Bond takes heart from progress of eight

Hamish Bond. Photo: ODT files
Hamish Bond. Photo: ODT files
Double Olympic champion Hamish Bond has not given any thought to the Tokyo Olympics next year but says some real progress has been made in the eight.

Bond, who is still a member of the North End Rowing Club in Dunedin, came back to rowing just over a year ago and joined the New Zealand eight.

The eight had made the last-chance regatta set to be staged at Lucerne in a few months to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. But it was canned due to Covid-19 and that was followed by the postponement this week of the Olympics to next year.

Bond (34) said, when contacted yesterday, he was on a break from rowing and was yet to give any consideration to what lay ahead 12 months.

"I have not put much thought around it at all. I’m keeping fit and developing the boat which we have been doing the last year or so," Bond said.

"Obviously it depends on how the situation plays out. The IOC have given themselves four weeks to come up with a date and how they think it will carry on."

Bond, who won the pair with Eric Murray at the London and Rio de Janeiro Olympics, said he was not surprised the Tokyo Olympics were postponed given the esculation of the virus and how countries were starting to talk about boycotting the Games if they went ahead this year.

"It if had been 2012, and was just before the London Olympics, with all the success we’d had, and we were the favourites, if that had happened then, that would have affected me far more. It has hit a number of our crews and a real shame for them.

"But I’m really enthused in how we as an eight are going. We are really making some progress as a crew. Certainly over the last couple of months there is some potential to go quicker and not just to qualify but be in the medals."

Despite having won two gold medals in the pair, Bond said it was taking a while to get used to the techniques needed in an eight.

The father of two girls, Imogen (2) and Phoebe (eight months), Bond said it was taking more time to recover from training and he was taking more time in his preparation and recovery.

"I just have to more carefully manage my body. I’ve had a few niggles . . . just leads to more stretching, better preparation, working with physios."

He had found some success with acupuncture.

The sacrifices he made now to get success were different. When he was young he was willing to give up nights out but now it was more about having to spend time away from family and missing out on seeing his children grow up.

Bond was on a break at the moment as the crews were getting ready to head to Europe but that had all been canned.

His wife Lizzie, a doctor, was working at Tauranga Hospital so he was looking after the children, based in Mt Maunganui.

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