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|Competitor for New Zealand|
|Gold||2000 Sydney||Single Sculls|
He holds the fastest 2000 metre indoor rowing machine time in the world, clocking a time of 5 mins 36.6 secs (5:36.6). He also holds the record for 5000m on the rowing machine with a time of 14:58. This made him the first person to go sub 15min for this distance . He is a black belt in Judo .
2003 Team New Zealand America’s Cup defence
Rob Waddell switched to sailing for Team New Zealand’s 2003 America’s Cup defence. He trained as a grinder.
2007 America's Cup
He participated again in the 2007 America’s Cup. Following this Waddell returned to rowing representing New Zealand in the double sculls at the Beijing Olympics.
In 2008 he made a comeback to rowing after leaving the sport after the 2000 Sydney Olympics, in pursuit of a sailing career as a grinder. With 8 years out of the sport he broke the 2000m and 5000m world records on the rowing machine and defeated Mahé Drysdale, the world champion in the single sculls, who was also a New Zealander. As it was an Olympic year and only one crew can be sent to the Olympics in each boat class the stage was set for a battle to see who would fill the Olympic single sculls spot. Despite Waddell getting the better of Drysdale in the domestic regattas the selectors created a three-race trial to decide who would go. With the wins for each sculler tied at 1–1 it came down to a final race which Drysdale won.
Waddell was then selected into the double sculls with the young Nathan Cohen, world champion at the 2006 World University Games in single sculls, in early 2008. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Shunyi, Beijing in August 2008, the two finished fourth in the double sculls final.
Waddell retired from rowing to take up sailing again. Cohen went on to win the gold medal in double sculls at the next Olympic Games in 2012, with rowing partner Joseph Sullivan as Waddell's replacement.
2013 Team New Zealand America's Cup challenge
In the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup, which Team New Zealand won over Prada Luna Rossa, Waddell was a key grinder and member of the team that eventually went on to challenge Team Oracle USA for the 2013 America’s Cup.
In 1998, he married fellow rower Sonia Scown.
Olympic Games – Rowing
- 2000 – Gold, Single Sculls
- 1996 – 7th, Single Sculls
- 2008 – 4th, Double Sculls
World Championships – Rowing
- 1999 – Gold, Single Sculls
- 1998 – Gold, Single Sculls
- 1997 – 8th, Single Sculls
- 1995 – 10th, Coxless Four (4-)
- 1994 – 5th Coxed Pair (2+)
- 1994 – 13th Coxless Pair (2-)
World Cup – Rowing
- 2008 – Gold, Double Sculls (2x).
- No. 17, Waddell overcomes heart ailment for gold New Zealand Herald, 9 July 2012
- "Rowing at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games: Men's Double Sculls | Olympics". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Logan Savory (21 March 2012). "Rower Nathan Cohen has eye on Olympic prize". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Ian Anderson (27 December 2011). "Rowing duo Cohen, Sullivan eye London Olympics". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "Rowing at the 2012 London Summer Games: Men's Double Sculls | Olympics". Sports-reference.com. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- FISA profile
- Short biography
- Video of 2000 Olympic race
- Indoor rowing world records
- Waikato Rugby Football Union