1 Nov 2010

Drysdale starts world champs with a win in heats

6:52 pm on 1 November 2010

The New Zealand rowers are off to a great start on the first full day of the World Championships on Lake Karapiro.

After Sunday was mostly lost to choppy conditions, Monday saw nine local crews win their heats, with five straight through to A-finals, and another two through as well as two more still hoping to qualify through repechages.

Three-time defending singles sculls champion Mahe Drysdale started things off with an easy win in his heat to progress to the semi-finals, despite admitting he's physically not at his best as he comes back from a back injury.

The world champion men's double of Storm Uru and Peter Taylor won their lightweight heat to qualify for the semi-finals, while the women's lightweight double scullers Lucy Strack and Julia Edward won their repechage to qualify for the semi-final.

Lightweight men's sculler Duncan Grant won his heat to progress to the semi-finals, while the women's lightweight Louise Ayling won her heat to progress directly to the final.

The men's pair world champions Hamish Bond and Eric Murray advanced to the semi-finals after winning their heat, as did the women's pair of Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown, though they advance directly to the final.

Double scullers Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan won their heat to qualify for the semi-finals.

The men's four came up with a shock win in their heat to qualify directly for the final, a second ahead of pre-tournament favourites Great Britain.

Emma Twigg went straight through to the women's single sculls semi-finals after finishing second in her heat.

The men's quadruple sculls came third in their heat and will fight it out in a repechage while the women's quadruple sculls also came third but go directly to the final.

New Zealand's only adaptive rower Danny McBride is through to the final after he won his heat in the arms and shoulder class.