NEW Zealand has celebrated a golden morning at Dorney Lake, winning two Olympic gold medals in the space of an hour.
Mahe Drysdale made up for his Beijing 2008 disappointment by holding off great rival Ondrej Synek from the Czech Republic in the men’s single sculls for his first Olympic gold.
That success came hot on the heels off Hamish Bond and Eric Murray, who cruised to victory in the men’s pair, a competition they had been expected to dominate.
Many are comparing the morning to New Zealand’s success in Rome in 1960, when Peter Snell and Murray Halberg won gold medals within half an hour of each other.
Drysdale took the lead on the 1000m mark and held off the challenge of Synek to win by a length.
The wins take New Zealand’s gold tally to three, with today’s success adding to that of Joseph Sullivan and Nathan Cohen in the men’s double scull.
For Drysdale it makes up for 2008 when he was beaten into bronze after suffering illness leading up to the race, while for Bond and Murray, it continues their domination of the event.
They haven’t lost a race in four years – 36 in total.
They powered to victory with a devastating row that left their rivals far behind them in a separate race for the silver.
Murray told Fairfax NZ that it was a great feeling to claim Olympic gold.
“Awesome, we’ve done it, we’ve finished it, we’ve done it,” he said.
Bond added “It was just relief. Whatever happens in the future, we know over these four years we have achieved everything anyone could’ve set out to do in the pair and that’s the main thing.
“Before the semifinal I said we are at the Hillary step with the summit in sight now we are there and no one can take that away.”