Bond and Murray win Gold in London 2012

Sports historians talk about the golden hour in Rome in 1960, when Peter Snell and Murray Halberg won athletics gold medals within 60 minutes.

But In 2012, Hamish Bond and Eric Murray in the men’s pair and Mahe Drysdale in the single sculls won gold 39 minutes apart.

There were joyous scenes for the hundreds of New Zealand spectators at the rowing. Cheering, the odd haka, laughter, tears, more cheering…it was an occasion never to be forgotten.

Bond and Murray were unbackable favourites. Since they joined forces, the pair have never been beaten. They had won three world titles, but the Olympic gold was the one they were after.

After settling down over the first 500 metres, their victory was never in doubt. By the halfway point they had a lead of 1½ seconds and when they applied the pressure over the third quarter, they stretched that margin to nearly six seconds.

In the end they were timed at 6min 16.65s. Frenchmen Germain Chardin and Dorian Mortelette were second in 6min 21.11s and the British pair of George Nash and William Satch were third.

It was a comprehensive performance by the New Zealanders, who shrugged off the pressure of favouritism, but their feelings were obvious on the victory dais when Murray shed tears through the national anthem and then put his arm around Bond.

Immediately the anthem finished, Murray raised his fists in triumph.

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