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Men's pair mull Rio rowing swansong

NZN 15/06/2016 Daniel Gilhooly

Are we watching the final strokes of one of the great world rowing partnerships?

New Zealanders Hamish Bond and Eric Murray freely admit an eight-year unbeaten association in the men's pair could wind up in the immediate wake of the Rio Olympics.

That would make this weekend's World Cup regatta in Poznan, Poland a farewell to Europe for a duo who have claimed the bulk of their career silverware on the continent, along the way to notching 63 successive international race wins.

It's hard to recall the last time Bond and Murray were even pushed to the finish line, such is their dominance in a class where many of their leading rivals have thrown their oars into other boats in pursuit of success.

Despite that, 30-year-old Bond says he and Murray, 34, are weighing up what lies beyond Rio, where they will start the firmest of favourites to secure back-to-back gold.

A decision will rest primarily on the motivation to continue for four more years.

"Regardless of what happens, I feel as though we've had a good run and a good career," Bond told NZ Newswire.

"It's certainly exceeded anything I would have imagined in my wildest dreams when I was coming up through the ranks."

Bond accepts the eight-time world champion pair are young enough to attack another Olympic cycle. They might consider a different crew but would need to be certain they would enjoy it.

Continuing to build their unbeaten streak won't provide any post-Rio motivation, with Bond labelling it as merely a by-product of the relentless work ethic which he says has set them apart.

"Anyone can be a hero for a week or a few days but it's about being able to consistently turn up. That's always been our biggest attribute."

Bond is adamant about one thing - he won't become a grinder in an America's Cup yacht.

London Olympic gold medallist Joseph Sullivan recently joined Team New Zealand in that capacity, following the lead of Sydney 2000 single sculls champion Rob Waddell.

Now the New Zealand Olympic team's chef de mission, Waddell was a long-serving crewman for Team NZ.

"These pythons (arms) are not grinding pythons. I'm comfortable that would not suit me," Bond said.

"Good on Joseph for doing what he's doing and, as for Rob, he was a freak, so he could do just about anything."

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