Australian rowing makes a splash: Men’s eight ends 36-year gold drought at World Cup

Jul 12, 2023
The Australian crew outshone the race favourites, Great Britain, in a thrilling battle, ultimately seizing the coveted gold medal. Source: Rowing Australia.

In a thrilling display of skill, determination, and sheer grit, the Australian men’s eight rowing team triumphed at the third and final World Cup round, securing their first gold medal in over 36 years.

The historic victory was achieved by toppling the reigning champions, Great Britain, leaving the rowing world in awe of Australia’s remarkable comeback.

Australia’s men’s eight rowing team, comprising of Patrick Holt, Josh Hicks, Benjamin Canham, Timothy Masters, James Robertson, Joseph O’Brien, Angus Widdicombe, Angus Dawson, and coxswain Kendall Brodie, had been steadily building towards a momentous achievement, and their efforts culminated in a resounding success.

The Australian crew outshone the race favourites, Great Britain, in a thrilling battle, ultimately seizing the coveted gold medal. Crossing the finish line with a time of 5:23.92, the Australian boat edged out Team GB (5:24.53) in a closely contested race, with the Netherlands hot on their heels, just a second behind, completing the placings.

Their well-deserved victory provided a significant boost of confidence as the men’s team now gears up for their intensive training in Switzerland and Italy, foregoing a return home in preparation for the upcoming World Championships.

“It feels pretty good, we knew we had a quick last 500, we wanted to be in a good position at that part of the race. It’s going so fast, but it’s pretty good. We knew we had patches of speed here and there, now we need to go back to training,” Holt said.

A wave of pride and admiration swept across Australia as enthusiastic supporters wasted no time in showering the victorious Aussie champions with heartfelt congratulations.

“Tremendous news. Congratulations to our Mens 8+ and Rowing Australia. Shout out to Kendall Brodie!” one fan wrote.

“I just watched a replay of this race. A fantastic race and awesome result.”

“Amazing!! Well done!!”

“Fabulous final. Such a tremendous finishing effort,” another commented.

“Something special happening! Well done crew.”

Refusing to be outshone, Australians Jess Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre also showcased their prowess and skill, claiming victory in the pair event, further solidifying their success leading up to the world rowing championships.

“We knew that because it was a final, everyone was going to come out really hard and try to go with us,” McIntyre said.

“We stayed internal, focused on our race. If they were going to go with us, we were going to make them hurt for it. That was the plan.”

Australia finished second overall in the 2023 World Rowing Cup rankings on 103 points, behind winners Great Britain (115) and ahead of the third-placed Swiss (95).

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