Alexander ‘Sasha’ Belonogoff made his Olympic debut at the Rio 2016 Games where he claimed a silver medal in the men’s quad sculls alongside crew mates Karsten Forsterling, Cameron Girdlestone and James McRae.
The quad secured a prime lane three position in the A final after blitzing their heat, but the reigning World and Olympic Champions, Germany were not to be discounted in lane one. As they approached the final 500 metres, the Australians continued to hunt down the Germans and as they approached the line the crew were within touching distance of the reigning champions. Despite going in as favourites, it wasn’t to be for the Australians as they fell 1.15sec short to take home the silver medal, with Germany winning gold and Estonia bronze.
Belonogoff, who grew up in Rockhampton, rowed into the international spotlight when he won a bronze medal in the double scull at the 2008 Junior World Championships. He went on to win two bronze medals in the quad sculls at the 2009 and 2012 U23 World Championships.
Belonogoff made his senior A team debut in 2013 at World Cup 1 in Sydney where he won bronze in the double sculls. In 2014, Belonogoff won three medals from three World Cup appearances and also claimed bronze at the World Championships in Amsterdam.
He comes from a big Russian family and his Grandma still lives in a Russian community up in Queensland. He is an avid fisherman and likes to intimidate his opponents before a race with a serious pair of sunglasses so competitors cannot read his expressions.