Drysdale’s career appears over

The door appears to have closed on Mahe Drysdale and his dream to head to the Tokyo Olympics.

Mahe Drysdale.
Mahe Drysdale.
Drysdale (42) was not named in the New Zealand men’s team by Rowing New Zealand yesterday.

The singles sculls spot Drysdale was after went to Jordan Parry, of Tauranga.

Parry dominated the trials for the singles sculls at Lake Karapiro earlier this year and Drysdale was never in the hunt.

At 42 and with his best years behind, Drysdale has not made the team at all. With Rowing New Zealand not sending any teams to world cups in Europe, any chance of returning to the national side appears remote for Drysdale.

North End rower Hamish Bond has been selected in the men’s eight which will travel to the last-chance regatta on May 15-17 in Lucerne in Switzerland where it will attempt to make the top two to qualify for the Olympics.

The eight will leave New Zealand on May 7 and return on May 20.

If the eight qualifies for the Olympics it will mean 10 crews heading to Tokyo.

The nine crews qualified so far are the women’s single, women’s double, lightweight women’s double, women’s pair, women’s quad, women’s eight, men’s single, men’s double and men’s pair.

The Olympic team will be announced on June 11.

Meanwhile, former Dunedin rower Zoe McBride has opened up on the reasons why has she decided to retire.

McBride (25) quit the sport four months out from the Olympics. She won the lightweight doubles with Jackie Kiddle at the world championships in 2019.

She told Newstalk ZB she began contemplating her career after suffering a stress fracture to her leg last year.

Months of rehab took a toll on both her mental health and she developed an eating disorder and an erratic menstrual cycle.

She was not comfortable in having to manipulate her body to get to the right weight.

"In order for me to be in a position to get back down to weight to race is too much of an ask on my mental health and also my physical health," she said

"I don't want to put myself in a position where I'm not OK but still in the boat."

Although having trained extensively over the past few years for the Tokyo Games, McBride said she was confident she would never regret her decision.

"I don't expect a lot of people to understand or for people to see it from my point of view but I know over the years, obviously the work that I've put in, it's been a massive goal of mine to go to the Olympics but to do it at the sacrifice of myself is not worth it."


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