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Kiddle sculls to World Cup gold in Poland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/06/2017

Lightweight single sculler Jackie Kiddle has collected New Zealand's first gold medal at the rowing World Cup in Poland.

The 22-year-old, contesting her first World Cup, took no prisoners in her semi-final, sticking to her signature move of starting conservatively before working her way through the field to take the win.

She then faced a loaded A final with tough competition from former world champion and local favourite Joanna Dorociak (Poland), Sweden's European champion Emma Fredh and European bronze medallist Patricia Merz of Switzerland.

Kiddle timed her race to perfection, sitting sixth after 500 metres before moving up and launching a devastating attack to destroy the field in the last quarter, crossing the line in a nail-biting photo finish.

"I was a little bit concerned coming through the 500 that I couldn't see anybody else, but I was pretty confident in my race plan and I was backing myself through that first bit of pain," she said.

Kiddle was competing in the event in place of an injured two-time world champion Zoe McBride, her lightweight double sculls crewmate.

"It's a little bittersweet I haven't got Zoe up here with me, we're absolutely champing at the bit to get the same result in the bigger boat."

The duo will resume on-water training this week ahead of the Henley Royal Regatta.

Kiddle's win bodes well for the final day of racing on Lake Malta in Poznan, where eight New Zealand crews will contest seven A finals.

Among them will be Robbie Manson, looking to snag his first World Cup single sculls medal after cruising to victory in the semis, over four seconds clear of second-placed Olympic silver medallist Damir Martin of Croatia.

Olympians John Storey and Chris Harris led from the gun in their double sculls semi-final, winning with a clear water advantage over Rodrigo Murillo and Cristian Rosso of Argentina.

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