One of the greatest rowers in history, Brit Sir Matthew Pinsent, has paid tribute to the feats of men's pair Hamish Bond and Eric Murray but says they have to win another Olympic gold if they're to match the record set by himself and Sir Steven Redgrave.
The New Zealanders completed an unbeaten Olympic cycle last night with their gold on Dorney Lake. They became the eighth rowing gold medallists in New Zealand Olympic history followed by the ninth, single sculler Mahe Drysdale 40 minutes later. Bond and Murray set a world best time of 6m 08.5s in their heat eclipsing the time which Pinsent and James Cracknell set 10 years ago in Seville by 5.77s.
Pinsent won gold medals in the pair with Redgrave in 1992 and 1996 before picking up two more golds in the 2000 and 2004 coxless fours. Between the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics they were unbeaten. Both Brits personally congratulated Bond and Murray in the jubilant aftermath.
"They've been dominant for so long but you only properly crown it at the Olympics," Pinsent told the Herald Online as he ambled towards the media bus along Dorney Lake.
"Mahe was great too. He's had so much happen in his career. Obviously Beijing was a disaster so to see both crews do that within an hour was incredible.
If it couldn't be [Brit] Alan [Campbell] winning the single I'm glad it was Mahe.
"In the rowing world the pair have been the most dominant. You can't do that without being respected but they're genuinely liked as well.
"We had Pete [Reed] and Andy [Triggs Hodge] racing them for a long time. There was no animosity between them even though they were racing so often."
The Kiwis notched up 14 straight wins over Triggs Hodge and Reed before the Brits moved out of the class.
When pushed, Pinsent says Bond and Murray have further work to do to be the greatest in the discipline.
"Steve and I were unbeaten four years. We bookended it with gold medals in 1992 and 1996. They need to carry on now. As long as they're unbeaten until Rio I'll say okay, that's more like it," Pinsent laughed.
"Then we can start the argument about who's better."
Warren Cole, a member of the coxed four who won New Zealand's first Olympic rowing gold medal in 1968, had made the trip to be in yesterday's crowd.
"I thought the way the two races were rowed with such commitment and determination was quite extraordinary. The fact we picked up those two golds was really exciting, it made the trip over worthwhile. I'd say 'congratulation lads now we've all got one'.
"It's a continuation of the development of rowing in New Zealand. With that same high performance support these things might happen more frequently than in the past."
The Herald Online interrupted Cole as he planned the evening's itinerary.
"We're working it out. We can't go home without celebrating really seriously after this."By Andrew Alderson Email Andrew