Two of New Zealand’s world champion rowing combinations today qualified comfortably for their semi-finals in Rio de Janeiro.

Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, unbeaten in the men’s pair since combining in 2008, won their heat in 6min 41.75s. They never looked hard-pressed and still finished four seconds ahead of the second-placed Italians.

The fastest men’s pair in the heats were Australians Spencer Turrin and Alex Lloyd, who finished in 6min 40.79s.

In the women’s double sculls, favourites Zoe Stevenson and Eve Macfarlane made a poor start and seemed to have trouble coping with the rough water. They were fourth and last at the 500m point, but didn’t panic and gradually picked up on the other crews.

By 1500m, they were second to Australia and finished strongly to reach the line in 7min 14.31s, more than three seconds ahead of the Australians.

The New Zealand women were the second fastest qualifiers, though well behind the lightning fast Lithuanians, who were timed at 7min 04.82s.

Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Eric Murray Hamish Bond Eve Macfarlane Zoe Stevenson Rowing
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