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Kiwi rowers claim world records despite not getting on the water

Some of New Zealand’s top rowers have been setting the record books alight in lockdown – albeit not on the water.

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Rowers around the world have been putting themselves through their paces taking on a series of indoor tests during lockdown and breaking a multitude of records in the process. Source: 1 NEWS

World Rowing has released a list of records broken on indoor machines during a largely global lockdown.

They say 131 records were broken over 75 days since March.

Three Kiwi rowers were included: Two-time Olympic gold medallist Hamish Bond, world champion lightweight doubles sculler Jackie Kiddle, and Olympic single sculler Emma Twigg.

Bond admits at first he wasn’t sure he wanted to take part in the series of indoor tests, as he knew that would commit him to doing each one justice.

True to form, once he signed up he dedicated plenty of time to preparing properly for the tests, and claimed two new records.

“I took them as seriously as I could and every time I put myself on the line in that situation I want to put my best foot forward,” he told 1 NEWS.

Bond managed to row 9,449 metres in the 30 minute test, and 1,412 metres in the four minute one.

However he says there is a caveat.

“Mine are actually age grade records, so that’s the perk of being over 30 now,” he laughed.

In fact, his most satisfying accomplishment in lockdown was a new personal best in the highly valued 2 kilometre test – the normal racing distance.

Bond shaving a second off, despite not having the usual coaches and crew cheering him on.

“It was pretty satisfying at 34 years of age to sit in my garage and do a PB and suffer through a 6 min test,” he said.

Kiddle says she was “knackered” after completing her record – rowing 5,000 metres in just 15 minutes and one point eight seconds.

But she says it proved a good distraction from the Olympics being postponed.

“It definitely made that lockdown period easier having a goal to work towards,” she says.

And she admits she was impressed by some of the records being smashed.

“Rowing as a sport, it’s pretty cool that we're tough athletes, you know we can just jump in the garage and whack out a PB, and whack out a world record.”

Twigg also broke two records, rowing 10,000 metres in 35 minutes and 33 seconds, and a mammoth half marathon distance in one hour, 17 minutes and 42 seconds.