18 Sydney Uni representatives named in World Uni Games team

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10 SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holders have been selected to compete for Australia at the 2013 World University Summer Games in Russia in July, with a further eight University of Sydney representatives also named.

The total of 18 athletes – which includes SUSF scholarship holders, SUSF club representatives and University of Sydney students – is made of males and females competing in athletics, badminton, basketball, fencing, rhythmic gymnastics, swimming and water polo.

Five athletes from the Sydney University Athletics Club (SUAC) have been selected to line up in Kazan, Russia. They are James Nipperess, Ian Dewhurst, Nicholas Hough, Anneliese Rubie and Alix Kennedy.

If he doesn’t qualify for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow, 3000m steeplechaser James Nipperess (Bachelor of Health Science {Physiotherapy}) is a realistic medal chance at the Games.

400m hurdler Ian Dewhurst is another Sydney Uni athlete that possesses the current form to be in the reckoning for a medal, while 2012 SUSF Sportsman of the Year Nicholas Hough (Bachelor of Info Technology / Bachelor of Laws) is a good chance to make the 110m hurdle final and improve on his second place finish at last year’s World Juniors.   

Unfortunately for Sydney Uni, promising sprinter Anneliese Rubie is certain to miss the Games due to injury, while discus specialist Alix Kennedy is expected to make the final and push for a personal best distance, which should push her closer towards recording a Commonwealth Games qualifying time.

“Five is the most that SUAC have ever contributed to a World University Games,” explained Dean Gleeson, SUSF Director of Athletics. “Considering that we have three other athletes that have already qualified for the IAAF World Championships (Lara Tamsett, Joshua Ralph and Jarrod Geddes), it’s clear that this is the best year that SUAC has ever had on the international stage.” 

In the pool, under the guidance of SUSF & NSWIS Swimming Program of Excellence coaches Grant Stoelwinder and Scott Talbot, Sydney University will contribute four swimmers to the Australian squad – Andrew Abood, Melissa Mitchell, Keiran Qaium and Hayley White.

Based on his times in 2013, Sydney University’s best medal hope appears to be Andrew Abood, the younger brother of Matthew. While Matthew will be taking part in the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona in July and August, Andrew will be concentrating on taking out the blue-ribbon 50m and 100m freestyle events. 

New Program of Excellence member and fellow sprinter Melissa Mitchell will have her mind set on qualifying for the women’s 50m and 100m freestyle events and may even be involved in two further races – both relays.

Backstroke specialist Hayley White, who was touched out of a spot in the World Championships squad, will pose a real threat in the 200m and 100m. She is also due to compete in the 50m backstroke.

Youngster Keiran Qaium is the real wildcard of the bunch, having surprised many people at the National Championships a couple of months ago. While not expected to challenge his medal rivals, Qaium will be aiming to make the final of the 200m butterfly. Qaium will also swim the 50m butterfly.

“The goal for all our swimmers is to move forward and produce a season best – for all of our swimmers this will mean recording a personal best,” explains Stoelwinder, who is also the Head Coach of the Australian World University Games swimming team. He will be supported by Talbot, who will act as one of his team coaches.

“For all but Melissa Mitchell it will be the first time they have represented Australia at an international meet, so they will be dealing with a lot more stress than they are used too.”

Fresh from earning her selection in the Emerging Opals (Australian women’s basketball) squad, Sydney Uni Flames guard Katie-Rae Ebzery was named in the World University Games Australian basketball squad.

Ebzery will compete in a four-nation tournament with the Emerging Opals against an emerging China team, as well as Hungary’s and the USA’s World University Games teams this month, before joining up with her Australian University Games team mates in Russia.

Ebzery, studying a Bachelor of Education (Secondary: Human Movement & Health Education) at the University of Sydney, has played three seasons with the Flames. Last season she averaged 13.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

In the sport of badminton, Sydney University will contribute an impressive three out of the five Australian team representatives.

Elena Kwok (Masters of Physiotherapy) will compete in the women’s singles and doubles; Honesto III Reyes Buendia (Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering) in the men’s singles and doubles; and Chameka Madurawe in the women’s singles. 

Other athletes flying the flag for Sydney University, include fencers Matthew Donald (Bachelor of Nursing {Advanced}) and John Downes; rhythmic gymnast Enid Sung; and water polo players Paul Sindone and Maddison Schmid.  

The 2013 University Summer Games will take place from July 6-17 in Kazan, Russia.