ROWING: Mahe Drysdale unstuck before finals


New Zealand's prolonged finals assault on the World Rowing Championships at Lake Karapiro near Hamilton continues tomorrow with four real medal chances in the space of just 50 minutes.
The women's pair of Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown kick off proceedings, followed by men's pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, then single-scullers Emma Twigg and Mahe Drysdale.
While Haigh and Scown have flown under the radar after taking the direct route to the final in winning their heat on Monday, Bond and Murray have continued their high-profile clash with British opponents Peter Reed and Andrew Triggs-Hodge. The New Zealanders have won the last 11 times the rivals have met, with the most recent defeat coming yesterday in the semi-finals.
The road to tomorrow's single-sculls final hasn't been smooth for four-times men's champion Mahe Drysdale. A frustrating back injury has curtailed his competition preparation, and all but halted any speedwork in training.
And in yesterday's semi-final, he was nearly derailed by a succession of start-line mishaps which would have destroyed a lesser oarsman.
Drysdale was hit with a first-up yellow card after arriving at the start without country and world rowing stickers on his boat, a mandatory requirement in every race.
The race was delayed while officials fixed the stickers to his shell, but less than 100m into the race he raised his hand in the air, indicating a technical problem.
The problem lay with the recently affixed stickers, as they hadn't been put on above the water line.

The race eventually started and Drysdale went on to record a solid 7min 12.74sec win.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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