The countdown is on for the world’s most prestigious sporting event, the 2020 Summer Olympics, and for many athletes around the globe the next few months are make or break.
The University of Sydney is well-represented by 66 athletes in the Olympic picture, divided into those who have been selected, others who have qualified and a sizeable contingent of hopefuls with work in front of them before July. We’ve broken down the long list of USYD talent, from club-affiliated athletes to current and former students and Elite Athlete Program (EAP) members, who are in the midst of achieving their dreams, showing encouraging signs months out from the major event
Note – Selected athletes have their place secured. Qualified athletes have achieved an Olympic standard set by their sport or in the event of a team sport, the team has qualified in their sport and the individual is part of that team.
WILL RYAN (Sailing, 470 class) – EAP Alumni
Ryan was among the first three athletes selected on the 2020 Australian Olympic team, rewarded for a stunning season which saw him and skipper Mat Belcher, who he won silver with in Rio, bank four European titles. Carrying hot form into Tokyo, the pair secured their fifth consecutive 470 class World Championship together in Japan in August and the combination were named Male Sailor of The Year for the fourth time together at the Australian Sailing Awards in October.
EDWARD FERNON Modern Pentathlon) – EAP Alumni
The Sydney Uni Athletics Club superstar has been selected for his second Olympic Games following a remarkable Oceania Modern Pentathlon Championships victory in China. Fernon hadn’t competed in a major international event for four years and had just three months of full-time training under his belt, yet still delivered one of the best performances of his career.
MARINA CARRIER (Modern Pentathlon) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
The hard-working athlete gained Olympic selection after New Zealand opted against sending a female athlete to contest the Modern Pentathlon in Tokyo. Carrier finished second behind New Zealand’s Rebecca Jamieson in the pentathlon’s Oceania qualifying event in China last November, however New Zealand opted not to fill the quota spot, assuring Carrier’s place. Before New Zealand’s decision, the 23-year-old was seeking the ranking points to earn Olympic selection at upcoming events.
JAIME RYAN (Sailing) – EAP Alumni
Elite Athlete Program alumni Jaime Ryan, the sibling of Will Ryan, is off to her second Olympic games, selected in the 49erFX skiff to race on Enoshima Harbour in Tokyo!
CAMERON GIRDLESTONE (Rowing) – EAP Alumni
Girdlestone, a silver medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, ensured Australia would have a Men’s Quadruple Scull in Tokyo after helping his boat finish in third place at the World Rowing Championships in August. Before his first Olympics appearance, Girdlestone spoke to ROAR in 2016 about his goals: “Standing on top of the podium at the Olympics is number one on my bucket list.’
NICOLA MCDERMOTT (Athletics, high jump) – Current USYD student, EAP Member
The 2019 Female Blue of the Year, McDermott recorded a Tokyo qualifier with a PB of 1.96m at the Ostrava Golden Spike High Jump – a prestigious European event. Putting that in perspective, the gold medal was won with a 1.97m jump at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The breakthrough jump moved Nicola to equal third on the Australian all-time rankings list.
Angela Ballard (Athletics, Para – 100-1500m WC (T53)) – EAP Alumni
Isobel Bishop (Water Polo) – EAP Alumni
Catriona Bissett (Athletics, 800m)
Hannah Buckling (Water Polo) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Milly Clark (Athletics, Marathon) – EAP Alumni
Johnno Cotterill (Water Polo)
Chloe Dalton (Rugby 7s) – EAP Alumni
Katie Ebzery (Basketball) – EAP Alumni
Keesja Gofers (Water Polo) – EAP Alumni
Jack Hargreaves (Rowing)
Greta Hayes (Hockey) – Current EAP Member
Matthew Hood (Rugby 7s) – EAP Alumni
Genevieve Horton (Rowing)
Anthony Hrysanthos (Water Polo) – EAP Alumni
Emma Jeffcoat (Triathlon) – EAP Alumni
Tilly Kearns (Water Polo)
Alice Kunek (Basketball, 3×3)
Carmen Marton (Taekwondo) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Georgina Morgan (Hockey) – EAP Alumni
Gabi Palm (Water Polo)
Alex Purnell (Rowing) – EAP Alumni
Nick Purnell (Rowing) – EAP Alumni
Andrew Randell (Rowing)
Kane Townsend (Table Tennis) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Campbell Watts (Rowing) – EAP Alumni
Jakiya Whitfeld (Rugby 7s) – Current EAP Member
NICHOLAS HOUGH (Athletics, 110m Hurdles) – EAP Alumni
Hough, currently ranked 29th in the world, has performed exceptionally in a number of overseas meets, most recently earning a place in the semifinal at the World Championships in Doha last October, becoming the first Australian to reach the feat in 22 years. For automatic qualifying, he needs to record a time of 13.32, with his PB to date a 13.38, however Hough can also qualify through further solid performances on the international stage via rankings.
WILLIAM YANG (Swimming) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
The swimming sensation enjoyed a breakout season, winning gold in the 50m butterfly at last year’s World Uni Games. Yang, the 2019 Male Blue of the Year, made a name for himself at the Australian Championships, beating the renowned Mitch Larkin in the 50m backstroke to finish first. He will need to back that performance up at the Australian Olympic trials in July in Adelaide to secure his place.
Rae Anderson (Athletics, Para- Javelin, Discus) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Nadine Apetz (Boxing) – EAP Alumni
Angus Armstrong (Pole Vault) – EAP Alumni
David Bartholot (Rowing) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Alex Beck (Athletics, 400m, 4x400m Relay)
Rebecca Bennett (Athletics, 400m, 4x400m Relay – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Jennifer Blundell (Athletics, 1500m) – EAP Alumni
Emily Brichacek (Athletics, 10km)
Rohan Browning (Athletics, 100m, 4x100m Relay) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Paige Campbell (Athletics, 3000m Steeplechase)
Joshua Clark (Athletics, 100m, 4x100m Relay) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Ian Dewhurst (Athletics, 400m Hurdles) – EAP Alumni
Fiona Ewing (Rowing) – EAP Alumni
Georgie Gotch (Rowing)
Amar Hadid (Skateboarding) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Aiden Harvey (Athletics, Shot Put) – EAP Alumni
Michelle Jenneke (Athletics, 110m Hurdles) – EAP Alumni
Jin Su Jung (Athletics, 4x100m Relay) – EAP Alumni
Rowena Meredith (Rowing) – EAP Alumni
Pit Seng Low (Badminton) – EAP Alumni
Simon McTavish (Canoe/Kayak) – EAP Alumni
James Nipperess (Athletics, 3000m Steeplechase) – EAP Alumni
Hamish Parry (Rowing)
Jess Pascoe (Athletics, 5000m, 10000m)
Larissa Pasternatsky (Athletics, 200m) – EAP Alumni
Joshua Ralph (Athletics, 800m) – Current USYD Student, EAP Member
Taylah Robertson (Boxing)
Anneliese Rubie (Athletics, 400m, 4x400m Relay) – EAP Alumni
Kate Rowan (Rowing)