Australia's men take K4 gold at London 2012
10 August 2012
Australia's rowing 'oarsome foursome' may have just missed out on victory at London 2012 last weekend, but on Thursday their kayaking equivalents, including a University of Sydney alumnus, snatched a surprise gold in the kayaking four.
Architecture graduate Murray Stewart and his team mates David Smith, Tate Smith, and Jacob Clear took an early lead in the K4 1000 metre final, beating the Hungarian favourites into silver by 0.61 seconds. The Czech Republic took bronze.
The quartet extended their lead as the race went on and held off their fast-finishing rivals to claim Australia's first team kayaking Olympic gold.
"We knew if we could get a good start we had a really good chance," said Stewart, a former Elite Athlete Program scholarship holder with Sydney Uni Sport & Fitness who recently graduated with a master's in architecture.
"It's definitely been the best bit of our race, the first 500 metres," he told news.com.au. "So we just executed the game plan and came up with gold."
More than 30 students, alumni and other members of the University of Sydney community are competing at the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics.
Murray qualified for four events at the Olympics, and still has the chance for another medal in the K1 200 metres, which will also take place at Eton Dorney to the west of London.
His gold in the team event is the second kayak medal for a University of Sydney Olympian at London 2012, after first-year student Jess Fox won silver in the kayak slalom in the first week of the games. Two other alumni have also won medals: graduate rower Brooke Pratley won silver in the women's double sculls final, while track cyclist and alumna Kaarle McCulloch won bronze in the women's team sprint.
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