Another golden Olympic hour for NZ

By Robert Lowe, NZ Newswire August 4, 2012, 4:04 am

New Zealand has another golden Olympic hour to celebrate after a quick-fire double success at the rowing regatta of the London Games.

Just over 40 minutes after Eric Murray and Hamish Bond crossed the finish line to claim the men's pair title, Mahe Drysdale - who had been sick with nerves beforehand - did the same in the single sculls.

Their achievement comes 52 years after the original golden hour in Rome, when Murray Halberg followed up Peter Snell's 800-metre victory by winning the 5000 metres.

Murray and Bond, unbeaten since teaming up in 2009, were the red-hot favourites for their final on Friday and they duly delivered another commanding performance.

Drysdale had a tougher fight before holding off his main rival, Czech Ondrej Synek, by three-quarters of a length.

That took New Zealand's medal tally to five, including three gold, all won at the rowing venue of Eton Dorney, west of London.

It lifted them to 10th on the medal table, well clear of neighbours Australia who have enjoyed just one golden moment.

Five-time world champion Drysdale had gone into the medal race looking to erase the disappointment of Beijing 2008.

Then, he was also the reigning world champion but was laid low by a stomach bug and battled on to finish third.

He was sick again this time around, not from illness, but from nerves, and vomited about two hours before the start.

He says he's felt like that only once before - at the national championships this year.

"It's not a nice feeling," he said.

"It was probably one of the worst mornings of my life." The 33-year-old admits that one reason he found it so tough is that what he terms his "failure" four years ago remained at the back of his mind.

"Had I won in Beijing, it would have been a lot easier this morning because it would have felt like I had already achieved that goal."

Sitting fourth at the 500-metre mark, Drysdale lifted a gear to hit the front by the halfway stage.

He then pulled away from Synek to be ahead by a length with 500m to go.

The Czech put in a spurt to try to make up the gap, but Drysdale held on by three-quarters of a length in a time of 6min 57.82sec.

For Synek, who won the world title at Lake Karapiro two years ago, it was his second successive Olympic silver.

Bronze went to Britain's Alan Campbell.

Drysdale believes the deciding stretch of the contest was the third 500 metres.

"I was starting to get a bit of a lead on Ondrej and it was there that I went and put everything into it," he said.

"I could see him coming at me and I was hoping he wasn't going to have much of a sprint because I didn't have anything left."

The other New Zealand crew in action, Fi Paterson and Anna Reymer, came fifth in the final of the women's doubles sculls, the event compatriots Georgina and Caroline Evers-Swindell won at the past two Olympics.

Britain's Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger took the gold.

NZN rlo/smm

Rugby

Results

2013/14 Aviva Premiership (ENG)

2014 Super Rugby Tournament

2013/14 Aviva Premiership (ENG)

Schedule

2014 Super Rugby Tournament

7:35pm NZST Fri, 18th April
9:40pm NZST Fri, 18th April
7:35pm NZST Sat, 19th April
9:40pm NZST Sat, 19th April
1:00am NZST Sun, 20th April

2013/14 Aviva Premiership (ENG)

6:45am NZST Sat, 19th April

League

Results

2014 NRL Premiership Season

2014 NRL National Youth Competition

2014 NRL Premiership Season

Schedule

2014 English Super League

7:00am NZST Fri, 18th April
7:00am NZST Fri, 18th April
7:00am NZST Fri, 18th April

2014 NRL National Youth Competition

3:45pm NZST Fri, 18th April

Tennis

Schedule

2013 Davis Cup 1st Rnd - KAZ v AUT

2:00am NZDT Sun, 3rd February

2013 Davis Cup World Group I 1st Rnd - TPE v AUS

2:00am NZDT Sun, 3rd February

2013 Fed Cup 1st Rnd - CZE v AUS

2:00am NZDT Sat, 9th February
2:00am NZDT Sun, 10th February

2013 Fed Cup 1st Rnd - ITA v USA

2:00am NZDT Sat, 9th February

2013 Open 13

2:00am NZDT Fri, 22nd February
2:00am NZDT Fri, 22nd February

Football

Results

2013/14 French Ligue 1

Lyon 1 - 0 Paris SG (FT)

2013/14 Spanish La Liga

2013/14 Italian Serie A

Schedule

2013/14 Spanish La Liga

20 April 2:00am
21 April 3:00am
21 April 5:00am

2013/14 English Premier League

20 April 2:00am
21 April 3:10am

2013/14 English League Championship

Barnsley vs. Leeds

20 April 2:00am