Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown powered home to grab a rowing silver medal for New Zealand in the women’s pair today.
Behrent and Scown, who will be back in action tomorrow in the eights final, staged a fighting comeback today.
They were last after 500m, and only fourth at the halfway point. But they wound up their stroke rate and closed on second-placed Denmark. Once past them they set their sights on the British pairing, who had seemed to have an unassailable lead.
Behrent and Scown finished so fast that in the end there was only slightly more than a second in it.
They New Zealanders were obviously delighted by their silver medal success (Scown has won world pair titles and and an Olympic medal with Juliette Haigh, but her partnership with Behrent is newer), but seemed to acknowledge their job in Rio was only half-done.
“Everyone else has been more concerned about scheduling than we were,” she said.
“We were always confident we could manage both races and we are looking forward to the eights tomorrow.”
Behrent said it was their best race in Rio. “The words I’m using the most are ‘good’ and ‘yup’,” she said. “We raced really well and that's what we wanted to achieve.”
New Zealand’s lightweight double sculls world champions Sophie MacKenzie and Julia Edward could not get among the medals in their final.
MacKenzie described the fourth placing as “gutting”. “It’s not the position we wanted,” she said. “But it is what it is. We just need to learn from it and move on.”
MacKenzie and Edward were timed at 7min 10.61s and were more than four seconds behind the third placed Chinese. The race was won in emphatic style by the Netherlands.
Both New Zealand single scullers progressed to the final.
Mahe Drysdale won his semi convincingly. He led all the way and recorded 7min 03.70s. His major rival, Czech Ondrej Synek, won the other semi in 6min 58.56s.
Emma Twigg was second in her semi to confirm her finals spot.
Her semi was won by Australian Kim Brennan in 7min 47.88s, with Twigg 0.32s behind.
It looked as if Twigg could have won if she’d pushed herself, but she had bigger things in mind.
“The main aim from today was to make the final and I feel in good form,” she said. “If it was a Thursday race [and there was a day’s rest before the final], I might have worried more about trying to win today.”Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Emma Twigg Mahe Drysdale Sophie MacKenzie Julia Edward Rebecca Scown Genevieve Macky Rowing