BALLARAT Olympians James Marburg and Anthony Edwards have captured elusive medals for Australia at the World Rowing Championships in New Zealand.Marburg claimed bronze in the Australian men's eight yesterday to secure the nation's first world championship medal in the marquee boat for more than a decade.Edwards was in the bow seat for the Australian lightweight fours' surprise silver medal on Saturday, breaking a medal drought in the boat since silver in the 2004 Athens Olympics.Their efforts follow former Ballarat rower Sarah Heard, who won silver in the women's four on Lake Karapiro on Friday.Australia's medal tally of eight ? one gold, four silver and three bronze ? was its biggest at a world championships.But gold in the men's coxed pair and two of the silvers, including the women's four, were in non-Olympic events.Australia's bronze medal in the men's eight, behind Germany and Great Britain, gave hope of better things in store in the blue riband event leading into the long build-up to the London 2012 Olympics.Rowing Australia had taken a punt for the boat, combining Olympic and world fours silver medallists Marburg, Cameron McKenzie-McHarg, Francis Hegerty and Matt Ryan with this year's Australian World Cup four winners Joshua Dunkley-Smith, Nicholas Purnell, Sam Loch and Will Lockwood.Australia was pipped in the heats by Great Britain and powered through its repechage to stake a spot in the A final.The Australians served up a challenge to race favourite Germany until the 1000-metre mark when Great Britain joined the battle.The pace lifted to a sprint finish with 500m to go and Australia fended off New Zealand to finish two seconds behind winners Germany, which clocked a winning time of five minutes, 33.84 seconds.Australian cox Toby Lister said bronze was the start of something special for the Aussies."We put together a good performance, but the Germans were just a bit too quick out of the blocks," Lister said. "We've a couple more years to the Olympics and there's been an awesome feeling in the boat the whole campaign."The Australian team finished fourth on the world championship medal tally, behind Great Britain (11), New Zealand (10) and Germany (9).