Rowing: Spirit of Dungog spurs Spencer Turrin for medal race at Tokyo Olympics

CHANCE: Dungog rower Spencer Turrin representing Australia in the men's fours at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images
CHANCE: Dungog rower Spencer Turrin representing Australia in the men's fours at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. Picture: Getty Images

SPENCER Turrin recalls fondly the kindness and generosity of the Dungog community.

Particularly the fundraising which helped him travel overseas to compete when he first broke onto the international rowing scene around a decade ago.

Turrin now has the chance to race for an Olympic medal at the Games in Tokyo.

It comes after qualifying fastest for the decider, clocking a time of five minutes, 54.27 seconds to win Saturday's opening heat.

PACE: The Aussie men's four team at the Olympics in Tokyo on Saturday. Picture: AP Photo/Lee Jim-man

PACE: The Aussie men's four team at the Olympics in Tokyo on Saturday. Picture: AP Photo/Lee Jim-man

Born and bred in Dungog, Turrin moved away to Sydney for boarding school as a teenager and afterwards joined the men's national rowing squad in Canberra where he's been based ever since.

His parents, now living at Stockton, owned an antique shop in Dungog and helped drive efforts to assist the sporting ambitions of Turrin, the youngest of four siblings.

"You definitely remember where you come from and you represent the people who supported you and helped you get there when you were younger," Turrin told the Newcastle Herald before his second Olympic campaign.

"They were always very supportive as a community there [Dungog] when I was going for underage stuff, even fundraised to get myself overseas.

"Everyone in the community would pitch in and help get you there."

Australia defeated the USA in Saturday's first heat while five-time defending champions Great Britain won the second preliminary round from Italy.

Sunday's repechage race saw Romania and The Netherlands progress to the men's fours final.

Australia have collected a medal in this event at six of the last seven Olympics, famously the Oarsome Foursome claimed back-to-back golds in 1992 and 1996 while most recently it has been three straight silvers.

Hill was part of this crew at the previous Games.

Turrin finished sixth in the men's pairs final, alongside Alex Lloyd, when making his Olympic debut in Rio five years ago.

Meanwhile, World Rowing has cancelled regattas in Tokyo on Monday and Tuesday because of "adverse weather" predications, featuring "high winds and strong gusts creating unequal and potentially unrowable racing conditions".

The Olympic events have been rescheduled throughout the week, according to a statement issued by the sport's governing body on Sunday.

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This story Spirit of Dungog spurs Turrin for medal race first appeared on Newcastle Herald.