Mahe Drysdale takes on rival Ondrej Synek at the World Champions in a tribute race
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Mahe Drysdale withdrew ahead of the Tokyo Olympics but will compete in a tribute event at the world champions.
Mahe Drysdale will compete in the World Championships next week.
But the two-time Olympic gold medalist isn’t really coming out of retirement, having given up the oars ahead of last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
Instead, Drysdale will take part in a tribute race to his former great rival in the men’s one, five-time world champion Ondrej Synek of the Czech Republic.
Synek also retired last year after missing the Tokyo Games, ending a career in which he won three medals in the men’s singles at the Olympics.
Synek took silver at Beijing 2008 behind Norway’s Olaf Tufte while Drysdale was third after leading for most of the race and then collapsing; He later revealed that he had lost 4kg in the week leading up to the final due to a gastrointestinal virus.
Drysdale won gold in London four years later with Synek as the silver medalist, while the New Zealander also won gold in Rio 2016 in a photo finish with Croatian Damir Martin, Synek third.
The 500 meter tribute race for Synek will be held at the end of the 2022 World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic, which starts Sunday evening (NZ time) and lasts for a week.
Joining Synek and Drysdale in the sprint race are four-time Olympic champion Tufte, Britain’s Alan Campbell (2012 Olympic bronze medalist behind Drysdale and Synek), Slovakia’s Iztok Cop, a six-time Olympic champion, and Sweden’s Lassi Karonen.