Bond’s focus on other priorities

It is time for Hamish Bond to be a daddy — with a little bit of rally driving to keep him entertained.

Bond, the three-time Olympic rowing gold medallist, yesterday announced he had dipped his oars into a lake for the last time.

The 35-year-old said he had known for a while that it was the right time for him to step away from the sport that made him a New Zealand great.

“It does feel strange saying that I’m retiring but I feel very fortunate to be walking away while at the top of the sport,” Bond said.

“Rowing for the bulk of my career has defined me as a person. I now have my family and other priorities and it feels like the right move to make.”

 Hamish Bond with baby son Finlay and wife Lizzie. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Hamish Bond with baby son Finlay and wife Lizzie. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Bond had wife Lizzie and baby son Finlay — born while he was in managed isolation and quarantine following the Tokyo Olympics — with him at a function at the New Zealand Olympic Committee headquarters in Auckland yesterday.

He also has two daughters, Imogen and Phoebe.While elite sport will not feature in his future, he is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to be a guest driver in the classic section of the Otago Rally in April.

Bond, who attended Otago Boys’ High School and maintained links with the North End club long after he had left Dunedin, leaves rowing as arguably New Zealand’s the finest oarsman.

The humble powerhouse became the first New Zealand man to win three successive Olympic gold medals, and he was an eight-time world champion.

Bond became half of the great ‘‘Kiwi Pair’’, and he and Eric Murray were effectively unbeatable as they won gold at both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.

Bond then showed his remarkable versatility by winning bronze in time trial cycling at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, before returning to the water to lead the New Zealand men’s eight to a stunning gold medal at Tokyo.

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