Published Sunday 05 August 2012

Peter Taylor and Storm Uru increased New Zealand’s Olympic rowing medal haul when they finished third in the men’s lightweight double sculls at Eton Dorney today.
Taylor and Uru were the 2009 world champions and have been place-getters at the last three world champs, and were given an outside shot at a gold today. They were the second-fastest of the qualifiers.
However, the Danish team of Mads Rasmussen and Rasmus Quist won the race with a beautifully-timed finish to head off Britons Zac Purchase and Mark Hunter. The Danes won in 6min 37.17s.
The New Zealanders were third by the halfway point and from then a medal always seemed assured. They finished in 6min 40.86s, beating the fourth placed French by nearly two seconds.
The race had to be restarted when Purchase had an equipment failure a few seconds after the start.
Taylor said after the race that while he and Uru had been targeting a gold, they were proud just to have picked up an Olympic medal.
“An Olympic medal is an Olympic medal and you can’t take that away,” he said. “We were mighty proud of our effort today.
“The week has been a bit of a rollercoaster, with not everything going how we had hoped, but we had a really good race today and couldn’t have done more.”
Taylor and Uru joined forces before the Beijing Olympics, where they finished seventh.
New Zealand’s Emma Twigg, a bronze medallist at the last two world champs, just missed a medal in the women’s single sculls final, finishing fourth.
Twigg was a little off the pace at the start, but by the 1000m mark had pulled herself into fourth place.
However, she was unable to make any impression on the leaders, Miroslava Knapkova of the Czech Republic, Fie Ubdy Erichsen of Denmark and Australian Kim Crow.
Knapkova won in 7min 54.37s. Twigg’s time of 8min 01.76s was nearly four seconds behind Crow, though a clear second ahead of fifth-placed Belarusian Ekaterina Karsten.
In other races today Louise Ayling and Julia Edward finished third in the women’s lightweight double sculls B final and Tyson Williams, Jade Uru, Sean O’Neill and Chris Harris were fifth in the men’s four B final.
The New Zealand rowing squad finished its Olympic campaign with three gold medals and two bronzes, a wonderful effort. The rowers had never previously won more than two medals at an Olympics.