Kerri Williams

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Kerri Williams
Williams in 2022
Personal information
Birth nameKerri Leigh Gowler
Born (1993-12-18) 18 December 1993 (age 29)
Raetihi, New Zealand
EducationNga Tawa Diocesan School[1]
Height1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Weight76 kg (168 lb)[2]
RelativesJackie Gowler (sister)
CountryNew Zealand
Event(s)Coxless pair, Coxless four, Eight
ClubAramaho Wanganui
Medal record
Women's rowing
Representing  New Zealand
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 2020 Tokyo Coxless pair
Silver medal – second place 2020 Tokyo Eight
World Championships
Gold medal – first place 2014 Amsterdam Coxless four
Gold medal – first place 2017 Sarasota Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 2019 Ottensheim Coxless pair
Gold medal – first place 2019 Ottensheim Eight
Gold medal – first place 2022 Račice Coxless pair
Silver medal – second place 2018 Plovdiv Coxless pair
Silver medal – second place 2015 Aiguebelette Coxless pair
Silver medal – second place 2015 Aiguebelette Eight

Kerri Leigh Williams MNZM (née Gowler; born 18 December 1993) is a New Zealand rower.[3] She is a national champion, an Olympic champion and double medallist, a three-time world champion and a current (2019) world champion in both the coxless pair and the women's eight. Williams was born in Raetihi in 1993.[4] She is of Māori descent, affiliating with Rangitāne iwi.[5] She received her education at Nga Tawa Diocesan School in Marton. The school first started to offer a rowing programme in 2008 and a year later, Williams took this up. At the time, she was also competing as an equestrian but soon started focussing on rowing so much that she had to choose one of the sports. Her trainer told her three weeks after she had started rowing that she would one day represent New Zealand. Jackie Gowler, her younger sister by three years, took up rowing in 2010 inspired by her success; they have both made it into the New Zealand national rowing team. Their elder sister, Jaimee Gowler, remains active with horse riding.[6][7] After school, Williams became a member of the Aramoho Wanganui Rowing Club.[4]

Williams' international career started in 2013 with the women's eight. After participation in two World Rowing Cups she won the B-final at the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, South Korea.[8] Williams won the gold medal in the coxless four at the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam alongside Kayla Pratt, Kelsey Bevan, and Grace Prendergast.[9] With the women's eight, she came fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics.[10] She is New Zealand Olympian number 1278.[4]

At the 2017 World Rowing Championships, she became world champion in the women's pair partnered with Prendergast.[11] Williams and Prendergast regained that title at the 2019 World Rowing Championships.

Competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Sea Forest Waterway, Prendergast and Williams won their heat,[12] the semi-final in a new world best time (beaten ten minutes earlier by Greece in the first semi-final), and the A final, for Olympic gold.[13][14] They also won the heat in the eight, just three hours after their pair's heat.[12] In the final, the New Zealand eight won silver behind Canada.[15]

In the 2022 Queen's Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours, Williams was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for services to rowing.[16]


  1. ^ "Kerri Gowler". New Zealand Secondary School Rowing Association. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  2. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Kerri Gowler". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  3. ^ "2022 World Cup Team". Rowing New Zealand. 6 May 2022. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  4. ^ a b c "Kerri Gowler". New Zealand Olympic Committee. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  5. ^ Paewai, Kara (July 2021). "Rangitāne sisters Kerri & Jackie Gowler part of NZ's magnificent eight rowers". Retrieved 4 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Campbell, Maggie (14 May 2014). "Rowing: Sisters show they have pulling power". Wanganui Chronicle. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Jackie Gowler". International Rowing Federation. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  8. ^ "Kerri Gowler". International Rowing Federation. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  9. ^ "W4- Results" (PDF). Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  10. ^ Alderson, Andrew (14 August 2016). "Rio Olympics 2016: Gold for Mahe Drysdale". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  11. ^ "(W2-) Women's Pair – Final". International Rowing Federation. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
  12. ^ a b Anderson, Ian (24 July 2021). "New Zealand pair win both races to be on track for rowing golds at Tokyo Olympics". Stuff. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  13. ^ Anderson, Ian (28 July 2021). "NZ's rowers line up medal charge as pair, eight make Tokyo Olympic finals". Stuff. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Prendergast and Gowler win first gold for New Zealand at Tokyo Olympics". The Guardian. 29 July 2021. Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  15. ^ Anderson, Ian (30 July 2021). "New Zealand men's rowing eight win gold, women claim silver at Tokyo Olympics". Stuff. Retrieved 30 July 2021.
  16. ^ "The Queen's Birthday and Platinum Jubilee Honours List 2022". The New Zealand Herald. 6 June 2022. Retrieved 6 June 2022.

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