Sydney University Lions Men’s Water Polo star, John (Johnno) Cotterill, has won selection in the hotly-contested Aussie Sharks Men’s Water Polo team for Rio.
Cotterill, 28 years old, becomes a dual-Olympian after also representing the Aussie Sharks at London 2012, where the team finished in seventh place.
The prolific goal scorer for the Sydney University Lions, who was named Most Valuable Player by the National Water Polo Men’s League for the 2014/15 season, has been a mainstay in the Australian squad for the past decade.
Amazingly, Cotterill has been balancing water polo training and competitions with full-time work in a successful career with Westpac. However, in the lead-up to Rio, as the team have ramped up their preparations, Cotterill’s priority has necessarily swung to water polo.
The Aussie Sharks have just returned from the FINA World League Super Final in China where they finished in fifth place. Cotterill scored in four out of the five matches, including a treble in the close Quarter Final shoot-out loss to the USA (15-14), showcasing his abilities just before the Rio team was selected.
The Sydney local, who attended Randwick Boy’s High, is doubly thrilled to be going to Rio as he joins his partner, Nicola Zagame, on the Australian Olympic Team after her recent selection with the Aussie Stingers Women’s Water Polo squad. In an incredible story still being written, both competed for their respective teams in London, four years ago.
There is a touch of good-natured bragging rights on the line to see which of our men’s and women’s teams do best in Rio. Currently Zagame is in front as our women performed better at London 2012, capturing the bronze medal.
In Rio, the Aussie Sharks are scheduled to play their first, preliminary-round match against host nation Brazil before a full house of sports mad Brazilians. The Sharks have faced Brazil at a number of FINA international tournaments so will be ready.