Friday, February 28, 2014
Friday Edition Video Of The Week: Mahé's Inspiration
This week's Friday edition video comes to us from New Zealand, where the Kiwi sporting world recently celebrated the best of the best at the 51st Westpac Halberg Awards. The video follows the career of 2006 Halberg Award-winner (and four-time Sportsman of the Year) Mahé Drysdale, from beginnings and first world titles in the single, through difficulties in Beijing (where Drysdale battled illness, still managing to make the podium), to his Olympic champion year in 2012. Following their performance in London, the joint winners of the 2012 Halberg Award were Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, and the above trio have continued to reach for the loftiest heights on and off the water. While sculling success is nothing new to Murray, it's been Bond who has excelled in the single this year, racking up four straight victories over both Drysdale and Murray at the Christmas regatta, the Cambridge Town Cup, the North Island championships, and the national championships—the latter a close battle that saw all three of the above athletes cross the line within roughly four seconds of one another.
But that wasn't the only golden result for Bond—he and James Lassche of New Zealand's 2013 world silver medal-winning lightweight men's four teamed up in the men's pair event, winning and setting a blistering pace. The race saw Bond and Lassche cross the finish line in 6:12.42 seconds—the second-fastest recorded time in the men's pair, ever. (Yes, faster than Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell's former world best time of 6:14.27 from Seville in 2002, which lasted until the 2012 Olympic Games.) With athletes like Bond, Murray, and Drysdale battling against one another as training partners, it's small wonder that the Kiwis have found themselves at the top of the rowing podium more often than not in recent years.
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