Mahe Drysdale is a winner and Robbie Manson now needs to become one.

This has been quite a peculiar story all week, the ongoing battle about who's going to be our lead single sculler for this year's European season.

And yes the way they've gone about it may've looked a little Mickey Mouse but I do believe
Rowing New Zealand have handled it just about right.

Because reality is Manson has not proven himself when it counts most - in fact he's bottled the last two world champs finishing fifth at each.

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Whatever he's achieved here in NZ, beating Mahe in one-off races for two years and recording consistently great training times etc, counts for diddly. What actually matters is how you perform under pressure against fellow elite athletes.

And don't even bother to bring up any "World Cup" results he might've had.

Even the rowers themselves admit these events are little other than an exercise in earning air points.

I mean how seriously can you take any regatta, or international comp for that matter, where everyone is allowed to compete for whatever nation they wish providing they register as a member of any of that country's rowing clubs?

What an absolute farce.

None of these guys would trash talk each other about how they won a "World Cup" 18 months ago in Poland. Heck they'd be too embarrassed to even do that in the mirror.

The World Champs are a much better indicator, a place to gain real race experience before the real World Champs called the Olympics. And, as I said, Manson has failed in both his attempts thus far.

Taking nothing away from the man, he looks to me like an almost perfect prototype rower.

I'm sure his gym times are world-ranked, I'm sure he'd kill anyone in a rowing machine race.

But that's not the point,while at the same time,it's the only point.

Mahe Drysdale is a winner.

Robbie Manson now has his third and maybe final opportunity to become one.