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Women's crew with Oarsome Foursome goals

21 June 2013

ROWING: The Australian Rowing Team will take to the water this weekend at the 2012 Olympic rowing venue at Eton Dorney for the commencement of round two of the 2013 Samsung World Rowing Cup. 

All eyes will be on Australia's new-look women's quad crew, containing the reigning under-23 world champions, as they attempt to back-up their gold medal from the first World Cup of the season in Sydney in March.Australia will be represented by just four crews with the 14 athletes under the supervision of Drew Ginn, Rowing Australia’s Head Coach.

A member of the 1996 Oarsome Foursome, Ginn finished his racing career at the same venue last August with a silver medal in the men’s Four to go with his three gold from 1996, 2004, 2008.

At the Olympics Australia's most experienced female crew finished a close fourth in the women’s quad - just two months after Pippa Savage was axed from the boat due to a major disharmony problem.

Into their places have stepped Jess Hall, Maddie Edmunds, Olympia Aldersey and Rebekah Hooper who all still qualify for under-23 racing and started the 2013 season with a fantastic win at the World Cup in Sydney in March. They defied their lack of senior international experience to blitz the field, including an American crew containing three Olympic champions.

Their 2013 form - posting the best prognostic times in trialling across all of Australia's boat classes - has been irresistible for RA selectors, earning their inclusion with just three other Australian crews for World Cup 2.

Queenslander Hall boldly said it was just the start of a record-breaking journey to the Rio 2016 Olympics for the quartet who want to emulate the efforts of the Oarsome Foursome in the men's four in the 1990s. 

"We're not basing ourselves on the standard of the last four years," said 20-year-old Hall. 

"We're trying to write a new standard because we think it can be done in this boat category. 

"It's pretty bold but with the research we've done into the past 10-12 years in the quad we think it's the category that has actually got a lot of potential to do something like what the Oarsome Foursome did. They rewrote that event." 

Coached by South Australian mentor Jason Lane, who was in charge of the 2012 quad unit, Hall said the close-knit crew's current times measured up more than favourably to those by Olympic crew Kerrie Hore, Dana Faletic, Amy Clay and Pauline Frasca last year.

London Olympic teammates of Ginn in the men’s Four, William Lockwood (VIC) and Joshua Dunkley Smith (VIC) return to Eton Dorney in the a new combination together with 2012 Under 23 World Championships bronze medallists in the eight Alexander Lloyd (NSW), Spencer Turrin (NSW).  

In the men’s quad scull, Olympians Nicholas Purnell (NSW) and Tom Swann (VIC) have teamed up with 2013 Senior A newcomers Kieran Kobelke (NSW) and Alexander Belonogoff (NSW). The fourth Australian crew is Tess Gerrand (NSW) and Katrina Bateman (VIC) in the women’s pair who will be the first on the water in heats on Friday.


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