University of Sydney Olympians have finished with a record haul of seven medals – one gold, three silver and three bronze – at the 2012 London Olympic Games following three medals in the final three days of action.
SUSF elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder and skipper of Australia’s Women’s Match Racing crew Olivia Price won silver with teammates Nina Curtis and Lucinda Whitty.
Australia was defeated 3-2 by Spain on Saturday in a final that included sailors flying overboard, comebacks, penalties and intense competition.
Twice Price’s crew fought back to send the best of five final into a decider.
“We really gave it our all and the Spanish sailed really well,” Price told Yachting Australia.
“We took it to five races, it’s disappointing to not win gold but hey we got a silver medal.”
“We came here with one goal, to win gold, unfortunately we didn’t reach it but we were just one step under so we’re really happy,” she said.
“I’ve had the most amazing experience, the most amazing four years with these girls. We’ve trained hard, we’ve given our all at all the regattas, we’ve been part of such an amazing sailing team who has supported us in everything that we’ve done.”
The Australian women’s basketball team, containing former Southern Design Sydney Uni Flames representative Belinda Snell, won their fifth consecutive Olympic Games medal after defeating Russia to clinch Bronze with an 83-74 victory.
University of Sydney graduate Matthew Butturini has claimed men’s hockey bronze after the Kookaburras thrashed host nation Great Britain 3-1 at Riverbank Arena.
The Australian women’s hockey team, containing University of Sydney graduate and former SUSF EAP scholarship holder Megan Rivers, finished 5th after they easily accounted for China 2-0.
Former SUSF EAP scholarship holders Sam McGregor and Thomas Whalan have helped the Australian men’s water polo team edge out 2008 Beijing silver medallists the United States 10-9 to finish 7th at the Games.
University of Sydney graduate and former SUSF EAP scholarship holder Murray Stewart failed to make the semi-finals of the K1 200m at Eton Dorney after battling a serious chest infection.
Stewart, who won kayaking gold on Thursday as part of Australia’s K4 1000m team, nearly didn’t make the start line.
“I have been a bit crook for the last couple of days and I was trying to keep it under wraps and I gave it everything I had left in that race yesterday (K4 1000m),” Stewart told the Herald Sun.
SUSF EAP scholarship holder Matthew Mitcham was unable to repeat the heroics that he performed in Beijing four years ago where he claimed a sensational last gasp diving gold, after he narrowly missed out on qualifying for the final of 10m platform event.
Diving under-prepared because of a torn abdominal muscle that played havoc with his build-up to these Games, Mitcham will now turn his attention to the more body-friendly 3m springboard event for Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“I have been in discussion with Chava (Sobrino), my coach, about the possibility of becoming solely a springboard diver,” Mitcham told The Australian.
“It’s certainly a possibility and I’m not really going to take a holiday when I get home.
I’m actually going to start working on the strength to become a springboard diver right away.”
SUSF EAP scholarship holder Ed Fernon finished 27th in the men’s modern pentathlon posting a new personal best – 5480 points in an event won by David Svoboda from the Czech Republic with 5928 points.
“I learnt so much from today and so many life skills as well … I’m really thankful,” Fernon told the Herald Sun.
“A lot can be learnt from this experience and I think I can only get better.”
Fernon’s result was impressive considering that he suffered cramp from the first phase of the multi-disciplined event, fencing – held almost 11 hours before the last phase, a gruelling 3000m run interspersed by shooting 15 targets.
Fernon only took up the sport, containing fencing, swimming, horse riding, running and shooting, five years ago.
If it were a country, the University of Sydney’s combined total of one gold, three silver and three bronze medals would place the University in equal 39th position on the medal ladder, equal with Georgia and Mexico.
With Olympic Games now over, all attention now turns to the 2012 London Paralympic Games where the University of Sydney will have a record seven athletes representing the University from August 30 to September 9.
University of Sydney athletes who won medals at the 2012 London Olympic Games:
Murray Stewart – Gold – Kayak Sprint Men’s K4 1000m
Jessica Fox – Silver – Kayak Slalom Women’s K1
Brooke Pratley – Silver – Rowing Women’s Double Sculls
Olivia Price – Silver – Sailing Women’s Elliott 6m
Matthew Butturini – Bronze – Hockey Men
Kaarle McCulloch – Bronze – Track Cycling Women’s Team Sprint
Belinda Snell – Bronze – Basketball Women