Sterling effort

THEY’VE done it. Goulburn-born, Crookwell-raised Brooke Pratley and rowing partner Kim Crow on Friday night conjured the strength to win a double sculls silver medal for Australia, for their towns, their families, and themselves.
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It took the world’s most accomplished rowing team of Anna Watkins and Katherine Grainger – a pair that’s won 23 races consecutively since 2009 – to deny them the luxury of gold.

Pratley, a 32-year-old physiotherapist by day, will cherish her silver forever in the knowledge that she and Crow left nothing out on the Eton Manor regatta.

Her race partner, once a champion runner who ultimately moved into hernewfoundsport by mistake, capped the pair’s silver medal with a bronze of her own not 24 hours later.

With the weight off her shoulders – and firmly around her neck – Pratley immediately slipped into supporter-mode.

“Oh, how are the men’s hockey going? I want to get there to see Glenn [Turner],” Pratley said to the Sunday Canberra Times moments after the most incredible race of her life.

“I’m actually just excited to get to the hockey now I’m finished up, it’s amazing to have so many athletes for my home town.

“The support from Crookwell has been phenomenal, I’m actually a bit embarrassed by it. In the shop windows there are messages for us, they had a fundraiser, people were coming up to my parents in the street and giving them money … it’s overwhelming.”

Pratley’s silver medal is unlikely to be the last attributable to Crookwell and Goulburn at these Games.

Hockey players Emily Smith and Glenn Turner are travelling the gold medal line.

Smith, 20, has helped the Hockeyroos win three matches straight since a shock 1-0 first-up defeat to New Zealand.

Turner, meantime, has been prolific up forward for the Australians.

Smith tomorrow morning (6.15am) lines up for the Hockeyroos in a must-win affair with Argentina.

The Kookaburras last night faced host Great Britain and a Riverbank Stadium packed to the corners with hysterical fans.

Tomorrow (7.45pm local time) Turner and the gold medal favourites meet Pakistan in their final Pool A match.

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CHAMPIONS: Goulburn-born, Crookwell-raised Brooke Pratley (right) and her rowing partner Kim Crow won an Olympic silver medal for Australia on Friday night in the women’s double sculls. Photo: Harry How, Getty Images.

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