Hamish Bond and Eric Murray looked a class apart today in the mens pair semi-finals at Eton Dorney.
The New Zealanders, unbeaten for three years and three times world champions, look a notch ahead of all their opposition. As happened in their heat, they quickly separated themselves from the rest of the crews and forged ever further ahead, eventually winning by nearly eight seconds, an astounding margin. Behind them, some of the best pairs rowers in the world were rowing furiously for a place in the final, but they looked as if they were in a different race, so far ahead were the New Zealanders.
Bond and Murray won in 6min 48.11s, with a vast gulf back to second-placed Italy (6min 55.82s). Great Britain won the other semi-final in 6min 56.46s, which gives a further indication of the dominance of Bond and Murray.
Single sculler Mahe Drysdale was almost impressive in his semi-final. The big New Zealander, who has dominated world single sculling for several years, won his heat in 7min 18.11s, a boat length ahead of Swede Lassi Karonen (7min 19.77s). German Marcel Hacker finished impressively to secure third place. In a star-studded semi-final, two big names, Cuban Angel Fournier Rodriguez and Norwegian Olaf Tufte, failed to make the final.
In the second single sculls semi-final, Czech Ondrej Synek won in 7min 16.58s from Briton Alan Campbell (7min 18.92s) and both loom as strong threats to Drysdale in the final.
The New Zealand mens quadruple sculls today missed out on making the final. With the first three to go through, John Storey, Michael Arms, Matthew Trott and Robert Manson finished fourth in their semi-final in 6min 10.95s, more than five seconds behind third-placed Great Britain. Sarah Gray, Louise Trappitt, Fi Bourke and Eve Macfarlane gained a modicum of compensation for the disappointment of their earlier effort when they won the womens quadruple sculls B final from Poland. The New Zealanders failed to make the final when Trappitts oar snapped near the end of their repechage. In the B final the New Zealanders trailed until the final stages when they proved too strong, winning in 6min 56.46s, 0.74s ahead of the Poles.London 1908 Olympic Summer Games Sarah Gray Louise Trappitt Fiona Bourke Michael Arms Matthew Trott Mahe Drysdale John Storey Hamish Bond Eric Murray Robbie Manson Rowing