University of Queensland athletes have claimed four of Australia’s 29 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Former UQ students Emilee Cherry (Women’s Sevens Rugby) and Michael Hepburn (Men’s Team Pursuit) won gold and silver medals respectively, while 2016 UQ Sporting Scholarship recipients Maddison Keeney (Women’s 3m Synchronised Springboard) and Dane Bird-Smith (Men’s 20km Walk) each claimed a bronze medal at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad.
Australia’s Women’s Sevens Rugby team – featuring Emilee Cherry – are the sport’s first-ever Olympic champions after defeating New Zealand in the gold medal match.
Cherry, who studied a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education at UQ, starred for Australia on a dramatic final day of competition.
The 2013/2014 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year scored two tries in Australia’s 17-5 Semi-Final win over Canada, and played a key role in the final, with the Australian Pearls easing to a 24-17 win in the historic decider.
Australia’s Men’s Team Pursuit foursome – consisting of Michael Hepburn – claimed a silver medal.
Hepburn, who studied a Bachelor of Human Movement Studies at UQ, helped Australia to a big lead midway through the gold medal race against Great Britain. But the world record-setting British squad – featuring Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish – stormed home in the final stages to claim gold.
The medal adds to the Team Pursuit silver Michael won at the 2012 London Games.
The UQ Bachelor of Science student won a bronze medal in the Women’s 3m Synchronised Springboard.
Competing in her first Olympic Games, UQ Sports Achievement Scholarship recipient Keeney and teammate Anabelle Smith trailed for much of the event, before a final round dive lifted the duo into third place.
The pair finished on 299.19 points to deny Canada bronze by 0.87 of a point. China claimed gold ahead of Italy.
In the individual Women’s 3m Springboard final, Maddison took fifth place with a final score of 349.65 – 23 points shy of a second bronze medal.
The UQ Sports Achievement Scholarship holder claimed a bronze medal in the Men’s 20km Walk.
The 24-year-old UQ Athletics Club member – who is coached by father and dual-Olympian, Dave Smith – thrived on his Olympics debut, setting a personal best time of 1:19:37 to finish a mere 23 seconds behind China’s Wang Zhen, who won the gold medal.
Dane is studying a Bachelor of Health, Sport and Physical Education at UQ.
Competing at her third Olympics, the Bachelor of Business Management graduate finished fourth in the Women’s Pole Vault.
Alana cleared 4.80m in the final – the same height as New Zealand’s bronze medal winner Eliza McCartney – but missed out on a medal on a count back. The mark was one centimeter shy of her national record of 4.81m.
Con Foley & Nick Malouf
Australia’s Men’s Sevens team – consisting of UQ Rugby Club members Nick Malouf (Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Laws student) and Con Foley – were beaten in the quarter-finals after losing 22-5 to South Africa.
Competing in her first Olympics, the Bachelor of Occupational Therapy Honours student finished 9th overall in the Women’s Laser Radial.
Ashley’s best finish was equal second (classified 3rd) in the double-points medal race.
The Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts graduate was part of Australia’s Women’s Eight rowing team which finished 7th overall.
Dubbed ‘The Lateful Eight’ after being called up to compete nine days out from the Games, the Australian squad missed out on the finals following a 5th place finish in the repechage.
The Bachelor of Physiotherapy graduate and UQ Athletics Club member finished eighth in the final of the Women’s 4X400m Relay.
The team of Sargent, Anneliese Rubie, Jessica Thornton and Morgan Mitchell were the first Australian Women’s 4x400m squad to reach an Olympic final since Sydney 2000.
The Bachelor of Applied Science student captained Australia’s Synchronised Swimming Team to eighth-place finishes in both the Team Technical and Team Free Routine events.
The Bachelor of Health, Sport & Physical Education student and Clem Jones Sporting Scholarship recipient finished 25th in the Rhythmic Gymnastics Women’s Individual All-Around event with a total score of 61.016.
Of the four routines (hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon), Danielle performed best with clubs, posting a score of 15.71.
The UQ Athletics Club member and Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Engineering graduate finished 13th(80.84m) in the Men’s Javelin, narrowly missing the final by one position.
This news story will be updated with results from UQ athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.
The 21-year-old UQ Athletics Club Member finished 14th overall in the 10-event Men’s Decathlon.
Cedric posted personal best times in both the 400m (48.18 seconds) and 1500m (4:32:12) races, and equalled his best-ever Pole Vault jump (4.90m).
The 31-year-old, who studied a Bachelor of Applied Science at UQ, finished in sixth in the Women’s Triathlon in a time of 1:57:55 – 54 seconds behind Great Britain bronze medallist, Vicky Holland.
Emma is Australia’s first-ever triple-Olympian in Triathlon.
Pita Taufatofua (Tonga)
The Bachelor of Engineering graduate lost 16-1 to Iran’s Sajjad Mardani in the opening round of the Men’s Taekwondo (over 80kg) event.
Pita drew worldwide attention at the Rio 2016 opening ceremony as Tonga’s flag bearer.