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Twigg and Drysdale through to semi-finals

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/06/2016
Mahe Drysdale © Getty Mahe Drysdale

Leading New Zealand single scullers Mahe Drysdale and Emma Twigg have eased into semi-finals at the Holland Beker regatta in Amsterdam.

Adding the regatta to their European programme for extra time on the water, the two Olympic gold medal hopefuls were untroubled advancing through heats at The Bosbaan.

Drysdale was the fastest of 18 scullers in the men's field, with his time of 7min 19.45sec nearly 3sec faster than Belgian Jean-Benoit Valschaerts of Belgium.

Fourth-quickest was Czech Ondrej Synek, who is expected to be Drysdale's main rival when he seeks to defend his Olympic title in Rio.

Twigg was second-fastest of the 17 women after winning her heat in 8:03.39. Top qualifier was Dutch sculler Lisa Scheernaard.

Only two crews contested the women's double sculls, reducing the programme for Zoe Stevenson and Eve Macfarlane to a final against Belarus.

Experienced Belarusian pair Tatsiana Kukhta and Yuliya Bichyk led from the start and held off a strong finish from the Kiwi world champions to win by a boat length.

All four New Zealand scullers will join the rest of the Rio-bound New Zealand team ahead of the third World Cup in Poland from June 19.

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