Australia secured eight medals during the two weeks of competition at the World University Games, held in Belgrade, Serbia.
Sydney University’s Robert Maitland captained the water polo team to a gold medal finish against Croatia.
Keira Shiels, a chemical engineering- commerce student at Sydney University and a member of the Flames basketball program, won a bronze medal as part of the women’s basketball team.
“The women’s basketball team is a fine example of how Basketball Australia uses this important event to position athletes for a place in the Opals line up for London and beyond. The level of competition in Belgrade for basketball is the highest ever and a number of head coaches from sports like swimming, water polo and tennis report the level of competition to be at world standard,” Marty Roberts, Australia’s Chef de Mission, said.
Sydney University’s other big medal hope at the 25th Universiade, 50m butterfly world record holder Matt Jaukovic, was forced out of the Games when he contracted a virus and was quarantined.
Australia also won gold in the women’s discus, women’s 800m, men’s 400m hurdles and the men’s 4x400m. Kalia McKnight took out silver in the women’s 1500m and Cameron Prosser collected silver in the men’s 100 freestyle.
“These results reflect the support and contribution made by the respective organisations,” Mr Roberts said.
“Athletics Australia for individual gold/silver performances, the significant result for the men’s water polo team, being the first non-European team to win gold, and for Basketball Australia a bronze in the women’s basketball. The Australian Sports Commission also provides significant resources for the Australian University Sport team.”
“The Universiade will grow over the next 10 years to provide the benchmark event for pre-Olympic competition in many sports. With two of the next three Universiade’s to be held in Asia (2011 and 2015), Universiade offers Australian sport a unique and affordable international competition opportunity over the next two Olympic cycles.”