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Women's pair break world record as they cruise into Olympic final

Kiwi rowers Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler have cruised into the final of the women's pair after winning their semi-final in Tokyo this afternoon with a world record time.

Grace Prendergast (L) and Kerri Gowler of Team New Zealand compete during the Women's Pair Heat 3 on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway on July 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Source: Getty

Prendergast and Gowler got off to a strong start in the race, taking the lead by 0.78 seconds from the Russian Olympic Committee boat at the 500m mark.

That lead increased to 2.46 seconds by the halfway mark and doubled again to 5.73 seconds by the 1500m mark.

The Kiwis brought it home with a time of 6:47.41, breaking the world best time which had just been set in the previous semi-final. Rowers in both semi-finals benefited from a strong tailwind.

ROC and Spain earned the other two spots in the final, finishing second and third respectively.