Rowing revelation Robbie Manson looks to stamp his mark at world champs

Rowing New Zealand's high performance Chief Alan Cotter believes it's too early to tell if Robbie Manson has taken Mahe Drysdale's mantle as the best single sculler in the country.

Drysdale took a year off after his winning gold at the Rio Olympics, and in his absence, Manson beat the 38-year-old's long-standing world record in Poland in June, smashing the record by three seconds.

Prior to 2017, Manson had been racing in the double sculls with Chris Harris.

Mason will sit in the single scull boat at the World Rowing Championships next month and Cotter thinks Manson needs to stamp his mark in Florida.

"He has done well at the world cups and you get your confidence from that in the way he won the races aswel in a world best time which doesn't happen every year," Cotter said.

"He is right onto it and it is about being in the right mind-set at the world championships.

"It is a competition amongst themselves and that is what the high performance environment is like.

"Robbie has stepped and if Mahe wants that seat back he is going to have to step up again."

Meanwhile Drysdale is back training at Lake Karapiro as he prepares to make his return this summer.

The three-time Olympic medallist has committed himself to the next Olympics in 2020, but he is still unsure what boat he'll be in Tokyo. 

Drysdale has been competing in the single sculls since 2005, and has admitted he would like to row with Hamish Bond, but the 31-year-old is currently with the New Zealand Cycling team preparing for their World Championships in Norway.

Cotter said he is yet to talk to Drysdale about what his plans are when he returns in October.

"Mahe is back training out on the water once a day and then his second training of the day is on the bike so he is slowly getting back into it.

"We will have that discussion with Mahe to see where he wants to be over the summer period and what squad he wants to train in.

"Our Summer squad doesn't officially start until October 24 so he doing lots of training on his own.

"He is back for Tokyo. That is his goal."  

Plus Cotter is unsure if Bond will even be rowing at the Tokyo Olympics.

If Bond succeeds at the World Championships, Cotter believes then Dunedin native won't return to the sport.

"He is right into that and that is what he is going for," Cotter said of Bond.

"We wish him well for the world championships but we'd also like him back in our program but that is up to him but we will see how he goes at the world championships in the time trial.

"He has changed his body shape a bit and he will have to make that decision on what way he is going towards Tokyo.

"I think he will be cycling all the way to Tokyo."