Mahe Drysdale may feel injury has left him short of his best, but he is still the one to beat in the single sculls at the world rowing championships this week.
Drysdale's hopes of securing his fifth successive world title were hit this year when a disc injury in his back severely limited his international buildup and forced him to drop speed work from his training.
Yet in his heat yesterday at Lake Karapiro, he eased away to a comfortable win in six minutes 48.60 seconds. It saw him through to the semifinals on Thursday.
Results, day two:
Lightweight double scull: NZ (Storm Uru, Peter Taylor) 6:17.46 1, Italy (Lorenzo Bertini, Elia Luini) 6:18.95, China ( Fangbing Zhang, Tiexin Wang) 6:19.71 3. NZ through to semis.
Pair: NZ (Hamish bond, Eric Murray) 6:25.12 1, Serbia (Marko Marjanovic, Nikola Stojic) 6:35.32 2, US (Deaglan McEachern, Ryan Monaghan) 6:37.20 3. NZ through to semis.
Quadruple scull: Croatia (David Sain, Martin Sinkovic, Damir Martin, Valent Sinkovic) 5:41.44 1, Australia (Karsten Fosterling, David Crawshay, James McRae, Daniel Noonan) 5:43.11 2, NZ (John Storey, Matthew Trott, Robert Manson, Nathan Twaddle) 5:46.06 3. NZ to contest repechage.
Four: NZ (Jade Uru, Simon Watson, Hamish Burson, David Eade) 5:49.87 1, US (Giuseppe Lanzone, Henrik Rummel, Samuel Stitt, Silas Stafford) 5:52.70 2, Australia (Josh Booth, Bryn Coudraye, Fergus Pragnell, John Linke) 5:52.89 3. NZ through to final.
Single scull: NZ (Mahe Drysdale) 6:48.60 1, Sweden (Lassi Karonen) 6:50.18 2, Roel Braas (Netherlands) 6:57/43 3. NZ through to semis.
Lightweight single scull: NZ (Duncan Grant) 7:09.12 1, Britain (Peter Chambers) 7:13.08 2, Netherlands (Jaap Schouten) 7:18.78 3. NZ to semis.
Double scull: NZ (Nathan Cohen, Joseph Sullivan) 6:10.18 1, Estonia (Raja Allar, Kaspar Taimsoo) 6:18.34 2, China (Hang Liu, Zhiqiang Shi) 6:20.96 3. NZ to semis.
Adaptive single sculls: NZ (Danny McBride) 4:57.58 1, Russia (Alexey Chuvashev) 4:59.72 2, Brasil (Luciano Luna de Oliveira) 5:05.94 3. NZ to final.
Lightweight double scull (repechage): NZ (Lucy Strack, Julia Edward) 7:00.86 1, Belgium (J Hammond, E Geentjens) 7:02.57 2, Italy 7:02.72 3. NZ to semis.
Quadruple scull: Britain (Debbie Flood, Beth Rodford, Fances Houghton, Annabel Vernon) 6:15.62 1, Germany (Britta Oppelt, Carina Baer, Tina Manker, Julia Richter) 6:15.72 2, NZ (Sarah Gray, Fiona Bourke, Genevieve Armstrong, Linda Matthews) 6:27.52 3. NZ to repechage.
Single scull: Sweden (Frida Svensson) 7:26.27 1, NZ (Emma Twigg) 7:26.29 2, China (Jingli Duan) 7:38.28 3. NZ to semis.
Pair: NZ (Juliette Haigh, Rebecca Scown) 7:04.28 1, Britain (H Glover, H Stanning) 7:05.81 2, Australia (S Tait, P Stanley) 7:06.44 3. NZ to final.
Double scull: Poland (M Fularczyk, J Michalska) 6:46.93 1, US (S Carle, K Bertko) 6:48.36 2, Australia (K Hore, K Crow) 6:50.48 3, NZ (Emma-Jane Feathery, Fiona Paterson) 6:51.21. NZ to contest repechage.
Lightweight single scull: NZ (Louise Ayling)7:49.30 1, L Milani (Italy) 7:51.00 2, Brazil (F Beltrame) 7:54.34 3. NZ through to final.
Four: Australia (S Heard, S Cook, P Frasca, K Hornsey) 6:38.51 1, US (M Allen, G Luczak, A Martelli, A Cox) 6:41.41 2, NZ (Genevieve Behrent, Alexandra Burnside, Zoe Stephenson, Lucy Spoors) 6:47.17 3. NZ through to final.