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Women's eight claim historic gold at Rowing World Champs in impressive final day for Kiwi boats

New Zealand Rowing has completed an impressive campaign at this year's world championships in Austria with a historic gold for the women's eight the cherry on top of nine boats qualifying for next year's Olympics.

On a dramatic final day, New Zealand added two more golds and a silver to their medal haul with the women's eight finishing top of the podium for the first time.

The women's eight of Ella Greenslade, Emma Dyke, Lucy Spoors, Kelsey Bevan, Grace Prendergast, Kerri Gowler, Elizabeth Ross, Jackie Gowler and coxswain Caleb Shepherd took home gold after a late push saw them overtake Australia in the final stages.

The team finished with a time of 56.91 seconds with Australia 2.72s behind. USA claimed bronze.

The New Zealand boat crew reacts after winning the Women's Eight final at the World Rowing Championships. Source: Associated Press

Prendergast told 1 NEWS after the race the result was "unbelievable".

"The race just went incredibly fast but I think we're just super proud of what we did out there.

"We just stuck to our plan and executed the race we wanted to.

"It's just a bit surreal at the moment."

The other gold came from Brooke Donoghue and Olivia Loe in the women's double sculls while Emma Twigg took silver in the women's single scull.

The day wasn't as positive for the men's eight who finished an agonising 0.55 seconds outside of Olympic qualification.

The men's team finished sixth in the final but were only five seconds off victors Germany. The US pipped the Kiwis at the finish line to finish fifth and claimed the final qualification spot at this year's world championships as a result.

The crew, which features Olympic champions Mahe Drysdale and Hamish Bond along with James Lassche, Shaun Kirkham, Brook Robertson, Phillip Wilson, Matthew MacDonald, Stephen Jones and coxswain Sam Bosworth could still reach Tokyo but Rowing NZ will have to decide if they're willing to send the boat to the "last chance qualifier in Lucerne in May to make it.

New Zealand finished the Rowing World Championships with four golds and two silvers - five of which came from women's boats.


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