Griffith University applauds the incredible efforts of our newest Olympians and congratulates the 45 student and alumni athletes and staff members who proudly wore the green and gold in Tokyo over the past two weeks.
Our Olympic contingent, many of whom are currently quarantining before joining family and friends back home, achieved a grand total of 19 medals, almost double the number secured in Rio (11) five years ago.
Griffith athletes, which included 27 on debut, were together awarded nine Gold, one Silver and nine Bronze medals, recorded a swag of personal bests and logged experiences they’ll remember for a lifetime.
Griffith Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said just qualifying for the Games was a heroic feat.
“We are incredibly proud of all those from the Griffith community who were selected to represent Australia at the Olympic Games,” Professor Evans said.
“Griffith’s Olympic contingent has provided moments for our whole community to savour and celebrate, achieving medals and personal best performances before a global audience.”
“I congratulate all our athletes and coaching staff and extend our thanks to all those within the Griffith community who helped these incredible individuals to achieve their Olympic dreams.
“From the support provided by Griffith Sports College to academic groups and scores of individual staff members who paved the way for their success, thank you for your roles in building our Olympians.”
Public Health student and key member of Michael Bohl’s Griffith High Performance Swim Squad, Emma McKeon brought home an incredible seven medals, the most achieved by any Australian at a single Games.
“Emma was undoubtedly the Queen of the pool in Tokyo, and that’s saying something, with the likes of Ariane Titmus and Kaylee McKeown also delivering unbelievable times and heart-in-the-mouth performances,” Griffith Sports College Manager Naomi McCarthy OAM said.
As a dual Olympian and Gold medallist in water polo in Sydney 2000, McCarthy knows the athlete experience intimately.
“With such a difficult preparation and the threat of a pandemic hanging over all teams, the combined results of all our athletes in Tokyo has been astonishing,” she said.
“I am especially proud of those at their first Games, for whom the experience would have been intense and surreal.
“Competing at this level is what they strive for, but COVID-19 delivered more than its share of challenges.
“It’s now back to a degree of reality for the athletes, many of whom are catching up on their studies while in quarantine.
“This COVID-enforced study block is something we discussed before they headed to Tokyo and I’m happy to see they’re making use of their time in lockdown!”
Gold medals went to swimmers Emma McKeon (4), Psychological Science and Business student Zac Stubblety-Cook, Business student Meg Harris, Nursing student Chelsea Hodges and Emily Seebohm (part of the Griffith High Performance Swim Squad), along with MBA student, kayaker Jessica Fox.
Silver was awarded to Business student and Hockeyroo Tim Howard.
Bronze medals were achieved by featherweight boxer and Business student Harry Garside (winning Australia’s first Olympic boxing medal since 1988), Jessica Fox and swimmers Emma McKeon (3), Zac Stubblety-Cook, Science (Honours) student Cam McEvoy, Meg Harris and Emily Seebohm.
Personal bests were also logged by 200m sprinter Riley Day (22.56 in the semi-final), discus thrower Matt Denny (67.02m and narrowly missing out on Bronze) and 100m hurdler Liz Clay (12.71 in the semi-final). All three student athletes are completing business degrees at Griffith.
Other Griffith highlights included a stellar performance by Brisbane-based 20 year old debutante, platform diver and Psychological Science student Cassiel Rousseau, finishing eighth and setting himself up for big things to come.
Bachelor of Biomedical Science alumnus Bronwen Knox bowed out of her representative career, after performances at four Olympics and scoring twice in her goodbye game as Australia beat the Netherlands 14-7 to finish fifth.
Griffith athletes (student and alumni) medalled in 14 Olympic events in Tokyo. Members of the wider Australian Olympic Team medalled in 46 events, meaning Griffith athletes contributed to more than 30 per cent of all of Australia’s medalled events.
Griffith’s sporting attentions turn next to the Paralympic Games which start in Tokyo on August 24. The University’s team will be announced shortly.
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