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Olympic Rower Quits Before Race Ends

Sally Robbins was a member of Australia's 2004 Olympic rowing team, competing in the women's eight final. With approximately 400 meters left in the race, the 23-year-old suddenly quit. Robbins slumped and let her oar dip into the water. Australia dropped from third to last place in the event.

"I just rowed my guts out in the first 1,500 and didn't have anything left, and that's all I could have done for today," Robbins explained.

Her teammates were not sympathetic, threatening to throw her into the water. In a country that takes its rowing seriously, the Sydney Daily Telegraph's headline read "Just Oarful" and asked readers to vote on whether she had cost the team a medal. Melbourne's newspaper headline read, "It's eight, mate, pull your weight," underscoring the fact that Robbins' actions had hurt her entire team.

Robbins was optimistic about her chances of returning to competition with her teammates.

"It'll be a long process, and I think that I will be back, and will be back with these girls again, eventually," she said. "Obviously, I have to earn their trust."
Whether that feeling will be shared by her teammates remains to be seen.

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