Indie Sport
Views
543
Comments
0
Rob Waddell, the 2000 Olympic champion, now on the comeback trail, delivered a crushing blow today to the aspirations of three-time world champion Mahe Drysdale, winning the New Zealand national rowing championship in the single sculls by a devastating three lengths (click here for a video link). Drysdale, who only a few weeks ago defeated Waddell to seemingly level the playing field in their titanic battle for New Zealand's lone Olympic berth in the single (see our previous Indie Sport post, Singled Out), was refreshingly forthright in his self-appraisal, stating, "That was pretty abysmal, actually . . . Rob just got out in front and just absolutely dominated me today."

Waddell dropped the hammer on the field right at the outset, blasting off the line at a phenomenal 49 strokes per minute and opening up a huge open water lead by the 500 meter mark in less than ideal conditions. "It was choppy water out there so you had to race carefully," said Waddell, leaving lesser rowers to scratch their heads and wonder what he has in mind for a flatter surface.

The head-to-head series now stands 3-1 in Waddell's favor, with the New Zealand Olympic trials set to start late next week. Waddell, who has kept a low profile as a gaggle of vociferous hand-wringers decry his comeback as "unfairly" horning in on Drysdale's "turn," remains internally focused. "I'm just worrying about myself and and looking to keep my boat speed improving all the time," he said.

Drysdale, both shaken and stirred, vows to come back next week just as his did on the heels of his previous losses to Waddell.

With their eyes on an Olympic prize that only one can earn, both oarsmen have remained clear that their recent races amount to nothing more than a highly entertaining series of preliminary bouts. So tune in. The bell is about to ring on the heavyweight championship of rowing, where sentiment will be irrelevant and, in the grandest tradition of sport, the best man is going to win.

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Start Your Own Blog

Start Now

Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    Kerr 'absolutely expects' Knicks offer
    Views
    2644
    Comments
    1435
  2. 2
    No return timetable for Lightning MVP
    Views
    1608
    Comments
    219
  3. 3
    Yankees, Mets, Red Sox among Hanrahan hopefuls
    Views
    6218
    Comments
    172
  4. 4
    Smush Parker allegedly punches high schooler
    Views
    1087
    Comments
    132
  5. 5
    Tuukka Rask takes blame for Bruins' Game 1 loss
    Views
    1084
    Comments
    96

SI.com

SI Photos