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First medal - bronze for Haigh and Scown

  • 02 Aug 12

New Zealand's rowers took their first medals of the Olympic Games with Rebecca Scown and Juliette Haigh winning bronze at the regatta course on Dorney Lake, Eton.

The race was dominated from the start by the gold medal winning British girls but Scown and Haigh raced hard to hold a good second place just a length and a half down at the half way point. They hung on valiantly in tough conditions having their best row of the regatta but in the sprint to the line could not contain the Australians who surged through in the final moments to take silver.

Five time world champion Mahe Drysdale and the world champion men's pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray progressed to their finals with ease as expected. Drysdale will be joined in the final by Ondrej Synek, Alan Campbell, Marcel Hacker, Lassi Karonen and the surprise finalist Aleksandar Aleksandrov from Azerbaijan. The men's pair final will be fought out between Great Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Australia and New Zealand, who start as favourites.

The men's quad of John Storey, Michael Arms, Matthew Trott and Robbie Manson finished fourth with only three making the final. The crew struggled a little in the early stages of the semi in an outside lane in the brisk headwind and despite a strong finish, could not claw back a mid-race deficit to the third placed British crew.

The women's quad had a thrilling race against Poland in the B final, sitting behind their opponents in the two boat race until the final sprint for home where they powered past to secure the Olympic ranking of seventh.