New Zealand men’s rowing eight close in on Olympic qualification in Lucerne

The New Zealand men’s eight, pictured at Lake Karapiro last month, are on track to secure Olympic qualification. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

The New Zealand men’s rowing eight have landed a big psychological blow two days out from their crunch Olympic qualifying race.

They will just be hoping their opponents weren’t foxing with them and keeping their powder dry.

Racing at the ‘last chance’ regatta at Lucerne in Switzerland, the Kiwi crew need to finish in the top two of the four boats entered to secure their spot at the Tokyo Games.

While that crucial final race is on Monday night (NZ time), the four crews – China, Romania and Italy the others – still rowed a preliminary race on Saturday night (NZT), which, more than anything else, was just to determine which boat features in which lane in the decider.

And the New Zealand crew of Dan Williamson, Hamish Bond, Matt MacDonald, Michael Brake, Phillip Wilson, Shaun Kirkham, Tom Mackintosh, Tom Murray and cox Sam Bosworth ensured they would indeed nab a middle lane, after taking victory in a time of five minutes, 36.34 seconds.

The Kiwis led at each 500-metre juncture, steadily increasing their lead on closest rivals Romania, who were surprise silver medallists at the European Championships in Italy last month.


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