Tokyo Olympics 2020: Kiwi single sculler Robbie Manson hints at uncertain rowing future

  • 02/09/2019
Manson. Photo credit: Getty

Robbie Manson may have clinched New Zealand a spot in the men's single sculls for the Tokyo Olympics, but whether he's there to row the boat himself remains to be seen.

On Monday (NZ time), Manson won the world championships 'B' final in Austria, a day after he'd missed qualifying for the 'A' race from his semi-final.

The 29-year-old's recent comments on social media have further muddied the waters, suggesting he's in two minds about his future on the water.

"This week certainly didn't go the way I wanted it to," Manson wrote on Instagram. "I left everything out there and I simply wasn’t fast enough to achieve what I wanted to achieve, through no lack of trying. 

"I did however, albeit just, qualify New Zealand a place in the men’s single at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

"Now it is time to take stock and figure out what comes next."

Despite beating reigning Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale for the seat in the prestigious NZ boat at trials in March, Manson has struggled to reproduce his best at major events.

He's the current world record holder - with a time of 6m 30.74s set at a world cup meet in Poland two years ago - but placed only fifth at the two world championships prior to this year's bust.

With Drysdale's eight failing to qualify for Tokyo, he may now re-enter single-sculls consideration.

"I would like to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has helped and supported me to get to where I have," he continued on Instagram. "Not only this year, but for the past 10 plus years. 

"Thank you, you’ve been amazing!"

Manson's disappointments aside, New Zealand still finished atop the medal table at world championships, with the women's eights victory, taking the team's gold-medal tally to four.