As Danny McBride powered down the last 250 metres, neck and neck with two other scullers in his adaptive world rowing final, all he could hear "were the crowd and his heart".

Britain's Tom Aggar, the world record-holder in the event, already had gold well in his grasp, leaving a tight three-way battle for second and third place between McBride, Ukraine's Andrii Kryvchun and Russian Alexey Chuvashev.

In one of the most exciting finishes of the day, the three boats were bow-for-bow through most of the final stages of the race. With the finish so tight, the competitors sat nervously on the line waiting for the official results to be read out. Kryvchun had won the silver, just pipping McBride, who claimed the bronze.

But 41-year-old McBride, racing in just his third race after taking up the sport this year was absolutely delighted - describing it as one of his greatest achievements.

He said he knew the race was extremely close and he was running out of steam in the gruelling event where the scullers have use of their arms and shoulders only. But when he heard the roar of the crowd it spurred him on.

"The crowd and my heart were about the only two things I heard really," he said. "Then I just gave it everything at the end, not that there was a lot left in the tank, but I just gave it all. That's what my coach said, just leave it all out there."

Having been in the sport such a short time, McBride feels there is a lot more he can achieve, with the 2012 Paralympics being his ultimate goal.

He credits his early success to the support from his coaches.

"I've had really intensive coaching in Rowing New Zealand. I've been in the elite squad for 12 weeks and it's just been such an intensive time.

"And I can't thank them enough for what they've allowed me to do."