Openly gay rower Robbie Manson smashes record in winning World Rowing Cup gold

Robbie Manson of New Zealand made his debut in rowing’s single sculls a smashing one by setting a World Best Time in winning the gold medal at the World Rowing Cup II in Poznan, Poland.

Manson, who is openly gay, won the event by eight seconds, a huge amount in that race, which included last year’s Olympic silver medalist. He set the world record by an equally impressive three seconds. Manson took to Instagram to celebrate.

"I started slow and steady which was my plan," Manson told New Zealand media. "I thought through the 1,000 meters I was slower than world record pace but then I looked at 500 meters to go and my splits were still reasonably good.

"So I kept my foot down and tried get as close to it as I could. I crossed finish line, saw time and was pretty stoked."

"I've said all along the single is what I want be in in Tokyo,'" he said of the 2020 Olympic Games. "I wanted to prove I'm not just filling the spot temporarily. I want to make it my own."

Last year, on the eve of the Rio Summer Olympics, Manson shared that he has become a better rower after coming out as gay since he could exclusively focus on being the best at his sport and not have to worry about hiding. He showed that big-time this weekend.

This has been reposted from Outsports.