Manson by 1.29 seconds.

It was Drysdale's ninth national title.

Mahe Drysdale on Lake Karapiro, 2016.

Mahe Drysdale on Lake Karapiro, 2016. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Storey completed the podium positions recording 7:01.53 for bronze.

Speaking to the media after the race with daughter Bronte is his arms Drysdale was more than satisfied with banking yet another New Zealand crown.

"The national title is always nice to win but it very much a stepping stone towards the Olympics," said Drysdale competing in his club colours of West End Rowing Club.

"I'm happy with the way the race panned out.

"I feel very much on track with my training," he said.

"It is all about being the very best I need to be in August and as I showed today I can pull out a big race. To know that I can improve with a bit more speed work and preparation is pleasing."

Mahe Drysdale and daughter Bronte display the cup.

Mahe Drysdale and daughter Bronte display the cup. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Manson, who wants to focus on the double this year, was also pleased with his efforts.

"I'm pretty happy with how I'm going in the single," says Manson, who yesterday secured the national double sculls title alongside Chris Harris.

"I tried to throw everything at him but Mahe is Olympic champion, so you would expect him to win."

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