Going hard: Kiwi Olympic gold medallist Hamish Bond
New Zealand rowing’s ‘perfect pair’ Eric Murray and Hamish Bond say they’ve far exceeded what they thought they could achieve.
The pair, who won gold at this year’s Olympics and have been unbeaten for the four years they’ve rowed together, were guest speakers today (Friday) at Property Council New Zealand’s annual conference in Queenstown.
Murray told the 280 delegates: “With rowing, you don’t have to be a gifted athlete - you just have to have the attitude and belief that you can go all the way.
“We’ve just really tried to see how far we can go and push the limits. We really enjoy what we’re doing.
“We’ll probably continue going for as long as we can until the body starts breaking down or we start losing.”
Bond stated: “The key to our success is probably that we established a goal, pretty early on. It was pretty simple, really – London Olympics, gold medal, and that was it.
“The biggest part of our relationship is that we entered into it as a 50-50 partnership.
“You’ll see quite a lot of crews and teams, they’ll have a degree of hierarchy, whereas we established pretty early on that it was going to be equal input and equal output, I guess, as well, so we were both open to each other’s ideas.
“We both know that whatever ideas were being put forward, even if we disagree with each other, we both wanted to just go as fast as we could in London.”
Bond and Murray said one of the keys to their success is that, thanks to their coach Dick Tonks, their training was harder than their racing.
Bond: “Our coach Dick Tonks is a pretty well-renowned taskmaster –we refer to him as ‘Mein Fuhrer’ quite often.
“He rules with an iron fist and you don’t like to be under that iron fist.
“I remember when I first made the New Zealand team, I used to line up at the start line with quite a degree of trepidation as to the pain that I was going to go through in the next, usually about six minutes for a race.
“But now I line up, and what we did two weeks ago is going to hurt a shit-load more than what I’m going to do again.
“It prepares you mentally very well to put yourself through that pain because, generally, it’s not going to be as bad as our training.”
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