LONDON - New Zealand's Hamish Bond and Eric Murray set a new men's pairs rowing world record in the Olympic heats Saturday, smashing the mark held by Britain's Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell.
The multiple world champions timed 6min 8.50sec on the first day of competition, almost six seconds quicker than the 10-year-old record set at the 2002 world championships.
"Six seconds, wow, it doesn't surprise me," said Bond, after the event held at Eton Dorney to the west of London.
"It's a great confidence boost to the whole team, I mean if they can beat it by six seconds, then everything has the potential to be much closer than we thought.
"When we were warming up, we saw there was a nice tailwind and some fast times. Yeah, they were fast conditions but we didn't really have an inclination of how fast we were going."
The duo, who are unbeaten since teaming up in 2009, are now safely into the semi-finals.
"There's one thing saying you're really well prepared and there's another to go and show you're prepared, but this has given us a real confidence boost," said Murray.