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Single sculler Twigg cruises into final with dominant semi

New Zealand rower Emma Twigg has cruised into the final of the women's single sculls, winning her semi-final by almost five seconds.

The 34-year-old was strong out of the blocks, sitting second after the first 500m just 0.47 seconds behind the Austrian.

Twigg took over in the second 500m pushing ahead to open up a 1.16 second lead with the second half to go. That despite the Kiwi keeping her stroke rate low at 31 strokes per minute while the rest of the field tried to rein her in.

Emma Twigg dominated her quarter-final race in the women's single sculls in Tokyo. Source: Photosport

Such a task was easier said than done though, with Twigg forging a 2.99 second-lead over the Austrian with 500m to go.

With Twigg comfortably ahead, the race to find the other two finalists became the focus as Austria, USA and Great Britain scrapped for the final two spots.

In the end, Twigg won with a time of 7:20.70 – 4.42 seconds ahead of Great Britain.

Austria earned the last spot in the final, pipping the USA to third by by 0.51 seconds.

It comes after women's pair Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler won New Zealand's first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics barely an hour before.