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University of Queensland athletes have claimed four of Australia’s 29 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Maddison Keeney and her teammate Anabelle Smith won bronze in the 3m Synchronised Springboard. (Picture: Getty Images)

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.


Emilee Cherry

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.

Michael Hepburn

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.

Michael Hepburn (far left) took home silver alongside teammates Jack Bobridge, Alex Edmondson and Callum Scotson in the Men's Team Pursuit. (Photo: Getty Images)

Maddison Keeney

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.

Maddison Keeney and teammate Anabelle Smith claimed Australia's first Olympic medal in the 3m Synchronised Springboard since 2004. (Photo: Getty Images)

Dane Bird-Smith

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 in his first Olympics, Dane Bird-Smith won a bronze medal in the Men’s 20km Walk. (Photo: Getty Images).

Alana Boyd

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. 

Ashley Stoddart

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.

Fiona Albert

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.

Caitlin Sargent

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.

Bianca Hammett

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.

Danielle Prince

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.

Danielle Prince made her Olympic debut 14 years in the making in the Rhythmic Gymnastics Individual All-Around event.

Josh Robinson

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.

Cedric Dubler

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).

UQ Athletics Club member Cedric Dubler finished 14th in the Men’s Decathlon.

Emma Moffatt

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.

Media: Caroline Bird, UQ Communications, c.bird1@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 1130; Jamie Mitchell, UQ Sport, jamiem@uqsport.com.au or +61 7 3346 7518.