Rowing: Strong performances by sculling crews

By David Leggat

Emma Twigg. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Emma Twigg. Photo / Brett Phibbs

New Zealand's two quad sculling crews made a statement on the opening day of the final Olympic qualifying regatta by progressing directly into the finals of their events.

Single sculler Emma Twigg to no surprise easily won her heat and is into the semifinals as are the lightweight double of Adam Ling and Toby Cunliffe-Steel, while the coxless four of Anthony Allen, Patrick McInnes, Axel Dickinson and Drikus Conradie headed for the repechages early on Monday.

Rowing New Zealand are hoping to have all five crews advance to Rio, thus giving the country a full set of entries in all 14 classes in August, which would be a remarkable achievement.

The men's quad Nathan Flannery, Jade Uru, George Bridgewater and John Storey just pinched the win ahead of the United States in a desperately tight finish. New Zealand clocked 5min 43.630, heading the Americans by .14s.

That put them on the Route One path straight into the final early on Tuesday. The top two in the final get the Rio spots.

The scenario is the same for the women's quad of Sarah Gray, Lucy Spoors, Georgia Perry and Brook Donoghue.

They were second at halfway but turned in a strong third quarter and won in 6:22.26 with Britain second four seconds back.

Twigg, world champion in 2014 before taking a season off to study in Europe, made no race of her heat, while Ling and Cunliffe-Steel finished third in their heat behind Belgium and Portugal but are into the semifinals.

The four were third in their heat which sent them to a repechage. They were beaten by France and Spain, New Zealand recording 6:02.970.

- NZ Herald

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