Rowing: NZ ambitions dented at world champs

New Zealand's ambitions to have crews in all 14 Olympic rowing finals in Rio next year took a dent at the world championships in France today.

While there was delight that the men's eight qualified for the final - they need to finish in the first five of the six-boat final to go to Rio - by finishing second in their repechage behind the Netherlands, two further crews failed to advance to the semifinals.

That means in the men's lightweight double scull and women's single scull, New Zealand will need to go to the final qualifying regatta in Lucerne next year in order to win a place in Rio.

They join the men's four, who had missed their chance 24 hours earlier. With all three crews there are no guarantees the same rowers to get that opportunity for redemption with changes possible in all the crews.

Lightweight double Peter Taylor and Hayden Cohen finished fourth in their quarter-final in Aiguebelette in 6min 29.810, two seconds behind Ireland, who secured the third and final spot into the semifinals.

Fiona Bourke missed out in a desperate race for the line in the single scull.

Bourke, who has replaced last year's world champion Emma Twigg in the single due to Twigg taking a year out, was squeezed into fourth spot in her quarter-final, won by Belarus. Only the first three advanced.

Belarus won the race while Bourke and scullers from Ireland and Zimbabwe were covered by .740s as they dashed for the line. One had to miss out and it was Bourke.

World champions Mahe Drysdale, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond, and Julia Edward and Sophie Mackenzie all moved into semifinals in the men' single scull and coxless pair, and lightweight double scull respectively. The men won their quarter-finals, Edward and Mackenzie were second.

The women's quad of Georgia Perry, Sarah Gray, Lucy Spoors and Erin-Monique O'Brien also moved into their final after finishing second in their repechage, clocking 6:30.200 to squeak through by just .160s ahead of third finishers China.

"We had a fast start in the choppy water and then the other crews started to pull back a bit of us, then it was just a really tight wind to the finish line," O'Brien said.

"We just wanted to stay in control, stay steady and keep breathing. When it comes to the final we've got to really shoot for that first place and it's anyone's game in the final."

Adam Ling rowed a nicely timed race in the non-Olympic lightweight single scull to pip reigning world champion Italian sculler Marcello Miani right on the line to make the semifinals.

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