Francis Hegerty teamed with Matt Ryan, James Marburg and Cameron McKenzie-McHarg in the coxless four at Beijing 2008. The crew was only formed after each of the members missed selection for the Olympic eight. To row at Beijing the four needed to qualify at the final selection regatta prior to the Olympic Games, which it did. In the Olympic final, they almost ‘stole’ the gold medal before being overtaken by the much-vaunted British crew in the shadows of the finishing line. The men won the silver medal. The eight from which the four rowers were ‘rejected’ finished sixth in its final.
On the same day at Beijing, Australia won gold medals in the men’s coxless pair (Ginn, Free) and the double sculls (Crawshay, Brennan). This matched the previous best day in Olympic rowing, from Atlanta 1996, when the women’s coxless pair (Still, Slatter) and the Oarsome Foursome (Ginn, Tomkins, McKay, Green) won gold medals, along with a silver medal from the men’s coxless pair (Weightman, Scott).
Hegerty went on to compete as a part of the men’s eight at the London 2012 Games. The Australian’s claimed second in their heat before going on to earn themselves a spot in the 2012 Olympic final with 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.