James Tomkins

One of Australia's greatest rowers.


James Tomkins is Australia’s most established and decorated rower of all time. Competing in six Olympic games, Tomkins competed in three 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.

Previous experience

Wins: 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.

Awards: 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.


Talking Points
An Olympic Story
Teamwork and Partnerships