Olympic Champion Mahe Drysdale could be finding his form just when he needs to after winning his sixth Diamond Sculls title at the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta in England.
Drysdale trailed Norway’s Kjetil Borch for nearly all the 2112m race down the Thames but with the finish line in sight he made a late charge, pulling ahead in the dying metres.
"Suddenly the crowd started erupting and I figured I must be closing the gap, and (at) 150m to go I saw a flash going past me, he pretty much stopped rowing he was absolutely dead and buried.”
Drysdale says it’s his best race since the Rio Olympics where he won gold in a photo finish.
“I think I first started to see I was making progress last week in Amsterdam but this week every race, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, I made a step up every day and to know that those changes are working, I really am starting to feel a bit more like my old self.”
This weekend Drysdale will race fellow Kiwi Robbie Manson at World Cup Three in Lucerne to decide who will represent New Zealand in the single sculls at the World Championships in Bulgaria.
Drysdale admits he still has work to do but this win has been a big step.
“I was preparing to go into Lucerne saying ‘ok well Lucerne is where I’m going to have to find my confidence’ so it's really nice I’ve now found my confidence.”
Borch finished fourth at the second World Cup event, a regatta that Drysdale was forced to pull out of due to illness. Manson claimed the title in Austria.
Drysdale has now won six Diamond Sculls titles at Henley. That equals the record for the most wins in the event which dates back to 1850.