Old holders laud Kiwi rowers on new world record

As records tumble at Lord’s in the archery, in the aquatics centre and at the rowing venue one question is how do the former record holders feel when their mark is surpassed?

In rowing’s case Olympians past and present marked the new men’s pairs World Best time by staging a tongue-in-cheek ‘handover’.

New Zealand’s Eric Murray and Hamish Bond timed 6min 8.50secs in the coxless pairs, almost six seconds inside the 10 year-old record set by Britain’s James Cracknell and Matthew Pinsent in 2002. Cracknell rushed to congratulate the pair.  

He embraced Murray in a dramatic comedy chokehold and, thinking ahead to the gold medal race, mused: “Only 1 thing left to get now boys...”  

Cracknell’s former partner, four-time Olympic Champion Matthew Pinsent, set a a previous world best time with Steve Redgrave in 1996.  

The retired Briton broke the bad news to his six-year-old son, who responded: "Why dont you go out and break it again tomorrow Daddy?" according to a tweet by Pinsent, who himself remarked: “Bless him”.  

But there seems to be no stopping the Kiwi duo, who dazzled the competition to finish eight seconds ahead of their closest rivals and continue a four-year winning streak.  

Though they may be odds-on for gold, the Kiwi pair are focused on Wednesday’s semifinal, tweeting: “Race 1 good! Shows our prep has been working. NO medals for heats.. Onto next race to MAKE the final! That's all...”  

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