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Rowing New Zealand aims to qualify 14 boats for Rio

New Zealand will compete in all fourteen Olympic boat classes as well as two international boat classes at the 2015 World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France starting this Sunday. A record 1300 athletes from 77 nations are due to race at the rowing calendars biggest event of the year held between 30 August 6 September.

Athletes will not only be racing for World Championship titles, but also for highly sought after Olympic qualification spots as the regatta acts as the main qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The New Zealand Rowing Team topped the medal table at the 2014 World Rowing Championships winning a total of nine medals  - six gold (four Olympic boat classes and two International boat classes), two silver and one bronze.

The sixteen New Zealand crews are previewed below in event order detailing the number of entries in each event, the rankings required to gain Olympic qualification and their previous form.

Womens Coxless Pair

Number of entries: 22

Olympic Qualification: Top 11

Previous form: The 2014 U23 World Champion duo of Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast have successfully stepped up to the elite level in 2015, winning both bronze and silver at the second and third world cups respectively. The womens pair has had a stellar start to the year but will be aiming to make the upcoming world championships their best performance of the season. Their toughest competition will come from the reigning Olympic Champions, Great British Pair of Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. Gowler and Prendergast will also compete in the womens eight at the championships.

Mens Coxless Pair

Number of entries: 27

Olympic qualification: Top 11

Previous form: The formidable pairing of Eric Murray and Hamish Bond arrived on the international scene this year at the Lucerne World Cup to take their first win of the season. The Olympic and World Champions will not only be seeking Olympic Qualification but will also be chasing their sixth consecutive world title in the coxless pair. The competition for the mens pair includes the 2014 silver medalists Great Britain as well as Serbia and the Netherlands.

Womens Double Scull

Number of entries: 25

Olympic qualification: Top 11

Previous form: One half of last years world champion double, Zoe Stevenson, is this year joined by Eve Macfarlane. Known for their come-from-behind sprint the double world cup gold medalists will be aiming for the top of the podium at the World Championships. With such a tight field the competition for Stevenson and McFarlane could come from any number of crews including United States, Poland, Lithuania, Australia and Great Britain.

Mens Double Scull

Number of entries: 29

Olympic qualification: Top 11

Previous form: The mens double scull of Robbie Manson and Chris Harris will be looking to rectify their season so far following injury earlier in the year and a mishap in Lucerne. Manson and Harris will be hunting down the world champion Croatians as well as keeping an eye on the German double.

Mens Coxless Four

Number of entries: 21

Olympic qualification: Top 11

Previous form: The mens coxless four will be looking to push themselves further up the rankings after finishing in the B final at the both of the world cup regattas. Chasing Olympic qualification they will need to make the top 11 and will face some tough opposition.

Womens Single Scull

Number of entries: 35

Olympic qualification: Top 9

Previous form: Fiona Burke was a world champion in the womens double in 2014 and this year takes on a new challenge in the single. Burke is coming to grips with the single and has improved significantly starting the season with an overall placing of 14th in the second world cup and finishing a commendable 5th at the third world cup. The athletes to watch in the womens single are the unbeaten Kim Crow from Australia and the Olympic Champion, Mirka Knapkova from the Czech Republic.

Mens Single Scull

Number of entries: 41

Olympic qualification: Top 9

Previous form: While Mah Drysdale will face the largest field at the championships this wont faze him as he aims to finish the 2015 season on a high after two gold medals at the second and third world cup regattas. At the age of 36 Drysdale is in top form and will be closely watching his rivals current World Champion Ondrej Synek from the Czech Republic and Cuban Angel Fournier Rodriguez as well as a host of other good scullers. Drysdale will be chasing a record sixth title in the mens single.

Womens Lightweight Double Scull

Number of entries: 27

Olympic qualification: Top 11

Previous form: In 2014 Julia Edward and Sophie Mackenzie came together shortly before the World Championships and went on to become world champions and set a world best time. This year the duo arrived at the second world cup and won silver followed by an impressive and dominant performance at the third world cup where they won gold. Edward and Mackenzie will have fierce competition from World Cup two winners Great Britain as well as Canada, South Africa and United States.

Mens Lightweight Double Scull

Number of entries: 33

Olympic qualification: Top 11

Previous form: Peter Taylor and Hayden Cohen face tough competition in a tight field in the mens lightweight double. They will want to push into the top six after narrowly missing the A final at the second and third world cups finishing with a 7th and 9th placing.

Mens Lightweight Four

Number of entries: 24

Olympic qualification: Top 11

Previous form: Last years world silver medalists have made a strong showing so far this year with two gold medals from two world cup regattas. After what was almost a comfortable win in Lucerne the crew of Curtis Rapley, Alistair Bond, James Lassche and James Hunter will be aiming for the top of the podium in Aiguebelette. The main competition for the lightweight four will come from the current world champions Denmark.

Womens Quadruple Scull

Number of entries: 11

Olympic qualification: Top 5

Previous form: After finishing in 6th place at the second world cup the womens quad came back fiercely at the third world cup in Lucerne and pushed the medal crews to the line only narrowly missing out on the podium. The kiwis will need to keep a close eye on the fast German crew as well as the crews from Poland, the United States and Australia.

Mens Quadruple Scull

Number of entries: 16

Olympic qualification: Top 8

Previous form: The fast improving mens quad began the season with a 9th place at the second world cup and then went on to produce an outstanding performance in Lucerne at the third world cup where they finished with a silver medal. Come the world championships the mens quad will face a tough battle with Ukraine, Great Britain and Germany among others.

Womens Eight

Number of entries: 10

Olympic qualification: Top 5

Previous form: Aiming to make history by qualifying the first New Zealand womens eight for the Olympic Games the eight has seen a big improvement between world cup regattas. In Varese at the second world cup the eight finished 5th while in Lucerne they produced an exciting silver medal winning performance proving that they are genuine medal contenders for the 2015 World Championships. The womens eight will be keen to challenge the dominant crews of the United States and Canada.

Mens Eight

Number of entries: 13

Olympic qualification: Top 5

Previous form: This young crew of double U23 World Champions have stepped up to the elite level and are improving rapidly with a fourth and third placing at the second and third world cup respectively. Both Germany and Great Britain will provide plenty of competition for the mens eight. The last time a New Zealand mens eight raced at the Olympic Games was in 1984.

Womens Lightweight Single Scull

Number of entries: 22

Olympic qualification: Non-Olympic event

Previous form: After a dream season winning the U23 womens lightweight double, two world cup golds in the senior lightweight single and achieving a world best time in each, not to mention her debut to elite international racing, 19 year old Zoe McBride enters her first senior World Championships in a strong position. After such a dominant season McBride will be watching her competitors from Brazil and Great Britain closely as she aims to finish the year on a high.

Mens Lightweight Single Scull

Number of entries: 36

Olympic qualification: Non-Olympic event

Previous form: One of the teams great improvers over the two world cups, Adam Ling has gone from the C final to winning a bronze medal at the third world cup in Lucerne. Lings main competition will come from the scullers from Slovakia, France and Serbia.

 

Live coverage of the 2015 World Rowing Championships will be available on Sky TV in New Zealand

Live: Semi Finals A/B                                  3/09/2015       19:55   SKY Sport 3

Live: Semi Finals A/B Finals A                   4/09/2015       19:55   SKY Sport 3

Live: Finals B                                                5/09/2015       19:55   SKY Sport 3

Live: Finals A                                                5/09/2015       23:10   SKY Sport 4

Live: Finals B                                                6/09/2015       19:55   SKY Sport 3

Live: Finals A                                                6/09/2015       23:10   SKY Sport 2

 

       ends    

 

For further information or to interview athletes please contact:

Juliette Drysdale (In Aiguebelette)

Rowing NZ Media Manager

media@rowingnz.kiwi

+64 21 874 980

 

New Zealand Elite Rowing Team - World Rowing Championships Aiguebelette, France

 

Womens Single Scull

Fiona Bourke (Otago University RC, Southern RPC)

Dick Tonks (Coach)

 

Womens Double Scull

Zoe Stevenson (Tauranga RC, Waikato RPC)

Eve Macfarlane (Canterbury RC, Southern RPC)

Dick Tonks (coach)

 

Womens Coxless Pair

Kerri Gowler (Aramoho-Wanganui RC, Central RPC)

Grace Prendergast (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Dave Thompson (Coach)

 

Womens Quad

Erin-Monique OBrien (Petone RC, Central RPC)

Lucy Spoors (Canterbury RC, Southern RPC)

Georgia Perry (Cambridge RC, Waikato RPC)

Sarah Gray (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Mike Rodger (Coach)

 

Womens Lightweight Double Scull

Julia Edward (Rotorua RC, Waikato RPC)

Sophie Mackenzie (Wairau RC, Central RPC)

Gary Hay (Coach)

 

Womens Lightweight Scull

Zoe McBride (Nelson RC, Central RPC)

Gary Hay (Coach)

 

Womens Eight

Rebecca Scown (Union Wanganui RC, Central RPC)

Genevieve Behrent (Waihopai RC, Southern RPC)

Kerri Gowler (Aramoho-Wanganui RC, Central RPC)

Grace Prendergast (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Kelsey Bevan (Counties-Manukau RC, Auckland RPC)

Ruby Tew (Star BC, Central RPC)

Emma Dyke (Timaru RC, Southern RPC)

Kayla Pratt (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)

Cox Francie Turner (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Dave Thompson (Coach)

 

Mens Single Scull

Mahe Drysdale (West End RC, Auckland RPC)

Dick Tonks (Coach)

 

Mens Coxless Pair

Hamish Bond (North End RC, Southern RPC)

Eric Murray (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Noel Donaldson (Coach)

 

Mens Double Scull

Chris Harris (Aramoho-Wanganui RC, Central RPC)

Robbie Manson (Wairau RC, Central RPC)

Calvin Ferguson (Coach)

 

Mens Quad

John Storey (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

George Bridgewater (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Jade Uru (Waihopai RC, Southern RPC)

Karl Manson (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)

Mike Rodger (Coach)

 

Mens Lightweight Coxless Four

Curtis Rapley (Tauranga RC, Waikato RPC)

Alistair Bond (Otago University RC, Southern RPC)

James Lassche (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

James Hunter (Wellington RC, Central RPC)

Dave Thompson (Coach)

 

Mens Lightweight Double Scull

Peter Taylor (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)

Hayden Cohen (Canterbury RC, Southern RPC)

Calvin Ferguson (Coach)

 

Mens Lightweight Single Scull

Adam Ling (Tauranga RC, Waikato RPC)

Gary Hay (Coach)

 

Mens Coxless Four

Anthony Allen (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Alex Bardoul (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Bobby Kells (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)

Finn Howard (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)

Marion Horwell (Coach)

 

Mens Eight

Stephen Jones (West End RC, Auckland RPC)

Brook Robertson (Nelson RC, Central RPC)

Alex Kennedy (Te Awamutu RC, Waikato RPC)

Joe Wright (Wellington RC, Central RPC)

Isaac Grainger (Auckland RC, Auckland RPC)

Shaun Kirkham (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Michael Brake (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)

Tom Murray (Blenheim RC, Central RPC)

Cox Caleb Shepherd (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Noel Donaldson (Coach)

 

Reserves Womens Sweep

Kristen Froude (Waihopai RC, Southern RPC)

Ashlee Rowe (North Shore RC, Auckland RPC)

Dave Thompson (Coach)

 

Reserves Womens Sculling

Olivia Loe (Avon RC, Southern RPC)

Marion Horwell (Coach)

 

Reserves Mens Sweep

Patrick McInnes (Waikato RC, Waikato RPC)

Axel Dickinson (Wairau RC)

Marion Horwell (Coach)

 

Reserve Mens Sculling

Giacomo Thomas (Hawkes Bay RC, Auckland RPC)


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