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New Zealand crews won four of their eight races on the first day of the world championships in Bulgaria yesterday.
In the women’s pair heat, world champion and holders of the world’s best time Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler bagged a a 15sec victory over Ireland and the United States in 6min 56.06sec. The pair remain unbeaten since 2017 and move to the semifinal on the Plovdiv course.
The men’s pair of Tom Murray and Michael Brake were fast out of the start but eventually had to settle for third behind Germany and Australia. They are through to the quarterfinals.
New Zealand’s world champion combination of Chris Harris and John Storey sculls did not disappoint in the men’s double, finishing in 6min 02.23sec, 10sec ahead of Ireland. Harris and Storey progressed to the semifinal.
In the men’s single scull, Robbie Manson impressed.
Six heats took place with the top three in each heat progressing to the quarterfinals. Manson maintained an impressive lead from the start and crossed the line in 6min 53.68sec to go through to the quarterfinals.
The lightweight women’s double sculls combination of Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle impressed after needing to place in the top two to progress to the semifinals.
Australia’s crew of Amy James and Sarah Pound maintained a consistent lead until McBride and Kiddle made an impressive push in the third 500m.
Taking the lead in the last 500 in 6min 50sec, McBride and Kiddle finished less than 3sec outside of a world best time and with the fastest overall qualifying time.In the lightweight men’s double sculls, crews needed to finish in the top four to progress to the quarterfinals.
The New Zealand duo of Ben van Dalen and Matthew Dunham secured their lane, finishing fourth 6min 18.01sec.
The newly formed New Zealand men’s four of Thomas Russel, Tom Mackintosh, Matt MacDonald and Angus McFarlane finished fourth in a competitive heat and moved to a repechage.
Competitive heats in the men’s quad had crews battling it out for one progression to the A final, all others moving to repechages.
After missing out on representing New Zealand in the men’s single scull, two-time Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale joined Lewis Hollows, Cameron Crampton, and Nathan Flannery. It was a tough heat in which New Zealand placed fifth and will move to a repechage.