Rowing heroes 'uplift' weary nation in lockdown

1 month ago 13
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A flood of praise has poured in for Australia's rowers following their morning of domination in Tokyo today, which saw them haul in two gold medals and two bronze at Sea Forest Waterway.

The phenomenal morning on the water, in which the men's and women's fours crews won gold and the men's and women's quadruple scull teams grabbed bronze, has been lauded by ABC sports editor Paul Johnson on Twitter as "something nice to uplift the country" during the lockdowns.


ABC Canberra radio presenter Anna Vidot had praise of a similar sentiment, posting: "Rowers really out here saving the day for Australia's collective mental health."

Meanwhile, Australian author Xavier Wallace labelled the morning "incredible" and NSW minister for sport Natalie Ward congratulated Australia's women's fours, who are based at Rowing Australia's national training centre in Penrith.

"Fantastic effort," Ward wrote.

Gold medallists Lucy Stephan, Rosemary Popa, Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre of Australia. (Getty)

The women's fours team - consisting of Stephan Lucy, Popa Rosemary, Jessica Morrison and Annabelle McIntyre - ignited the blitz when they clinched gold, clocking 6:15.37 to break the Olympic record and edge the Netherlands (6:15.71) and Ireland (6:20.46).

Australia then collected another gold when the men's fours crew - powered by Alex Purnell, Spencer Turrin, Jack Hargeaves and Alex Hill - repeated the heroics of the women, recording 5:42.76 to pip Romania (5:43.13) and Italy (5:43.60) in a three-way thriller.

The brilliant results continued to roll in as the men's quadruple sculls team - run by Jack Cleary, Caleb Antill, Cameron Girdlestone and Luke Letcher - salvaged bronze, registering 5:33.97 in a heart-stopping battle with the Netherlands (5:32.03) and Great Britain (5:33.75).

Australia's men's fours crew - consisting of Alex Purnell, Spencer Turrin, Jack Hargeaves and Alex Hill - with their gold medals in Tokyo. (Getty)

And Australia's final medal of this morning's rowing bonanza was won when the women's quadruple sculls unit - comprised of Ria Thompson, Rowena Meredith, Harriet Hudson and Caitlin Cronin - claimed bronze, producing a time of 6:12.08 as they trailed China (6:05.13) and Poland (6:11.36).

Australia's victory in the women's fours saw Popa join her mum, Sue Chapman-Popa, as an Olympic medallist in the event. Chapman achieved the feat at Los Angeles in 1984.

Australia's conquering of the men's fours saw them shoot out to a giant lead early before just hanging on to beat Romania by 0.37 of a second.

In taking out gold, they emulated the iconic Australian 'Oarsome Foursome' boats that were victorious at Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.

Jack Cleary, Caleb Antill, Cameron Girdlestone and Luke Letcher of Australia compete during the men's quadruple sculls at the Tokyo Games. (Getty)

The men's quadruple sculls team smashed the old Olympic record by almost three seconds, but unfortunately for them, the Dutch crew stormed to a world record breaking time.

And in possibly the most dramatic race of the morning, Australia's women's quadruple sculls team pinched a podium place after one of the German rowers lost control of her oar, dropping the team to fifth and allowing Australia to climb into third.

Ria Thompson, Rowena Meredith, Harriet Hudson and Caitlin Cronin of Australia in action during the women's quadruple sculls in Tokyo. (Getty)

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