Nicholas Purnell

Nicholas Purnell



Place of Birth



Rhett Ayliffe

Olympic History

London 2012

Tokyo 2020

Career Events

Rowing Mens Eight (M8+)


Nicholas's Story

Fast Facts

Sport: Rowing 
Event: Men’s Eight 
Olympic History: London 2012 
Coach: Rhett Ayliffe
Highlights: Representing Australia at the Olympics  
Year Born: 1990 
Born: St Leonards, NSW  

About Nicholas

Nicholas Purnell started rowing in high school and made his first national team in 2009, the same year he won gold in the Men's Quadruple Sculls at the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival. A year later, the Sydney-sider competed in his first World Rowing Championships, winning bronze as part of the Men's Eight. He also picked up two World Rowing Cup medals in 2010, winning silver with the Eight and gold with the Four.

In 2011 he rowed in the Men's Four at the World Rowing Championships, winning bronze, before returning to compete in the Men’s Eight at the London 2012 Games. The Australians claimed second in their heat before going on to earn themselves a spot in the Olympic Final after a fourth-place finish in the repechage. The crew went on to finish sixth in a strong field, 3.12 seconds behind gold medallists Germany.

After an almost ten-year absence between Olympic appearances, Purnell returned to Men’s Eight action in Tokyo.  

After a brief stint in sculling competition after his debut Olympics, Purnell took an extended leave from the sport before returning upon selection to the Reinhold Batschi National Training Centre at Lake Burley Griffin in 2017.