Coxless pair aim to keep legacy going in Paris

Olympic gold medallists Phillip Wilson and Dan Williamson have been added to the New Zealand Rowing team for the Paris Olympics next month.

Wilson and Williamson were in the men’s eight that won gold in Tokyo three years ago and now have the opportunity to continue New Zealand’s outstanding record in the coxless pair.

New Zealand has a proud history in the pair, having won six medals, including three gold in the boat.

“We walk in the footsteps of some of the greats and in that sense, it is very special,” Williamson said of their selection.

“But just thinking about the success had in this boat class won’t get us anywhere, it’s now up to Phil and I, our coaches and physiologists, to deliver at Games time. We take great inspiration from those that have come before us and are motivated by the fact it’s been done before.”

Wilson and Williamson’s addition to the team follows a selection process against fellow squad members Ben Taylor and Campbell Crouch. Both crews raced at the recent World Cup regatta in Poland, where Wilson and Williamson won a bronze medal.

“Having your seats opened up for selection really just adds fuel to the fire.

“The last few weeks have really taught us how to manage external distractions while staying internally focused, a skill that will definitely come in handy during the Olympics.”

The selection of Wilson and Williamson brings the number of New Zealand boats competing in Paris to nine.

“It makes me very proud to be able to represent my country on the biggest sporting stage for a second time,” Wilson said.

“I think of the family and friends that were stuck at home during the last Olympics and this time around they will be there in the stands. It will make it that much more special to have them there.”

Matt Macdonald (stroke), Shaun Kirkham, Phillip Wilson, Dan Williamson, Michael Brake, Tom Murray, Hamish Bond, Tom Mackintosh (bow) and Sam Bosworth (coxswain) New Zealand Men's Eight, Gold medalists Tokyo Olympics.

New Zealand Olympic Committee chief executive Nicki Nicol said Wilson and Williamson’s experience would be invaluable to the team and she looked forward to watching them compete at another Games.

“We know Dan and Phillip are proven competitors and we’re thrilled to have them back in the New Zealand team.

“We wish them all the best with the rest of their competition and look forward to watching them on the water in Paris in just over a month.”

Ben Taylor has been named as the travelling reserve for the boat, while Campbell Crouch, Ben Mason and Flynn Eliadis-Watson have been named as non-travelling reserves.

The full New Zealand Rowing Team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is:

Women’s Single Scull (W1x) – Emma Twigg

Women’s Double Scull (W2x) – Lucy Spoors, Brooke Francis

Women’s Lightweight Double Scull (LW2x) – Jackie Kiddle, Shannon Cox

Women’s Coxless Pair (W2-) – Alana Sherman, Kate Haines

Women’s Coxless Four (W4-) – Kerri Williams, Davina Waddy, Phoebe Spoors, Jackie Gowler

Men’s Single Scull (M1x) – Tom Mackintosh

Men’s Double Scull (M2x) – Jordan Parry, Robbie Manson

Men’s Coxless Pair (M2-) – Phillip Wilson, Dan Williamson

Men’s Coxless Four (M4-) – Matt Macdonald, Tom Murray, Logan Ullrich, Oliver Maclean

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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