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Murray to stay involved: Rowing NZ boss

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/05/2017
NZ's Eric Murray celebrates winning the gold medal in the Men's Pair Final A on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games © Matthias Hangst/Getty Images NZ's Eric Murray celebrates winning the gold medal in the Men's Pair Final A on Day 6 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Rowing New Zealand bosses are staying positive about the sport's future following the retirement of Eric Murray.

Murray's decision to call time on his stellar career brought to an end one of New Zealand's most successful sporting partnerships, forged with Hamish Bond.

They won two Olympic gold medals and six world champion titles in the men's pair as well as going 69 races without defeat.

Bond is no guarantee of returning to a boat either as he currently pursues a career in road cycling.

Rowing NZ chief executive Simon Peterson is taking a positive slant, believing the pair have set a standard others can aim for.

"Without a doubt they're outstanding ambassadors for the sport both on and off the water and their results speak for themselves," Peterson said.

"So it's an opportunity for the next generation to fill some pretty big shoes."

Peterson is confident Murray will agree to continuing his association with rowing.

The 34-year-old is based in Cambridge and is a popular and respected figure among his peers.

"We have talked with him about staying on in a mentoring role for the younger athletes or in an advisory capacity." Peterson said.

"We're just going to let that play its course over the coming months but we want to keep him close to the sport."

Peterson acknowledges how difficult it would be to reproduce the extraordinary success of Murray and Bond, whose dedication and ability set them apart from the rest of the world for two Olympic cycles.

"Getting to the top of the world is a fantastic achievement for anyone but to stay there for any length of time as they have done will be challenging."

Peterson confirmed that 38-year-old double Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale remained committed to the sport in the single sculls boat.

Drysdale is currently on a break but is scheduled to resume training later in the year.

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