Double Olympic Hamish Bond keeps South Canterbury Sports Awards promise

Hamish Bond was in Timaru as quest speaker for the South Canterbury Sports Awards

Hamish Bond was in Timaru as quest speaker for the South Canterbury Sports Awards

Double Olympic champion Hamish Bond is a man of his word.

Bond is a finalist for the male sportsperson of the year at the Otago Sports Awards, and is surely at short odds to win the category, but due to his commitments in Timaru as speaker at the 51st edition of the South Canterbury Sports Awards, is unable to attend the event in Dunedin.

"It's just one of the those things," Bond said. "South Canterbury Sport got on to me a long time ago about talking here and at the time I didn't think the dates would be conflicting; unfortunately they are but I'll have a whole table of family down there at the awards, so hopefully they'll keep me up to date on how it's going."

Bond, who won gold medals at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics in the men's pair with Eric Murray, said despite not being able to attend the event in Dunedin he's thankful for being recognised.

"I haven't spent a lot of time down there lately, but it's where I learned to row and went to school down there. I always row for the North End Rowing Club, so it's nice to be recognised."

He's currently taking a break from rowing to tap into the cycling profession.

"It's great. It's something relatively new to me but it's going pretty well. I've had enough success on my bike to keep me hungry and motivated."

As long as he is enjoying it, Bond said it made sense to continue.

"I'm still waking up and wanting to train, and while that hunger is still there I thought I'd give it the best crack I can. I didn't intend to take the cycling so seriously, but I have done quite well from it. I'm intrigued to see what I can achieve if I give it my full attention. This was the right time to do it."

He will soon leave for Europe to training, and hopes that will lead to success.

"I'm heading to the UK shortly for a few months to hopefully find ways to help me improve my cycling and get the best out of myself. The time will come when I will know to either carry on cycling or jump back into rowing."

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Bond first jumped on a bike after shortly after making the senior New Zealand rowing squad for the first time

"We were doing some Cross Fit and I was a bit smaller than the other rowers so I actually took a liking to the cycling. I quite enjoyed and competed in a few events when I could. I am planning to be at Tokyo (Olympics) in three years time, I'm just unsure yet whether it'll be on a bike or rowing."

As for his nine years on a boat with Murray, he remembers them fondly.

"We exceeded all my expectations on the water, undefeated together after nine years never losing a race, and we were due to have a conversation about what to do next but Eric decided to retire, giving me this opportunity to try the cycling to a good level.

"We had a mutual respect for each other and knew what we could do on the water.

"I think mentally and physically I'm best suited to the time trial and that's where I'll put my best foot forward. I'm 31 and have to be realistic and quite specific in the what I'm wanting to achieve.

At Rio, Bond was 90kg now he's down to 77kg, with a lighter stature more favourable for the time trial discipline he wants to do.

 - Stuff

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