Going, staying and the unconfirmed
Olympic medallist Juliette Haigh has retired. Ian Anderson looks at the future for other rowing winners in London.
Rowing New Zealand's biggest Christmas present would come in the returning 1.98m frame of the Olympic men's single sculls gold medallist. The 34-year-old has given himself until then to decide if he wants to continue in the sport, but will contest the Billy Webb Challenge single sculls race this weekend in Whanganui. Drysdale could take a year out and still return with the ambition to defend his title in Rio in four years time, he may still be pondering a switch to a crew boat, head back to Karapiro in January, or retire after the glory of gold in London, along with bronze in Beijing and five world championship crowns.
ERIC MURRAY The 30-year-old has indicated he's looking at a fourth Olympic Games. Murray has been training for his Fight for Life boxing bout against Manu Vatuvei but will also compete in the Billy Webb Challenge and should be back on the water regularly at Lake Karapiro early next month.
The world's premier sweep oar stroke looks likely to resume his dominant partnership with Murray. Just 26, Bond could still be at his peak in 2016, which is scary news for all those crews that have failed to get near the Kiwi men's pair over the past three years. Should Rowing NZ want to select a flagship men's eight as part of their plans for Rio, Bond would be wanted at the forefront of that challenge.
One of the few London Olympic medallists to already be back in fulltime training with Rowing NZ's elite summer squad. Cohen has been to the past two Games, just missing a medal in 2008 with Rob Waddell, but is still only 26. He and crewmate Joseph Sullivan have been the best men's double scullers in the world for the past three years and must fancy their chances of further glory.
The 25-year-old has been enjoying the limelight surrounding the spectacular surge he and Cohen displayed to win gold at Eton Dorney. But the former dual world under-23 champion is back cross-training, doing some rowing and should be fulltime again by Christmas. Some have touted him as a possible single sculling option should Drysdale retire but the 1.83m Sullivan has stated his preference to be part of a crew.
Wanted - a new crewmate for the women's pairs Olympic bronze medallist. Scown, who recently returned from volunteer work with Haigh in Kenya, is training during the week in Auckland with Olympic women's single sculls finalist Emma Twigg and at Lake Karapiro at weekends. The 29-year-old is expected to be part of the NZ team to contest the opening World Cup regatta in Sydney in March and Rowing NZ has plenty of promising young women hoping to partner her.
The bronze medallist in the lightweight double sculls is swapping one Cambridge for another. Uru is poised to leave the water of Lake Karapiro for Cambridge University in the UK, having been offered a scholarship to study for his MBA. However, he definitely hasn't ruled out a return to New Zealand and a resumption of his partnership with Peter Taylor with an eye on competing at Rio.
Is back training with the summer squad but will be looking for a new partner in the lightweight double with Uru's impending departure. Options include James Lassche, Curtis Rapley and Armin Svoboda, should the RNZ selection panel want to keep a combination going. Another possibility is a season in his own boat. Former world champ Duncan Grant wasn't wanted in the summer squad but Taylor has shown at national regattas he's a top class single sculler.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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