Haigh, Scown claim bronze

22:47, Aug 01 2012

Juliette Haigh and Rebecca Scown, coached by Marlborough's John Robinson, got the New Zealand Olympic rowing team's medal tally under way at Eton Dorney last night.

The highly regarded women's pair raced a brave final, chasing the victorious British pair all the way before being pipped on the line by second-placed Australia.

Robinson was thrilled with his crew's effort and talked to John Alexander immediately after the final. That story is on page 10.

The news was not so good for fellow Marlburian Robbie Manson.

His young quadruple scull crew were always slightly off the pace in their semifinal and wound up fourth, narrowly missing a place in the final. They will race the B final.

Louise Trappitt and the women's quad, who had such hard luck in their semi when Trappitt's oar broke, bounced back well by winning the B final in their event.

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Meanwhile big guns Mahe Drysdale, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond were the most impressive of the Kiwi team last night, cruising into their respective finals.

Tonight all eyes, especially those in Picton, will be focused on Joseph Sullivan's bid to add an Olympic medal to his back-to-back world titles with double scull crewmate Nathan Cohen.

The final is due to start at 10.50pm (NZ time) and, given the Kiwi duo's penchant for leaving their run to the very last second, it may be wise to have your heart medication close at hand.

Members of Picton's rowing fraternity have organised a "Blue and white Night" function at Oxley's Rock Hotel in Picton to watch the race.

Following that, Sean O'Neill and the New Zealand four will race for a place in Saturday's final, start time 9.10pm tonight.

Robinson's lightweight double, Louise Ayling and Julia Edward, compete in their semi at 9.30pm.

The Marlborough Express