New Zealand women's rowing eight out to end one of sports' historic winning streaks

The women's eight crew in action in Florida
The women's eight crew in action in Florida Photo credit: Getty

The New Zealand women's eight crew are targeting gold after causing a big shock at the Rowing World Championships in Florida this morning. The Kiwis toppled the powerhouse USA, as they won their heat and advanced directly to Monday morning's final (NZT).

The team, made up of Emma Dyke, Lucy Spoors, Rebecca Scown, Kelsi Walters, Kelsey Bevan, Georgia Perry, Ashlee Rowe, Ruby Tew and cox Sam Bosworth, led throughout the race to beat the Americans by nearly a second.

Tew told Newshub they're pumped after holding on for a stunning victory.

"We know that's their event. Coming into that last 500 we were definitely all thinking, oh god, home crowd advantage, we better watch out but I feel like we had a lot of confidence in what we were doing," she said.

The USA has long been a dominant force in the women's eight, winning every major international championship for the last 11 years. That includes three Olympic gold medals, and eight world championship titles.

Tew's crediting their team culture for the victory, and they now get the reward of a few days off before the final.

"We know we have another four days worth of training and making small changes and perfecting what we know we can do.

"All those other crews bar Romania have to do another race and it's pretty hot so it's definitely a good thing for us to avoid."

Romania also advanced straight to the final after winning their heat with the fastest time, and Tew knows they'll be one to watch as they battle for a spot on the podium.

"We lost to the Romanians a couple of months ago by four seconds so we're pretty happy with it being down to one second now, and we reckon we can go a bit faster.

"We're all just excited for Monday, we definitely want gold and we know we can be in contention."

Tew's being cheered on by her family back home, getting a message of support from her Dad.

"Yeah I got a motivational text like one minute after the race probably."