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Drysdale eyes 2020 Tokyo Olympics

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 18/11/2016 Brett Murphy

Double gold medallist Mahe Drysdale is taking nothing for granted as he commits to another four-year Olympic cycle in a bid to race at the 2020 Games in Japan.

The 37-year-old will take a year off competitive racing but will continue training at Lake Karapiro as he attempts to win a fourth Olympic medal in Tokyo.

However Drysdale is undecided at this stage if he will be back in the single sculls or shift to another boat.

"Everything's on the table, I have literally not thought that far ahead.

"I've got time now to decide where I want to go and what I want to do, so I will just see how things pan out."

His win over Croatia's Damir Martin by 3cm in the single sculls in Rio was the closest margin of victory in any Olympic rowing final, and gave him the motivation to continue his international career.

"I love it and it's what I'm passionate about. I just enjoyed racing so much these last four years and the result showed that I can still be successful.

"People may ask 'why keep going?' Well, the answer is because I can, and I still think I can be successful, so why give it away?"

Drysdale has already been in discussions with rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave, who won medals at five straight Olympics, about how to continue his winning form.

"He's obviously been very successful and it's quite an exciting prospect, and something no one in New Zealand has ever done."

"I'm already New Zealand's oldest gold medallist so I'm just trying to extend that to 41 rather than 37."

In the short term, Drysdale is looking forward to his rematch with Martin when they row at the Billy Webb Challenge on the Whanganui River next month.

"He arrives on Wednesday and I will be training with him at Karapiro for a couple of weeks, so have a bit of motivation to get back in the boat and try and get fit again."

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