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Early success for Kiwi rowers

Early success for Kiwi rowers

The first heats of the 2011 World Rowing Championships brought six heat wins before lunch - and the country's first Olympic qualifier.

The women's quad had the most notable success with a win in their heat to go straight to the main A final, guaranteeing they will be in the final top seven after the A and B finals and therefore securing their place in the London 2012 Olympic regatta - whatever the result this week. Sarah Gray, Louise Trappitt, Eve Macfarlane and Fiona Bourke rowed through the Australians in the last stretch of the race to take a famous win by just four tenths of a second. The qualification is a major achievement for the young and inexperienced crew, and they will be a factor for the medals in Bled later in the week.

Heat wins also secured progress for world champions Rebecca Scown and Juliette Haigh in the pair, Nathan Cohen and Joseph Sulllivan in the heavyweight double scull, Eric Murray and Hamish Bond in the men's pair and former lightweight champion single sculler Duncan Grant.

The lightweight men's pair of James Lassche and Graham Oberlin-Brown finished fourth behind crews from Austria, Italy and France and must head to the repechage, as must the men's eight, fourth also though much closer to the pace of the benchmark German world champions than they were in Lucerne. The men's quad were close to the pace in their heat, finishing behind Australia and Poland to take third, but they too will have to head for the repechage as they seek a top eleven finish overall.

ends

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