Rowing New Zealand’s senior elite athletes have confirmed their plans for 2017.
The athletes, who had attended two or more Olympic Games or medalled at Rio 2016, had all been offered places on Rowing New Zealand’s Summer Squad and had until today to confirm their decision.
Two-time Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale has agreed with Rowing New Zealand to a twelve month break from competition with the intention to continue his esteemed rowing career through to Tokyo 2020. Drysdale will reassess his options and finalise his plan with time to prove his fitness and attempt to gain selection for the Rowing New Zealand summer squad at the end of 2017.
The celebrated pair of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, unbeaten internationally since 2009 and double Olympic champions, will not compete as a combination this season and reassess both their individual and collective futures later in 2017.
Eric Murray will resume training post minor surgery on his knee but will be unavailable for international competition during 2017 while Hamish Bond will take a twelve month break.
The Olympic silver-medal winning women’s pair of Rebecca Scown and Genevieve Behrent is also set to part ways, with Genevieve Behrent taking a year off while Rebecca Scown resumes training with the summer Squad.
Other athletes pressing pause include Zoe Stevenson, two-time world champion in the women’s double sculls. Stevenson’s crewmate Eve Macfarlane has also chosen to take a year-long break.
Beijing 2008 medallist George Bridgewater will take a twelve month break from international competition.
High Performance Director Alan Cotter said “All the athletes that are taking a break have made a huge contribution to our sport and have our support to take a short break before launching into the 2020 Tokyo campaign.
“They have worked extremely hard over a number of years to achieve their results.”
The return to rowing for each athlete taking time off will be confirmed at a later date. Upon return athletes will attend Rowing Performance Centre selection trials in September 2017.
Hamish Bond Eric Murray Mahe Drysdale Rebecca Scown Genevieve Behrent Zoe Stevenson Eve Macfarlane George Bridgewater Rowing