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Duncan Seth Free OAM (born 25 May 1973) is a retired Australian rower and Olympic gold medallist. He is dual Olympian and two-time world champion who represented Australia at four world rowing championships in both sculls and sweep oared boats. He was a six-time Australian national sculling champion.

Duncan Free
Personal information
Born (1973-05-25) 25 May 1973 (age 46)
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
ClubSurfers Paradise Rowing Club


Rowing familyEdit

Free was born in Hobart, Tasmania. His father Reg Free rowed in numerous King's Cup crews for Tasmania from 1962 and in 1967, became the first Tasmanian oarsman selected to row in the Australian men's eight when they competed by invitation at the 1967 European Rowing Championships in Vichy, France. The family relocated to Queensland in 1983 and in the next decade Reg Free coached several Queensland King's Cup crews and coached his sons Marcus and Duncan to state, national and international victories.[1]

Club and state rowingEdit

Duncan Free's senior rowing was from the Surfers Paradise Rowing Club in Queensland. Representing that club he raced for the national Australian sculling title at the Australian Rowing Championships for twelve consecutive years from 1993. He won that national title on six occasions.[2]

He was the Queensland state representative sculler picked to race the President's Cup at the Australian Rowing Championships eight times from 1996 to 2004. Coached by his father, he won the interstate championship for Queensland on seven of those occasions.[3]

Free won Diamond Sculls event at the 2001 Henley Royal Regatta racing for the Surfer's Paradise Rowing Club.

National representative rowingEdit

Duncan and his brother Marcus were paired in the men's double scull at two world championships (1997 & 1998) coached by Reg. They took a bronze medal at the 1997 World Rowing Championships at Lac d'Aiguebelette, France.[4]

Duncan was seated in Australian Olympic quad sculls for the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. He won a bronze medal at Atlanta 1996,[5] placed fourth in Sydney and seventh in Athens.

After the Athens Games, Duncan took a year off before switching to sweep rowing and establishing a partnership with gold medallist Drew Ginn in the coxless pair. They won at the World Championships 2006 and 2007 and took the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.[6]


  1. ^ Reg Free 2015 obituary
  2. ^ "Aust National Sculling Champions at Guerin Foster". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  3. ^ Reg Free 2015 obituary
  4. ^ "1997 World C'ships at Guerin Foster". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  5. ^ "1996 Olympics at Guerin Foster". Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  6. ^ "2008 Olympics at Guerin Foster". Archived from the original on 27 April 2018. Retrieved 8 April 2018.

External linksEdit