Sevens team perform rousing waiata, haka for rowing team

11:46 pm on 30 July 2021

The men's sevens team welcomed back the rowers, bearing their gold and silver medals, with a heartfelt waiata and haka in the Games Village this evening.

New Zealand rowers won two golds and a silver in an unforgettable hour at the Tokyo Olympic Games this afternoon.

It meant the rowers finished as the best performed squad at this year's Games.

As they came back into the Games Village, the rowers were also treated to the waiata Purea Nei.

Emma Twigg started the medal rush by winning gold in the women's single sculls.

Twigg dominated the final winning in an Olympic best time of 7 mins, 13.97 secs.

The New Zealand men's eight stunned the world to win gold in the final event of the Olympic rowing programme, emulating the feats of the Kiwi crew from the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Sam Bosworth (cox), Shaun Kirkham, Tom Mackintosh, Michael Brake, Matt MacDonald, Tom Murray, Phillip Wilson, Hamish Bond and Daniel Williamson have finished .96 secs ahead of Germany, with reigning Olympic champions Great Britain having to settle for bronze.

MacDonald told RNZ he couldn't quite believe it yet.

"We're over the moon, of course, but I think it's going to take a few days to set in. We're very happy."

He said the medal was quite heavy around his neck.

"There's a fair bit of weight to this thing, it feels pretty good... we're extremely happy to come away with the win.

"We weren't quite sure what to expect, but we're absolutely over the moon at the moment."

He said returning to see the sevens team perform the haka was "spine-tingling".

"It was just an incredible experience. We feel so lucky to be part of the New Zealand team, we've got a great sense of spirit in the village."

It is a third successive gold medal for Hamish Bond, who won the men's pair with Eric Murray in 2012 and 2016.

The world champion New Zealand women's eight earlier claimed silver moments after Twigg stood at the top of the Olympic dais, finishing .91 secs behind Canada, with China third a further 1.07 secs back.

Caleb Shepherd (cox), Ella Greenslade, Emma Dyke, Kelsey Bevan, Kirstyn Goodger, Beth Ross, Phoebe Spoors, Lucy Spoors, Jackie Gowler, Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler were third at 500 metres and at the halfway stage, before reeling in Australia in the third 500.

But they couldn't chase down Canada, who led from start to finish.

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