Rowing: Mahe Drysdale open to joining Hamish Bond in men's eight Olympic bid

Two-time Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale is considering joining forces with Hamish Bond in his good mate's rowing comeback.

On Wednesday, seven-time world champion Bond made the shock announcement that he'd put his cycling aspirations behind him for a return to the water.

The 33-year-old hopes to join a men's eight crew in a bid to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Drysdale admits he's tempted to jump aboard.

"It's something I'd certainly consider," Drysdale told Newshub. "I probably wouldn't consider it without Bondy, but with him in there, it changes things a wee bit.

"If we can get an eight going, then Bondy is certainly the man that can drive that, which is exciting."

Drysdale is a winner of two Olympic gold medals, but has since been usurped by rising talent Robbie Manson for the New Zealand seat in the single sculls.

After Manson comprehensively beat him out of the world champs spot earlier this week, the 40-year-old suggested he might sit out the rest of the year's competition to focus on training towards the Olympic trials.

But the eights boat - an option he toyed with last year - could provide another pathway for him to chase a third Olympic gold next year.

"I understand 100 percent what Bondy sees in it… but it's an outside chance.

"At this stage and probably in the short term, the single is still very much where I want to focus my energies."

Drsydale said Bond's announcement had created a renewed buzz among the rowing community

"I've been talking to Hamish right through, so I knew what he was doing. When he told me, I wasn’t really shocked, but I didn’t expect him to be back.

"It certainly injects a bit of life into what options we have now over the coming 16 months."

While Drysdale referred to Bond's latest undertaking as "massive", he's still cautiously backing him to make it work.

"It’s a very, very tough boat class and there are some very strong countries, but when Hamish backs himself, anything is possible.

"It'll be very interesting to watch and I'll certainly be involved in the journey - whether it's in the boat or just outside."

Meanwhile, the decision was much more clearcut for Bond's former partner-in-crime Eric Murray, who ruled out any chance that he'd come out of retirement.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz