Rowing: Kiwi rowers struggle in finals at world championships in Bulgaria

Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast.
Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast. Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand has only managed to win one medal on the opening day of finals at the world rowing championships in Bulgaria on Saturday night (NZ time).

Five boats were competing in the finals, but only Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast managed to medal in the women's pair.

Gowler and Prendergast claimed silver as they failed to defend their 2017 title.

Canada's Hillary Janssens and Caileigh Filmer claimed the gold, finishing 2.29s ahead of the Kiwis in 6m 50.67s. Spain were 11.64s further adrift in third.

The other four New Zealand finalists missed the podium.

The Kiwi men's quad of Lewis Hollows, Cameron Crampton, Mahe Drysdale and Nathan Flannery were pipped for a medal when fourth, just 0.11s behind bronze medallists Ukraine. Italy won the gold while Australia took home silver.

Matthew Dunham and Ben van Dalen also finished fourth in the lightweight men's double sculls final. They were 8.55s behind victors Ireland, who cruised to victory with Italy and Belgium finishing second and third respectively.

Thomas Murray and Michael Brake placed fifth in the men's pair final, 6.58s behind winners Martin and Valent Sinkovic of Croatia. Romania was second and France third.

Lightweight women's double scullers Zoe McBride and Jackie Kiddle were well off the pace and came in sixth, 7.08s off winners Romania.

New Zealand will look to add to their lone medal with three more boats to race on the final day of action.

Brooke Donoghue and Olivia will compete in the women's double sculls final with, and Chris Harris and John Storey will compete in the men's. Both will attempt to retain their respective world champs crowns, while Robbie Manson will contest the men's single scull final.