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Mahe Drysdale back in the single scull ahead of selection for Tokyo Olympics

Author
Radio Sport / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 6 Feb 2020, 2:43PM
Mahe Drysdale.

Mahe Drysdale back in the single scull ahead of selection for Tokyo Olympics

Author
Radio Sport / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 6 Feb 2020, 2:43PM

Mahe Drysdale will get another shot at the single scull seat after all.

The double Olympic champion was named in the seat to contest May's World Rowing Cup II and III, in Italy and Switzerland respectively. New Zealand rowing rival Robbie Manson, who has held the seat for the past three seasons and won a battle with Drysdale to retain the position at the New Zealand trials last year, was named in the double sculls for the two regattas.

Manson disappointed in the seat at the World Championships last year, finishing seventh after being outgunned in the semifinals and failing to qualify for the final.

However, Drysdale's return to the seat comes as a surprise, after the 41-year-old failed to qualify for the men's single scull final at the North Island club championships at Lake Karapiro while Manson took out the title. Drysdale later revealed he had been hampered by a minor shoulder injury during the regatta which impacted his performance.

In claiming back the seat, Drysdale will get the best opportunity to make his case for an Olympics berth, with the squad for the Tokyo Games being announced in June.

Instead of holding a set trial event, the Rowing New Zealand selection panel have been tracking athletes over the summer season. Speaking to Radio Sport last week, Drysdale said the new policy could work in his favour.

"I think it's quite progressive in the fact that they realise in the past, by having these big peaks or big trials, sometimes that sort of influences and means that potentially you're not at your best when you want to be - which is the Olympics or the World Champs," he said.

"Obviously you're putting a lot more trust in the selectors because it's up to them to look at all the results and make a little bit more of a judgement call ... but I do think it is probably a good step forward.

"I'm very confident in where I'm at right now and as the year develops, I'll be in very good shape to perform like I think I can at the World Cups and World Champs."

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