Mahe Drysdale returns to competitive rowing after year-long break: 'I'm five per cent away from where I need to be'

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NZN

Olympic great Mahe Drysdale is happy enough despite finishing off the pace in his return to competitive rowing at an event in Italy.

M1X Mens Single Sculls - Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand, 17 June 2016.
World Rowing Cup III in Poznan, Poland. 16-19 June 2016.
Copyright photo: www.photosport.nz

New Zealand's Mahe Drysdale in action during the World Cup regatta.

Source: Photosport

Drysdale was 13th quickest in a large field contesting the Silver Skiffs regatta on the Po River near Turin.

Drysdale's time on the 11km course of 41 minutes 35 seconds was more than a minute behind decorated race winner Martin Sinkovic of Croatia, who narrowly headed off his older brother Valent.

"I didn't finish with the result I dreamt about but it's a good reflection on where I am and where I need to be," Drysdale said on Facebook.

"Two years ago I was 1min 04sec faster going into Olympic year which means I'm about five per cent away from where I need to be."

Drysdale is coming off a break of more than a year since he won his second successive Olympic single sculls gold medal at Rio.

He has committed to chasing a hat-trick at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, when he will be nearly 42.

Drysdale will soon join the national summer training programme and will contest a full year's racing in 2018.

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