You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Rower Brennan says medal meant to be

AAP logoAAP 13/08/2016 By Melissa Woods

Kim Brennan's rowing gold medal was meant to be.

The new Olympic champion rowed the race of her life in the women's single sculls to win Australia's first rowing gold medal in eight years.

The last one was won by her husband Scott Brennan in the double sculls in Beijing.

A Canberra doctor, he didn't make it to Rio but watched on television as Brennan blitzed the final, leading from start to finish to beat home American Genevra Stone and China's Jingli Duan with highly-fancied Kiwi Emma Twigg fourth.

Although he wasn't in the stands the pair shared a special moment when their wedding song, Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars, played as she walked to the medal dais.

"I think it was just one of those moments. I think it was meant to be," Brennan said.

After Australian rowers failed to pick up any gold in London and there were two silvers this week in Rio, the pressure was on the world champion to deliver.

Brennan said her plan was always to go out fast, aware that a strong cross-wind through the last section of the course would make it difficult for others to catch her.

She led by 3.72 seconds at the halfway mark, eventually crossing a boat-length ahead of the field.

The 31-year-old lawyer said she had to pinch herself that it had finally happened,

"We do so much visualisation and you imagine that moment so many times," Brennan said.

"Just crossing the line I couldn't work out whether that was actually it or just my imagination again; I can't really believe it."

It's her third Olympic medal, winning bronze rowing as Kim Crow in London in the event as well as silver in the double sculls.

Brennan arrived in Rio unbeaten in the event since 2014.

She had a shock loss in the heats, held in wind and waves, but guided by long-time coach Lyall McCarthy and the silver medal-winning men's quad sculls crew that she trains with she quickly got her campaign back on track.

Despite the favouritism tag Brennan said the only pressure she felt was from herself.

"The most pressure comes from myself because I know how much I've put into this over the years.

"I was away from my husband for three and a half months and it's really quite a selfish thing to do and the pressure was partly because I wanted to make it feel worthwhile," she said.

"You can walk away incredibly happy if you know you've given the best show of yourself and I'm so chuffed to have a gold medal."

With the full collection of medal colours and now two gold in the Brennan household she said she couldn't imagine continuing on to Tokyo.

"At the moment I'm just so content with this I can't imagine feeling the need to come back," she said.

"I'm so excited about the other things that are in store in life.

"It's a bit ironic that sportspeople are held up as heroes but in reality we're the lucky ones. We're living our dream so I want to be there for my family more and be a better support the people around me."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon