The New Zealand men's quad sculls stormed home over the closing 500 metres to snatch a thrilling win in their repechage and progress to the semifinals at the world rowing championships in Bled, Solvenia last night (NZT).

The crew of John Storey, Matthew Trott, Steve Cottle and Robbie Manson edged the British crew into second by one hundredth of a second with a winning time of five minutes 46.76 seconds, the slowest of the two repechages.

New Zealand needed to finish in the first two to guarantee their passage to the semifinals, but that was in doubt with them third heading into the final 500m.

They upped their rating with the line in sight to deny the British crew, who were favoured to medal in the event, and boost their chances of claiming a spot in next year's Olympics. The crew needs to finish in the top 11 in this regatta to book their ticket to London.

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In action tonight the men's eight, the lightweight men's pair of James Lassche and Graham Oberlin-Brown and the women's world champion pair of Rebecca Scown and Juliette Haigh compete in semifinals while single sculler Mahe Drysdale and Storm Uru and Peter Taylor in the lightweight double sculls compete in the quarterfinals.

- NZPA