New Zealand men's rowing eight claim gold

Last updated 08:24 29/07/2013

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The New Zealand men's eight have claimed gold in the blue riband event to cap off a successful under-23 world rowing championships campaign in Linz, Austria.

The Spanish eight burst out of the starting blocks to lead early, rating over 50 strokes per minute, but couldn't hold the pace.

The New Zealand boat - powered by Stephen Jones, Brook Robertson, Alex Kennedy, Joe Wright, Finn Howard, Shaun Kirkham, Isaac Grainger, Tom Murray and cox Caleb Shepherd - got its bow in front of Poland through the halfway point and soon raced to the lead.

New Zealand crossed in five minutes 28.63 seconds, three seconds ahead of the United States who held off Poland for silver.

The result shows there is a real prospect of Rowing New Zealand lining up boats in all 14 Olympic classes in Rio 2016.

New Zealand claimed two other medals on the second and last day of finals.

The men's quadruple scull of Karl Manson, Jeff Francis, Giacomo Thomas and Chris Morrison finished second to Switzerland, just 0.6s off the pace, while women's lightweight double scull of Lisa Owen and Sophie Mackenzie edged the Romanians home for the bronze, behind Britain and Germany. Mackenzie also claimed bronze in this event last year.

New Zealand finish the regatta with a gold, two silvers and two bronze medals, with all seven crews making the A-final in their respective classes.

"It has been a fantastic regatta for our team,'' RNZ high performance manager Alan Cotter said.

''It is pleasing to see these crews do so well, there was some seriously tough racing amongst this age group and our crews proved that they can be up there with the rest of the world."

The next international regatta on the calendar is the world junior championships in Trakai, Lithuania, from August 7-11.

NEW ZEALAND MEDAL TALLY

Gold: men's eight

Silver: men's coxed four, men's quadruple scull

Bronze: women's four, women's lightweight double scull

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