Eric Murray's words of wisdom for disappointed rowers: 'Just remember that Hamish and I came out of a boat that failed'

It was up to Eric Murray to offer the most honest yet inspirational insight into the performance of the New Zealand rowing team here in Rio.

The target, which became a very public number, was five medals.

In the end, after a week long regatta, New Zealand's total was only three.

Never mind that there were 69 countries competing and that New Zealand was second equal with Germany on the rowing medal table after Great Britain.

The reality is that New Zealand failed to reach their target despite having eleven crews here - eight of them making finals.

But Eric Murray, ever the type A personality, grabbed the microphone at a function to celebrate the end of the Olympic rowing today.

To those three crews which failed to make finals, and to those who had made finals but failed to win a medal, he had a simple message.

Peter was doing his thing when gold medallist Murray seized his chance to hijack the action. Source: Breakfast

"Just remember that Hamish and I came out of a boat that failed."

That's a reference to the four that he and Hamish Bond were part of which went to the Beijing Olympics eight years ago as the defending world champions, but couldn't make the final.

After that, some serious introspection was needed, he said, and hard questions needed to be asked.

Like: what do I really want out of my sport? Do I want to win an Olympic medal? Am I prepared to work really hard to achieve my goals?

Obviously for Eric Murray in late 2008, the answers were pretty easy. He wanted success, and boy has he had it.

So you'd like to think that his message today would strike a chord with a whole heap of the rowing squad and their supporters.

Because despite the failure to reach that medal target, the number of crews in finals, and more particularly the number that placed 4th, offered plenty of hope for the next Olympic cycle.

The mood at the New Zealand club was quite upbeat, despite the results. After all, as Mahe Drysdale pointed out in his interview with me on Q and A, this was the second most successful Olympic regatta ever for New Zealand.

Our presenter in Rio sings the praises of our golden boys. Source: 1 NEWS

But there's still that nagging feeling of not reaching targets, and that hurts.

But as with cycling, and to a certain extent swimming, New Zealand is now becoming very good at peaking for world championships and then not reaching those same heights at the Olympics.

How do we overcome this?

The complexities of that question are way, way beyond my pay grade, but rest assured it's a subject that will be occupying the minds of coaches, administrators, technology specialists, nutritionists, medical staff and physical trainers over the next Olympic cycle.

Because halfway through these Olympic Games, the number of New Zealand 4th place finishes is emerging as the most frustrating Kiwi theme of these games.

Of the six fourth place finishes so far, three have come in rowing.

So the potential for a medal haul of around 5 or 6 at the next Olympic Games can still be a reality.

The re-emergence of two eights is a welcome development, and both crews reaching finals is really encouraging.

It does pose a conundrum for administrators though.

Back in the 70s and 80s, eights were the glamour crews and successful as well, with Olympic medals in 1972 and 1976, and world championship titles in 1982 and 1983.

Soon after, when that run of success dropped off, the strategy was to develop smaller boats. They were cheaper to fund, and if done well, the smaller crews would mean more medals.

That worked a treat for years until New Zealand rowing was confident again to get back in the big boat game.

So with both eights now among the world's best, where is the emphasis going to be in the next four years?

Bond and Murray and Mahe Drysdale are towards the end of their careers.

Genevieve Behrent and Rebecca Scown are in the eight as well as the pair. They can't keep up the two boat schedule for the next four years.

So much points to more of an emphasis on eights in the next four years.

But whatever the direction rowing takes for the next four year cycle, the words of Eric Murray should ring loud to every aspiring Olympic rower.

The best breeder of success is failure.

Peter Williams managed to grab our star rowers, who are understandably still beaming from their Rio glory. Source: Breakfast

Former UFC champion Jon Jones to return to the octagon after 15-month doping suspension

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones should be eligible to fight by late October after completing a 15-month suspension for a doping violation.

The US Anti-Doping Agency today announced the length of Jones' ban for his second violation of the UFC's anti-doping policy.

The decision means the 31-year-old Jones could even fight at UFC 230 in New York on November 3, if the UFC decides to book his comeback bout on that card.

Jones is widely considered the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world, but he has repeatedly sabotaged his own career.

He reclaimed the light heavyweight title from Daniel Cormier last year, but the victory was taken away when he tested positive for a steroid metabolite.

Jones also failed an out-of-competition test in 2016.

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 29:  (L-R) Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Center on July 29, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Jon Jones punches Daniel Cormier in their UFC light heavyweight championship bout during the UFC 214 event inside the Honda Centre in Anaheim, California. Source: Getty



Watch: Sonny Bill joins daughters in comical Rocky Balboa inspired training video for upcoming bout

Sonny Bill Williams has called in the help of his daughters, Aisha and Imman, to promote his return to the boxing ring in December, with the star posting a hilarious Rocky Balboa inspired training video on social media today.

The cross-code star will fight Australian millionaire Stu Laundy on December 1, in a charity event to fundraise money for the homeless in New Zealand and Australia.

The 33-year-old All Black posted on his Instagram account today a video of him squatting with one daughter on his arm and another on his shoulders.

He also performs sit-ups while feeding his kids in the video.

"I'm back in the ring Dec 1st - Fighting for those who happen to be a bit down on their luck and are homeless in Aotearoa and Australia. It's an honour to be part of this special event ❤️," posted Williams.

He's in line to make his Test rugby return against the Pumas in Argentina next Sunday, after three months out following a shoulder injury against France.

The cross-code star is set to step back into the ring in December in a charity event for the homeless. Source: Instagram/ sonnybillwilliams


North and South Korea confirm joint bid for 2032 Summer Olympics

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a statement today that the countries planned to jointly bid for the 2032 Summer Olympics.

At a major summit, the two leaders gave no details of which cities might host certain events at the games, or how advanced the plans were.

The International Olympic Committee traditionally does not announce host cities until seven years ahead of the games. That would give the Koreas until 2025 to put together a joint bid.

Germany has already announced plans for a multi-city bid for 2032, as has Brisbane, Australia. The India Olympic Committee has also indicated its interest in hosting the 2032 Games.

A successful bid by the Koreas would mark the second time South Korea hosted or co-hosted the Summer Games, the first being 1988 in Seoul. South Korea also hosted the Pyeongchang Winter Games in February.

Asia also features in the next two Olympics — the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, which also hosted the summer version in 2008.

The joint statement today also said the Koreas would look to cooperate in major sports events such as the 2020 Games, also without elaborating.

South Korean President Moon Jae In (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un take part in a pine tree planting ceremony in the border village of Panmunjeom on April 27, 2018. (Korea Summit Press Pool) (Kyodo)
(Photo by Kyodo News via Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (left) and South Korean President Moon Jae In took part in an historic meeting in April. Source: Getty


Eden Park's new Our Wāhine mural showcases iconic female athletes to celebrate women’s suffrage anniversary

Auckland sports stadium Eden Park has unveiled a new mural dedicated to iconic New Zealand sportswomen as part of celebrations of the 125th anniversary since Kiwi women gained the right to vote.

The mural, which spans multiple areas of the stadium, includes Yvette Williams (track and field), Suzie Bates (cricket), Farah Palmer, Fiao'o Fa'amausili (rugby), Ruia Morrison (tennis), Dame Valerie Adams (shot put) and Lisa Carrington (kayaking).

Eden Park commissioned Kiwi artist Kate Hursthouse for the artwork.

Hursthouse says 'Our Wāhine' was a special piece for her.

"It's great to have such an iconic venue in my local neighbourhood celebrate New Zealand sportswomen, acknowledge Suffrage 125 and additionally make these seven women a permanent feature of the stadium," she said.

Eden Park CEO Nick Sautner said inspiration for the mural came from last month's Black Ferns Test match against the Wallaroos.

"My great grandmother signed the scroll to get women the vote," he said.

"It's important to celebrate the women who are pushing limits and breaking boundaries in both the professional and sporting worlds. Most of those featured have long affiliations with our stadium."

Dame Valerie Adams and Yvette Williams feature among the seven chosen for the piece. Source: 1 NEWS