Rowing: Hamish Bond confirms return for Tokyo Olympics bid

Multi-talented New Zealand athlete Hamish Bond has announced a shock return to rowing.

Following the 2016 Rio Games, the two-time Olympic champion made the decision to give up rowing and switch to cycling after a decorated career on the water.

The 33-year-old went on to win a bronze medal in the road cycling time trial at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, before deciding to switch his focus to the track.

But on Wednesday, Bond confirmed a comeback to the sport in which he won seven consecutive world championship titles, with his eyes on a bid for more Olympic gold in Tokyo in men's eight crew next year.

"After two years away from the sport I have come to the decision that there are more things I would like to achieve in rowing before my time is done," Bond said in a statement.

"At any level, the men’s and womens eights are the most exciting events in the sport, and representing New Zealand in a bigger crew has become a challenge and opportunity I can’t ignore.’"

In February, he won the individual pursuit at the Elite Track Cycling Nationals, setting a New Zealand record in the process.

But with that event no longer a part of the Olympic cycling programme, Bond's pathway to the 2020 Games became considerably limited. It also meant he missed out on selection for World Championships in Poland earlier this month.

Alongside longtime coxless pairs teammate Eric Murray, Bond won New Zealand’s Supreme Halberg award on two occasions, and was appointed to the New Zealand Order of Merit for their services to rowing in 2013.