Record medal haul for Kiwi rowers

Last updated 05:00 29/07/2014

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Southland rower Kristen Froude has won a bronze medal at the World Under-23 Rowing Championships in Italy.

Froude also picked up a bronze at the 2013 event but this year the medal came in the quad not the four.

Another Southland rowing product, Hayden Cohen, was in the men's quad but missed out on making the A final.

The 2014 regatta yet again highlighted the strides New Zealand was making in the sport of rowing.

New Zealand topped the medal table in Italy - a trend it seems this year for New Zealand rowing teams.

The United States also claimed three golds but New Zealand's two silvers placed them ahead of the Americans on the ladder.

A highlight on the final day was the New Zealand men's eight successfully defending their title yesterday.

After breezing through qualifying on Lake Varese, the Kiwis were rarely troubled in the final event of the programme as they held Australia and the United States at bay to claim back-to-back titles in a time of 5 minutes 28.820 seconds.

Lifting their stroke rate to 44 over the final quarter of the 2000-metre journey propelled the combination of Stephen Jones, Brook Robertson, Alex Kennedy, Joe Wright, Finn Howard, Shaun Kirkham, Isaac Grainger, Tom Murray and Caleb Shepherd (cox) to the line ahead of Australia (5:30.450) with comparative ease.

The women's lightweight double sculls of Zoe McBride and Sophie MacKenzie matched the earlier deeds of Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast in the pair to win gold after controlling their heat, semi and final.

McBride, a bronze medallist in this event last year, and MacKenzie - who next combines with Julia Edward in the lightweight double scull at next month's world championships in Amsterdam - obliterated their opposition to win in 6:59.370, 4 sec clear of the Romanian duo.

New Zealand also set the only new world record at the regatta when Gowler and Prendergast secured the country's first gold among a haul of six medals.

Lightweight sculler Jackie Kiddle was fourth in her final, 2 sec outside the bronze medal.

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- The Southland Times

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