James Tomkins

Speakers and Legends




Career Highlights and Awards

Beijing Olympics Sixth place 2008
Athens Olympics, Gold medal 2004
Gold medal, Coxless Pairs World Championships 2003
World Championships: Fourth place 2002
Sydney Olympics, Bronze medal 2000
World Championships: Gold medal 1999
Coxed Pair World Championships: Gold medal 1998
Gold medal, GoldCoxed Four World Championships 1998
Coxless Four European Championships: Silver medal 1996
Atlanta Olympics, Gold Medal 1996
Barcelona Olympics, Gold medal 1992
1992 European Championships: Gold medal
1991 European Championships: Gold medal
1991 World Championships: Gold medal
1990 European Championships: Gold medal
1990 World Championships: Gold medal
Seoul (Eights) Fifth place 1988

Crew of the Year 2003
Rower of the Year 1999
Order of Australia 1997


James Tomkins is Australia’s most established and decorated rower of all time. Competing in six Olympic games, Tomkins competed inthree events: the coxless four, men’s eight, and men’s pair. Tomkins is the only rower in history to win world titles in every sweep oar event. Furthermore, James has received both an Order of Australia as well as ‘The Thomas Keller Medal’, the International Rowing community’s most prestigious award.Throughout the early 1990s, Tomkins out-performed any competition he faced, winning an impressive 3 European titles, 2 world titles and an Olympic gold medal in Barcelona.

In 1998, the ‘Oarsome Foursome’returned to international competition and rowed as a coxed four, winning gold at the World Championships in Cologne. At the same regatta, James teamed up with fellow crewmember Nick Green to win gold in the coxed pairs. At the 2000 Sydney Olympic games, James teamed up with fellow Victorian, Matthew Long to row in the coxless pair and went on to win his third consecutive medal at the Olympic games. James made his fifth Olympic games in Athens memorable as he and Ginn rowed to victory in the coxless pairs, winning Australia’s sole gold medal at the Athens regatta. In the process, James won his third Olympic gold medal.

In 2010, James was inducted as a member of the Rowing Victoria Hall of Fame and that same year the International Rowing Federation awarded Tomkins the Thomas Keller Medal for his outstanding international rowing career. It is the sport’s highest honour and is awarded within five years of the athlete’s retirement, acknowledging an exceptional career and exemplary sportsmanship.

In his sixth Olympic showing, James was awarded the honour of being Australia’s flag-bearer in the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic games. In 2012, Tomkins was inducted into the Sports Australia Hall of Fame, as well as being elected into the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission.

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