Otago crews have excellent day at national championships

More than a dozen Otago crews have booked a place in the semifinals at the national championships on Lake Karapiro.

Dunstan's Jacob Flanegan won his heat in the men's club single sculls to clinch a semifinal berth. He will be joined by club-mate Greg McLaughlin, who placed second in his heat.

The pair then teamed up in the men's club double sculls and won their heat comfortably to move into the semifinals.

Oamaru's Brodie McNeill and Jack Smith cruised through their heat in the same event, while team-mate Jared Brenssell won his heat in the men's senior single sculls.

Brenssell also teamed up with James Scott in the men's senior double sculls to clinch a semifinal spot.

Otago University's Hayley Kettings was fourth in her heat and secured a spot in the semis of the women's senior single sculls, while Caleb Dallow is into semis of the men's under-20 single sculls with a third place finish.

And Otago University's men's under-22 coxless quad sculls crew gained direct entry to the semis as well.

North End's Emma Wallace finished second in her heat in the women's club single sculls and is safely through to the semifinals.

Dunstan also got two crews through to the women novice sculls semis, while Simon Smith and McLaughlin were fourth in their heat of the men's senior double sculls and advanced.

Meanwhile, Mahe Drysdale and Robbie Manson have eased to single sculls wins.

The two world class rivals qualified automatically for a high-profile final on Saturday, avoiding today's repechage race.

Manson clocked the fastest time in the second heat, 7min 16.29sec, to hold off Jordan Parry, a member of the winning men's quad at last year's world under-23 championships.

Two-time Olympic champion Drysdale had no real challenge yesterday in the opening heat, easing across in 7min 20.06sec.

New Zealand Rowing announced this week it will send two single scullers to European-based World Cup meetings later this year - almost certainly Manson and Drysdale - but only one will go to September's world championships.

Drysdale has been well beaten by Manson in their two previous meetings this summer, with the 39-year-old still working his way back to full fitness after taking a year off following his Rio Olympics triumph.

-Additional reporting by NZN

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