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Manson leads NZ charge to six gold medals

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 18/06/2017

New Zealand rowers have enjoyed a remarkable day of success at the World Cup in Poland, adding five gold medals to their final haul and notching two world-best times.

Led by single sculler Robbie Manson, the Kiwis finished the regatta with six golds and silver, topping the medal table and lifting them to first in the World Cup points standings.

Manson was among the success stories on Sunday, smashing the single sculls world best time previously owned by Kiwi double Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale.

The fastest qualifier in a strong field, Manson made no race of the final, powering clear to win in a blistering 6 minutes 30.74 seconds, nearly 3sec faster than the mark held by Drysdale, who is taking the year off.

He was 8sec clear of second-placed Cuban Angel Fournier Rodriguez while the likes of Olympic silver medallist Damir Martin was further back in the field.

"I was never going out there to race the other guys. I was just going out to put out the best performance I could and I saw the numbers coming in the second half so I just put my foot down," Manson said.

New Zealand's other golds on Sunday came in the the women's pair, the men's and women's double sculls and the women's eight, adding to the victory claimed a day earlier by women's lightweight single sculler Jackie Kiddle.

The men's eight snared the lone silver.

A world's best time was also registered by Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler in the women's pair.

Like Manson, they led from start to finish, winning in 6:49:08, leaving second-placed Americans Megan Kalmoe and Tracy Eisser in their wake.

"It was actually a really enjoyable race. We just wanted to push ourselves and see what we could do, not knowing how fast everyone else would be," Prendergast said.

Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue also broke a record in winning the women's double sculls, posting a World Cup best time of 6:39.13.

It was tighter in the men's double sculls, where Olympians John Storey and Chris Harris engaged in an early duel with Norwegian duo Kjetil Borch and Olaf Tufte in the early stages before unleashing a late burst.

The women's eight of Ruby Tew, Ashlee Rowe, Georgia Perry, Kelsey Bevan, Kelsi Walters, Rebecca Scown, Lucy Spoors, Emma Dyke and cox Sam Bosworth overhauled Great Britain at the three-quarter point to win their final.

The men's eight couldn't keep New Zealand's dominance going, finishing 5sec behind Germany.

The pace of the final was too hot for single sculler Hannah Osborne in her World Cup debut, crossing the line fifth.

The New Zealand team's next target is the Henley Royal Regatta near London from June 28.

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