Murray Bridge’s own Olympic hero James McRae has gone one better in this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro when his crew brought home silver in the men’s quadruple sculls, improving on his bronze medal effort at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Despite a number of delays to the final due to weather conditions, it was a thriller.
The Australian crew, also consisting of Cameron Girdleston, Sasha Belonogoff and Karsten Forsterling, just missed out on the gold medal by half a boat length to defending champions Germany who crossed the finish line just 1.15 seconds before the Aussies.
The “Man of the Murray”, McRae led the crew as the stroke, determining the pace throughout the 2000 metre race.
They came storming home at the back end of the race to come within 0.13 seconds of the Germans who had achieved an early lead but just couldn’t quite catch them.
“They got out of the blocks early, and they did it for a reason,” McRae said.
McRae’s mother Chris McRae said the Germans played a dangerous tactic putting so much into the first 500 metres, if a muscle screaming sprint is needed at the end, it can be tough.
She said it was a disappointing for the Australians who went into the games as favourite, but the fast start from a heavier crew in headwind conditions won the day.
The people of Murray Bridge and surrounding areas have shown their support for McRae with messages of congratulations on social media, saying they are proud of the Murray Bridge Olympic hero.
Australia finished with a gold and two silver in the rowing, with a silver to fellow “Man of the Murray”, Loxton’s Alex Hill and gold to Kimberly Brennan in the women’s single scull.