Bond not ready to call it quits

Otago Boys’ High School rowers Henry Kirk (left) and Reuben Cook admire the Olympic and...
Otago Boys’ High School rowers Henry Kirk (left) and Reuben Cook admire the Olympic and Commonwealth Games medals of former pupil Hamish Bond yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Hamish Bond will not be drawn on where he now fits among New Zealand’s greatest Olympians.

If he goes to Paris and wins gold in three years, though, it will be hard even for him to deny he is among the absolute best.

The former Dunedin rower was back at Otago Boys’ High School yesterday to speak to a selection of the school’s pupils.

It follows a third Olympic gold medal, his triumph with the men’s eight in Tokyo adding to his two men’s pairs golds.

With that, he became the first New Zealander to win gold medals at three separate Games — something Lisa Carrington matched days later.

He is not closing the door on a fourth, either.

"I haven’t give it a yea or nay to this point," Bond (35) said.

"I’ve given myself quite a long leash. There’s no need to hurry that decision. With three children now, it’s quite a collaborative decision. It’s not something we want to rush into.

"It’s not something I want to decide on rashly."

He had not been on the water since returning from Tokyo.

His third child, whose birth he watched on livestream from MIQ, has been keeping him busy.

Despite that, he had remained active, a hint that at least some desire remains.

"I think, at this stage of my career, if you do harbour any ambition of carrying on, you’ve got to keep your feet wet.

"Once you let it slide now, it’s hard to get back. I’ve been keeping fit with some cross training. Fortunately, with my background, I’m relatively familiar with that."

Bond said this medal had been a "different mental experience" to the last two.

He rated it with equal significance to the one he won in London — his first.

While his pair combination with Eric Murray highlighted his individual talent, the ability to bring together a crew of eight was a different challenge.

"The expectations Eric and I had, on ourselves as much as anything, going into London and Rio ... we were odds-on and all we could really do was stuff it up.

"Going in this time, I knew we had a chance. But going from having a chance to actually executing right near our full potential on the day that mattered most was something quite different.

"You take a lot of pride in bringing a diverse group in terms of age and experience and that many personalities and factors, combining them in an eight in a relatively condensed space of time."

Bond was enjoying being back in Dunedin.

He was staying with his parents, who were meeting Finlay, his 2-month old son, for the first time.

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