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NZ Rowing's big guns take a break

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 17/11/2016
Mahe Drysdale. © Getty Images Mahe Drysdale.

Olympic rowing gold medallists Mahe Drysdale, Hamish Bond and Eric Murray will not compete in 2017.

Drysdale and Bond will take a 12-month break from the sport while Murray will continue training after knee surgery but will not compete internationally, it was revealed on Friday.

Bond and Murray, double Olympic champions in the men's pair, will reassess their futures next year.

Single sculler Drysdale, 37, who like Bond and Murray won gold in London and Rio, intends to chase a third Olympic title in Tokyo in 2020 and will look to be selected in Rowing New Zealand's summer squad in 2017.

The trio are not the only big guns to take time out of the water after Friday's deadline for those named in a 56-strong summer training squad in September to accept their place.

Eric Murray and Hamish Bond. © Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images Eric Murray and Hamish Bond.   

Rio silver medallist in the women's pair, Genevieve Behrent, will take a year off but rowing partner Rebecca Scown will be part of this year's summer squad.

Women's double sculls combination Zoe Stevenson and Eve Mcfarlane will also take a year-long break after missing out on making the final in Rio.

George Bridgewater, part of the men's quadruple sculls who were 10th in Rio, will also take a break after returning to the sport in 2014.

"All the athletes that are taking a break have made a huge contribution to our sport and have our support to take a short break before launching into the 2020 Tokyo campaign," said high performance director Alan Cotter.

"They have worked extremely hard over a number of years to achieve their results." Those returning to the sport will compete in selection trials next September.

Rebecca Scown (right). © Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Rebecca Scown (right).

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