Hamish Bond wins single, won't switch from pair

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 23/02/2014

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Hamish Bond has no intention of switching to single sculls despite continuing his summer domination of Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale with a stunning victory in the New Zealand rowing championships at Lake Karapiro yesterday.

Bond had to deliver a world-class performance to claim his first national premier men's single scull title, defeating Drysdale and Eric Murray for a victory that capped an incredible home summer season for him. He edged out Drysdale, the 2012 London Olympics gold medallist, by three-quarters of a length with Murray close behind in third.

It was the fourth time Bond, who also won gold in London in combination with Murray in the men's pair, has beaten Drysdale in major regattas at Lake Karapiro this season. His winning time of six minutes 41.34 seconds was just eight seconds outside the fastest time in history for the men's single scull - set by Drysdale, a five times world champion, in Poland in 2009.

But despite his domination of Drysdale this summer, afterwards Bond, who has spent most of his summer training schedule rowing in the single scull instead of the pair, confirmed his attention would remain on his pet event with Murray.

He will now ditch the single scull and head back to the pair with Murray, with Drysdale set to be New Zealand's single scull representative for the two World Cup regattas to be held in France and Switzerland in June and July respectively, and at the 2014 world champs in Amsterdam in late August.

"I haven't had much success racing in the single before, so that was something I wanted to prove. I found that quite motivating and that got me through the summer," Bond said afterwards.

"That'd be one of the hardest races I've had in a few years. A win in the single at the national champs probably means as much to me as any of my world titles in the pair. I was pretty proud of how I raced today."

Bond described Drysdale as "the best there ever has been in the single".

"He may not be quite at his best at the moment, but he's certainly not far off it."

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