Tokyo Olympics 2020: World championship gold for NZ women's eight

The New Zealand women's rowing eight.
The New Zealand women's rowing eight. Photo credit: Photosport

The New Zealand women's eight have won gold on the lakes of Linz at the world rowing championships.

The win lifted New Zealand's gold count in Austria to four, while two silvers sees the 'silver fern' finish at the head of the medal table.

On the last day of finals, New Zealand crews snared a further three medals to match 24 hours earlier, with gold in the women's double and the eight, while Emma Twigg picked up a silver in the women's single scull.

The women's eight struck first on Sunday night, the Gary Hay coached crew blitzing the competition to set an early marker for the Tokyo Olympics in less than 12 months. 

The New Zealand women's rowing eight had never secured a world championship gold before.

"That was incredible!" said crew member Jackie Gowler. "We trusted ourselves and we all couldn’t be happier with this result. 

"Our plan was to stay focused and internal, and we did just that."

Olivia Loe and Brooke Donoghue followed that performance with class to win gold in the women's double scull, after an impressive regatta, where they remained unbeaten.

"We really took control in the middle of the race, as we managed to hold our own and push towards the finish," Doe said. 

"That was always the plan. This title will be great for our confidence. 

"We’ll look to keep improving towards the Olympics, but I believe we’re in a good position."

Meanwhile, Twigg has ensured New Zealand would have a women's sculler at the Olympics, charging home to a second-place finish in the single. 

"I knew it was going to be a real tough one out there, Twigg said. "I know Sanita has some form, so I just had to be brave. 

"I came up a little short today, but it has been a great season." 

But the men's eight face an uncertain future, who finishing sixth and last in their final, and missing automatic qualification for Tokyo.