Tara Rigney gold medal single sculls 2024 Australian National Championships

Tara Rigney showcased her world-class talent before a home crowd by winning a third Australian Rowing Championship in the Open Women’s Single Scull final on Thursday. 

Rigney (SUBC), a NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship athlete and the 2022 and 2023 World Championship Single Scull Bronze Medallist, claimed at an emphatic win at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith. 

Day Four of the Australian Championships saw a feast of finals from more than 100 races. 

Rigney’s win was a highlight and also saw her awarded the Kim Brennan Cup, named after the Australian 2016 Olympic Games Single Scull champion who is one of her major inspirations. 

“I’m absolutely stoked,” said Rigney, a 2021 Tokyo Olympian who has been selected as Australia’s Single Sculler for the 2024 season. 

“Getting a trophy with Kim Brennan’s name on it is really inspiring. It was really nice to see a different field out there, awesome to see some new names that I haven’t raced before.” 

Tara Rigney

In cool winds that shifted from tail to cross head, Rigney won the final to in 7 minutes 34.72s. In second place was Tokyo 2021 Olympic Quad scull Bronze Medallist and 2024 ART member Ria Thompson (Uni Qld) at 13.64s, with Catherine Khan (ANU) third at 22.22s. 

Rigney led the race from start to finish as expected. But despite her commanding lead she never let off and powered every stroke until she crossed the finish. 

“There’s no point going out and not racing the full thing,” Rigney said. “And you owe it to your competitors, to everyone to give it all you have got one hundred per cent of the time.” 

Rigney was pleased with her execution of her race plan that set her up for her commanding win.  

“I really wanted to have a really solid middle ‘K’. That’s something I’ve been working on with my coach [Ellen Randell],” she said.  

“I was happy with the start. My plan was just to remain composed when other boats were around and to work through the middle ‘K’.” 

Article and image courtesy of Rowing Australia

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