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.

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