Sydney University Sports Scholarship holder Matt Jaukovic, the 50m butterfly world record holder, will head Australia’s push for medals at the 2009 World Summer Games to be held in Belgrade, Serbia, from 1-12 July.
In a stellar 2008, Jaukovic set the new 50m butterfly mark, registered eight wins at World Short Course events and set a new Australian record for the 100m butterfly.
Jaukovic, a law student and the 2008 Sydney University Sportsman of the Year, is one of 16 Sydney University athletes in the AUS team.
The University’s other representatives include Guy Phillips (archery compound), Jonathon Newton (swimming), Justin Merlino (athletics 110m hurdle), Kiera Shiels (women’s basketball), (Keesja Gofers and Lea Barta (women’s water polo), Kiel Briggs, Christopher Todd and Yaegan Doran (men’s volleyball), Lachlan Renshaw (athletics 800m), Lara Tamsett (athletics 10 000m), Thomas Miller and Theodore Pasialis (swimming), Ricci Cheah (archery recurve) and Thomas Rickards (diving).
Sydney University has other genuine medal hopes in Beijing Olympian Renshaw, the 2008 Sydney University Men’s Blue of the Year, in the 800m, and Gofers, the 2008 Sydney University Female Blue of the Year, in women’s water polo.
Gofers was a member of the Australian Under-20 side that won the 2007 Women’s World Championship in Porto, Portugal. With Sydney University team-mates Melissa Hammond and Joanne Whitehorn also in the side, the Australians went through the tournament undefeated, culminating with an 8-6 win over China in the gold medal final.
Gofers, an architecture student, also played in the Global Challenge tournament last July, when the Australian Under-20s finished with a silver medal after losing to the US in the final. A former captain of the Australian Schoolgirls team, she is now studying architecture at Sydney University and is a member of the University team competing in the women’s national league.
Renshaw, the Australian 800m champion, realised a dream last year when he competed at the Beijing Olympic Games.
A commerce student at Sydney University, Renshaw won a Beijing berth in the 800m when he ran the fastest time on Australian soil in nearly 10 years at a Grand Prix meet in Melbourne last year. His Olympic ‘A’ qualifying time of 1:45.8 put pressure on the selectors to pick him in the team for Beijing. He confirmed his selection a week later when he won the national title at the Australian Track and Field Championships.
The Summer Universiade is one of the world’s largest multi-sport events and is often compared to the Olympics in size and scope – athletes at previous Universiades have produced World and Olympic records. The event is held every odd year and attracts over 10,000 participants from 170 countries.
The Australian team will depart under the guidance of Chef de Mission Mr Martin Roberts.
Others from Sydney University on the team include Michelle Nancarrow (Team General Manager), Sancha Donald (Team General Manager – former Deputy Director SUWSA), Maya Markovic (Sport Physician -Arena Sports Clinic) and Stephen Alderman (Assistant Coach – Swimming).
The University will also be represented by a number of athletes who are part of our club sport program but study elsewhere. They include Robert Maitland (water polo), Sally Potocki (women’s basketball) and Melissa Hammond and Joanne Whitehorn (women’s water polo).