Tokyo Olympics: Rowing champ Mahe Drysdale commits to fourth Games bid

Kiwi rowing great Mahe Drysdale has confirmed he'll be making one last bid for Olympic glory in Tokyo next year.

The two-time Olympic sculls gold medallist had been non-committal on the prospect of being on the water, after the COVID-19 enforced postponement of this year's event.

Drysdale had planned to retire after the Tokyo Games and confessed that the one-year delay  had left him struggling for motivation.

But on Wednesday, the 41-year-old announced that he fully intends chasing a third consecutive gold medal in Japan next year. 

Drysdale says the lockdown period has restoked his competitive fires.

"I guess you don't know what you've got until you lose it," Drysdale says.

"It was pretty mentally tough through lockdown, but as soon as I got back on the water my mental health went from pretty low to straight back up."

The five-time world champion used his time off the water to reassess, refresh mentally, which resulted in rediscovering his passion for the sport.

"I'm doing it because I love it and that's the only reason and there's nothing that I have to do it for or have to achieve out of it, which is a pretty good spot to be in," he adds.

"I actually feel like I'm rowing almost as well as I ever have and in some ways there's a bit of pressure off having that time to reflect."

The Tauranga-product has returned to his favoured boat after trying his luck - unsuccessfully - with the men's eight last year.