Kim Brennan's former rowing partner Sarah Cook has called on Australia to adopt a more reliable and aggressive talent funding program to help turn the tide of the nation's failings in the lake.
Brennan's Rio gold medal win in the single sculls is the first for her country in eight years, the first for an Australian woman since the Atlanta Games in 1996, and Cook said a greater funding model is needed for future success.
"The organisation really has some big changes to make to ensure we can have better performances across the board, because Kimmy was the only woman in an A final at these Olympic Games for Australia."
The men's four and quadruple-scull boats won silver medals, but overall Australia was outclassed by Great Britain, who have a well formulated funding program.
"The British were the top rowing nation, they won three gold medals and five medals all up, and every single one of those athletes got off the water and thanked the lottery and said what a huge difference that lottery funding has made to rowing and that's why they are having the success that they are having," Cook said.
The National Lottery in Britain is a state-franchised lottery that contributes to funding causes such as Olympic and Paralympic athletes. It is a funding model that appears sustainable, and Cook said we need to look for ways to offer greater support to our athletes.
"There has been talk of it for some time now, of why wouldn't we set up a lottery funding system here the same as the British – it's the way forward but it is a huge move by any government to do something like that," she said.
"It's not only possible but it's smart. It has been mentioned in Australia but it has been so incredibly successful for the British. It's a model that if you can follow, why wouldn't you?"
Brennan was swamped with adoration from the sport's immortals Nick Green and James Tomkins after her dominant performance, illustrating how much the victory meant to the rowing fraternity.
Cook is in Europe coaching the Australian junior crews and she said the impact of her old friend's win has already been noticeable.
"We head in to the world championships next week for the under 23s, juniors, as well as the world championships for the non-Olympic events, and it's just incredibly inspiring for all of those who are representing the country for their first time.
"To see not only Kimmy, but the men's quad and the men's four win their silvers is a real boost for the whole team. I can see the excitement growing here before we head off.
"We're all incredibly proud and excited, what she's done is huge for Australian rowing and huge for Australian women's sport."