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NZ's Rio rowers looking sharp

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 17/06/2016

New Zealand's Olympic hopefuls mixed sharp form with bad luck at the rowing World Cup in Poznan, Poland.

Thunderstorms, torrential rain and high winds hit Lake Malta, forcing major delays to racing and an altered schedule.

On the plus side, defending Olympic champions Hamish Bond and Eric Murray once again proved dominant in the pair, easing through to the semi-finals with the fastest winning heat time of 6min 32.050.

Less pleasingly, New Zealand's world champion lightweight double sculls duo of Sophie Mackenzie and Julia Edward now need a repechage win after catching a crab in their heat while holding a comfortable lead at the 1000m mark.

The pair were left at a standstill trying to retrieve the blade while Ireland powered ahead to take the win, leaving the Kiwis to finish a distant sixth.

There was better news for single scullers Emma Twigg and Mahe Drysdale, who both won their respective heats to cruise into the semi-finals.

Twigg clocked 7:39.340 for a nine-second win over Dutchwoman Lisa Scheenaard and will face current world champion Kim Brennan of Australia in the semi-final.

Drysdale took his heat in 7:04.470 ahead of second-placed teammate and reserve John Storey, with the duo both progressing through to the semi-finals.

Defending Olympic champion Drysdale won his quarter-final in 7:06.430 while Storey was third in his with 7:05.880.

Drysdale's main rival, reigning world champion Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic has withdrawn from the event.

Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown took a comfortable win in the women's pair to move straight through to the A finals, as did the men's lightweight four despite the absence of an injured Peter Taylor.

Robbie Manson and Chris Harris also edged into men's double scull semi-final, winning their heat by less than a second from Serbia.

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