Tokyo Olympics: Rowing

  • 01/01/2021

Rowing has been part of every edition of the Modern Olympics, although the Paris 1896 event was cancelled due to bad weather.

Women's rowing was introduced at Montreal 1976.

The sport is broadly classified into two disciplines - sweep (one oar each) and sculling (two) - while also featuring lightweight events in double sculls (men & women) and coxless four (men).

While the United States has won more medals (89) than any other nation, it has only just matched the now-defunct East Germany for gold (33), with Great Britain two behind.

New Zealand ranks eighth among gold medals (11), making rowing our most successful Olympics sport in terms of victories.

At Rio 2016, Mahe Drysdale successfully defended his single sculls title, while Hamish Bond and Eric Murray retained their coxless pair crown, capping a four-year unbeaten run.

Other NZ winners over the years include the men's coxed four at Mexico City 1968, the men's coxless four at Los Angeles 1984, Rob Waddell in men's single sculls at Sydney 2000, Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell in women's double sculls at Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008, and Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sullivan in men's double sculls at London 2012.

But perhaps out most famous Olympic victory came at Munich 1972, when the Kiwi men captured the blue riband eights gold medal.

New Zealand heads to Tokyo with high hopes, after winning four titles at the 2019 world championships - all in women's events.

NZ women's eight at the 2019 world championships
NZ women's eight at the 2019 world championships. Photo credit: Photosport

Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler will contest the coxless pair, then likely take their seats in the women's eight, but selectors have broken up the champion Brooke Donoghue-Olivia Loe double sculls combination, replacing Loe with Hannah Osborne.

Zoe McBride's withdrawal means New Zealand will not contest the lightweight double sculls, while Bond will try to elevate the men's eight to the podium for the first time since Montreal 1976.

NZ Team

Jordan Parry - men's singles sculls

Emma Twigg - women's single sculls

Hamish Bond, Sam Bosworth (cox), Michael Brake, Stuart Kirkham, Matt Macdonald, Tom Mackintosh, Tom Murray, Dan Williamson, Philip Wilson - men's eight

Brooke Donoghue & Hannah Osborne - women's double sculls

Kerri Gowler & Grace Prendergast - women's pair

Chris Harris & Jack Lopas - men's double sculls

Olivia Loe, Eve MacFarlane, Georgia Nugent-O'Leary & Ruby Tew - women's quad sculls 

Brooke Robertson & Stephen Jones - men's pair

Kelsey Bevan, Emma Dyke, Kirstyn Goodger, Jackie Gowler, Kerri Gowler, Ella Greenslade, Grace Prendergast, Beth Ross, Lucy Spoors, Phoebe Spoors (two to drop) - women's eight