Australia makes history by winning GOLD in the women’s four rowing at the Tokyo Games – 30 years after the Olympic event was axed for women
- Australia’s women have won gold in the coxless four at Tokyo Olympic Games
- Rosemary Popa, Lucy Stephan, Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison in crew
- First gold Australia has won out of pool and continues women’s dominance
Australia’s women have followed in the footsteps of the great Oarsome Foursome to win gold in the coxless four at the Olympic Games.
The quad of Rosemary Popa, Lucy Stephan, Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison were strong favourites for the event, making it the first gold Australia have recorded so far out of the pool.
The Dutch team mounted a monumentous comeback in the final stages but it wasn’t enough to topple the Australians who led from start to finish in a commanding performance.
It’s also the first time the country’s women have won the event and 30 years after the event was axed altogether for women.
Their male counterparts also hung on to win gold in their rowing foursome, holding off incredible finishes from Romania and Italy to make it back to back golds and a clean sweep in the event for Australia.
Australia’s women have followed in the footsteps of the great Oarsome Foursome to win gold in the coxless four at the Olympic Games
The quad of Rosemary Popa, Lucy Stephan, Annabelle McIntyre and Jessica Morrison made it the first gold Australia have recorded so far out of the pool
They were a boat length ahead after the first 1,000 metres, but the Dutch team mounted a strong comeback and halved the gap with 500m to go.
The Aussie girls had just enough in the tank to keep the Netherlands at bay to hold on for a famous victory.
Coach John Keogh said the team, which includes rookies McIntyre and Morrison, are ‘magic’.
‘They’re incredibly fast. I never went that quick as a lightweight guy,’ he said of his team.
The team is made up of two Rio Olympic veterans, Popa and Stephan, with the two rookies McIntyre and Morrison.
The combination has proved a hugely successful one for the Australian team, who stormed home to claim the country’s first non-swimming gold medal and first female rowing medal.
They continue the legacy left by the Oarsome Foursome, Australia’s legendary rowing team made up by Nick Green, Mike McKay, Samuel Patten, James Tomkins and later Andrew Cooper and Drew Ginn.
The group won two gold medals at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games, cementing themselves as heroes to the Australian public.
Their inclusion in the event was a bittersweet one for coach Keogh, who saw Australia’s lightweight men’s four team, the event he rowed for the country in, left out of the Games.
The International Olympic Committe have been attempting to reduce the number of Olympians at the competition, with 263 rowers allowed altogether and an even share of male and female competitors.
The win is sure to ease the pain however, as Keogh has now led his young women to gold medal glory.
Australia’s men’s four has been the most successful boat, winning back-to-back gold in 1992 and 1996 to earn the Oarsome Foursome tag.
But Great Britain have won every gold medal since, with Australia forced to settle for silver medals at the past three Games.
McIntyre and Morrison will be back on the water lining up in the semi-final of the women’s pair as they bid for a rare Olympic rowing medal double.