Hamish Bond takes title ahead of Drysdale
Hamish Bond scored a dramatic victory in the premier men's single scull final at the national rowing championships this morning.
Bond saw off huge challenges from Mahe Drysdale and Eric Murray to score gold, extending his winning streak in the single this season.
The winning time of six minutes 41.34 seconds was just eight seconds outside the world's fastest men's single sculls time recorded by Drysdale in Poland in 2009.
Drysdale was only 1.07 seconds back, with Murray another three seconds back in claiming bronze.
Bond and Drysdale had previously contested three regatta finals in the single sculls at the same Lake Karapiro venue this summer, with Bond coming out on top each time.
Bond, winner of gold in the men's pair with Murray at the 2012 London Olympics and a five-times world champion, went in to today's final on the back of a sensational win yesterday in the pair with Southern RPC crewmate James Lassche.
Bond and Lassche recorded a winning time of six minutes 12.42 seconds - the second-fastest time in history behind only the 6:08.50 mark set by Bond and Murray in their Olympic heat in London.
Drysdale, the defending Olympic single scull champion and also a five-time world champ, had already picked up two silver medals at the nationals before today with the Auckland RPC crews in the double and quad sculls finals.
Bond led throughout most of the race but was pushed hard by Murray, who looked a winning chance with 500 metres left. He then had to stave off a determined finish from Drysdale, who finished just under a length behind in second.