Olympics-NZ name world champions Gowler, Prendergast in rowing team for Tokyo

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(Reuters) - New Zealand have named 11 world champions, including Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast, among its 32 rowers heading to Tokyo for the Summer Games, the country's Olympic committee (NZOC) said on Friday.

Gowler and Prendergast were included in the women's pair event and women's eight squad. They were both part of the women's eight team that finished fourth in 2016.

"The opportunity to again showcase New Zealand's strength in rowing at an Olympic Games is very special to me and to do so alongside such talented team mates is a dream come true," Prendergast said.

Brooke Donoghue, who earlier this year won the national title in the women's single sculls event, will compete with Hannah Osborne in the women's double sculls.

Single sculler Emma Twigg returns for her fourth Olympics, while Jordan Parry will make his Games debut at Tokyo in the men's single sculls after beating double gold medallist Mahe Drysdale for the spot.

Dan Williamson is the youngest member of the Kiwi rowing squad, the 21-year-old was named in the men's eight team.

New Zealand have won 24 Olympic rowing medals, including 11 gold and three silver.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)