Tokyo Olympics: New Zealand to bring home more rowing medals on 'very big day', predicts icon Eric Murray

Friday could prove to be make or break in terms of New Zealand's Tokyo Olympics campaign, with three medal favourite rowing boats hitting the water, former Kiwi icon Eric Murray explains.

Starting from 12:30pm, New Zealand have three potential medallists in action, with Emma Twigg in the women's single sculls, the world champion women's eight rowing for gold, and the surprise contenders of the men's eight looking to add to the Kiwi medal haul.

A double Olympic gold medallist himself, Murray describes Friday's racing as being a "very big day" on the water for New Zealand.

And with two of the three boats having already clocked the fastest times of the regatta, Murray is confident that New Zealanders will be standing on the podium once again in Tokyo.

"If we go on paper, Emma's [Twigg] the fastest, [the] women's eight's the fastest, and the men's eight's the third fastest," Murray told the AM Show.

"If you can translate those into results on the water, we've got two golds and a bronze."

But Murray also concedes that rowing isn't played out on paper, having already seen a number of shock results in this Olympic campaign already, tempering any expectation of certain gold medals from the Kiwis racing on Friday.

"It's Olympic racing, we've seen some crazy things happen in that racing in the last couple of days. The weather conditions have picked up, and crews are getting pushed around a little bit.

"We've had people fall in, and we've seen some of the favourites actually being knocked out of the regatta."

The women's eight in particular will be boosted by the presence of Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast, who on Thursday took out the women's pair for New Zealand's first gold medal of Tokyo.

But the pair have a tight turnaround, racing again in the final of the women's eight, just over 24 hours after their gold medal performance.

Murray says that while the workload would be tough on some crews, Gowler and Prendergast have adequately prepared for the situation they're now in.

"Very, very difficult. They've taken a huge risk doing that.

"But, the women's eight with Kerri and Grace is a lot faster than without them. We've got our two best athletes going and jumping into that boat.

"They've trained for it, don't underestimate what they've been doing, racing day after day, after day after day at Karapiro.

"When everyone else is doing one day, break, then the next day, they've been doing the whole lot.

"We could see quite a bit of history made today. We haven't had a women's eight medal, we haven't had a single medal.

"So if we can get a medal in both of those…"

Friday will also hopefully see a medal for Twigg, who despite years of dominance in the single sculls, has never medalled at an Olympics.

The 34-year-old is hoping to break her medalless run, after two heart-breaking fourth-placed finishes at both London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016.

"You talk about people deserving medals, she deserves an Olympic medal.

"She's been winning World Championships, she's won medals at World Championship level, she just hasn't been able to do it at the Olympics.

"She is rowing the best I've ever seen her, and I'm just like 'fingers crossed.'"