RIO DE JANEIRO -- The race was billed as the Bledisloe Cup of rowing, but in the end, the trans-Tasman showdown for gold between Australias Kim Brennan and New Zealands Emma Twigg never materialised.Brennan dominated from start to finish, painting Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas in brilliant green and gold, while Twigg was left trailing in her wake.Brennan saved Australian rowing here in Rio. Australia used to be a superpower, but after an absence of golds at London 2012 and just two silvers here heading into Saturday, the panic button was being readied. But then came along Brennan who stormed home.Campaign Number One, an initiative to establish Australia as the worlds best, will be launched after the Rio Games, but Brennans triumph here will give them a secure platform from which to inspire the next generation.Brennan, who chairs the Australia Olympic Committees Athletes Commission, is a reluctant hero, but lived up to her tag of favourite heading into the race and embraced the pressure.One of the dangers of our sport is around the dangers of where youll be or where you wont be, Brennan said. This sport has always been about getting the most out of yourself and being calm under pressure.The most pressure comes from myself because I know how much Ive put into this over the years.I was away from my husband for three-and-a-half months, and its really quite a selfish thing to do, and the pressure was partly because I wanted to make it feel worthwhile.You can walk away incredibly happy if you know youve given the best show of yourself, and Im so chuffed to have a gold medal.After winning bronze and silver in 2012 she established dominance in the single sculls -- the last time she failed to win a race before she got to Rio was in 2014, with Twigg taking that one.But it wasnt straightforward from the start in Rio. She struggled in the first heat amid the windy conditions and choppy waters but found her stride in the semifinals where she faced Twigg.It was all geared up for a wonderful battle between the two in the final after Twigg challenged Brennan in the semis with a late sprint she hoped would give her Aussie rival and friend something to think about.But as Brennan looked up to Cristo Redentor and found a tranquility -- I just thought how bloody cool is this -- it was commanding from Brennan as she won by 1:38 ahead of USAs Genevra Stone with Twigg in fourth.I went into it with a technical focus, to sit up and keep the beat up a bit more, Brennan said. I was racing my race and that worked in my favour. When the crosswind kicked in, that makes it harder for people to sprint, so I just stayed calm in those closing stages.Competitiveness and sporting prowess is embedded in Brennans blood. Her father Max Crow played AFL for Essendon, St Kilda and Footscray, and she is married to Scott Brennan who, before today, won Australias last rowing gold in 2008.It was funny, she said. The song they played when I went to the podium was the song we played for our wedding dance, but it was just one of those moments where it just felt like it was meant to be.But I can stop feeling inadequate. My husband has a gold medal, so now were even.Its a bit ironic that sportspeople are held up as heroes. In reality were the lucky ones. Were living our dreams, so I want to be there for my family more and be a better support to the people around me.The bad news for Brennan is now she will have to find new things to visualise when she allows her mind to drift: the gold is proof that dreams do come true.Its one of those things where you do so much visualisation and you imagine that moment so many times, Brennan said. 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