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James McRae (born 27 June 1987)[1] is an Australian national champion, world champion, three time Olympian and Olympic medal winning rower. In the Australian men's quad scull he won a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

James McRae
James McRae.jpg
Personal information
Born (1987-06-27) 27 June 1987 (age 32)
Monteith, South Australia
EducationUnity College
Height194 cm (6 ft 4 in)
Weight96 kg (212 lb)
ClubMurray Bridge
Coached byJohn Driessen
Updated on 4 August 2016.
Rowing the final (left boat) of the quadruple sculls at the 2012 Summer Olympics.


Early lifeEdit

McRae grew up in Murray Bridge South Australia and attended Murray Bridge Primary school and Unity College, Murray Bridge. He commenced a B. Mech Eng at the University of Adelaide in 2007.

McRae's siblings Jessica and Ana are Australian rowers who've held South Australian Sports Institute scholarships and won Australian titles.[2][3] Anna McRae has also competed internationally for Australia.[4]

Club and state rowingEdit

McRae rows from the Murray Bridge Rowing Club.[5] He is a South Australian Sports Institute (SASI) Scholarship holder and was coached by Adrian David a Romanian former international oarsman.[6]

For nine consecutive years from 2008 to 2016 McCrae was seated in the South Australian men's eights who contested the King's Cup at the Australian Rowing Championships.[7] In 2007 and 2011 he was also South Australia's selectee to contest the interstate men's Single scull – the President's Cup. In 2011 he won that event and also rowed in the open men's Quad scull who won the national title.[8]

In October 2009 McRae was awarded life membership of the Murray Bridge Rowing Club for being the club's most successful rower and the club's first Olympian since their entire VIII of 1924 " the Murray Cods" competed at Paris 1924.[9] He undertook a number of public speaking and promotional events after the Beijing games. In April 2010 McRae took part in an 'Active April' event involving Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio personalities Tony McCarthy and John Kenneally.[10]

James is currently coaching at the elite sporting school Saint Peter's College Adelaide, he is passing on his decades of wisdom onto the youth.

International rowing careerEdit

McRae began his international career competing with Matt Bolt in a Double scull at the 2005 World Rowing Junior Championships.[11]

McRae competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the men's Quad scull.[12] In their first race at Beijing, the Australian crew of McRae, Daniel Noonan, Brendan Long and Chris Morgan broke the world record to win their heat. .[13] The crew finished second in their semi-final to secure a place in the Olympic final.[14] In the final the Australian quad crew was unable to capitalise on their earlier world record form and finished fourth.[15]

After Beijing, McRae continued rowing at the highest level, winning a bronze in the men's quad scull at the 2010 World Rowing Championships [1] At the 2011 World Rowing Championships in an upset, the Australian heavyweight quad of McRae, Daniel Noonan, Karsten Forsterling and Chris Morgan defeated the German crew to win gold. Following a costly mistake in the German boat the Australian crew took the lead in the last few metres of the race and won by 0.25secs.[16]

At the 2012 London Olympics, McRae won bronze in the men's quad in a time of 5:45.22.[17]

At the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam he won bronze in the men's pair racing with Alexander Belonogoff. In 2016 along with Karsten Forsterling, Cameron Girdlestone and Belonogoff, McCrae won the silver medal in the Australian quad to at the Rio Olympics 2016.


  1. ^ a b "Athlete profile: James McRae". Archived from the original on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Office for Recreation & Sport SA : Sports : Rowing". Archived from the original on 14 June 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  4. ^ "2005 World Under 23 Championships – Australian Rowing History". 24 July 2005. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  5. ^ Prue Semler (28 April 2008). "On course for Beijing – Local News – Sport – Rowing – Murray Valley Standard". Archived from the original on 20 July 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Office for Recreation & Sport SA : Sports : Rowing". Archived from the original on 14 June 2007. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  7. ^ Guerin Foster Aust Rowing History
  8. ^ Etheridge, Michelle (15 March 2011). "West Lakes to lure world rowing events – Local News – News – Weekly Times Messenger". Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  9. ^[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "The Breakfast Crew Go Rowing – ABC South Australia – Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)". 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  11. ^ "2005 World Junior Championships". Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Sport | All the latest sports news | The Australian". 27 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Rowing – Sports – Olympics". 10 August 2008. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  14. ^ [2][dead link]
  15. ^ "CBC Olympics | Rowing". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  16. ^ Morton, Jim (3 September 2011). "Aussies claim second rowing gold | Other Sports". Fox Sports. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
  17. ^ "Australian rowers in the medals". ABC Radio Australia. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2012.