An additional 16 athletes have joined the Australian Olympic team heading over to Tokyo, making it the largest ever Australian Olympic team to compete on foreign soil.
The Australian team now has 488 athletes making the trip over to Tokyo, which is more than the team that went over the Athens in 2004 which was a team of 482.
The additional athletes come from five different sports, Equestrian, Football, Hockey, Judo and Rugby.
Selected eventing rider Chris Burton has withdrawn from the games after an injury to his horse Quality Purdey. Burton will be replaced by Olympic Champion Stuart Tinney, who will compete in his fourth Olympics, riding Leporis.
Stuart Tinney won gold at the Sydney games in 2000 and bronze at Rio 2016 and will join Andrew Hoy and Shane Rose in the Eventing Team.
Cyclist Jack Haig has also withdrawn from the Toyko 2020 Olympics after sustaining an injury during the Tour de France. AusCycling is expected to name a replacement in the coming days.
Rio Olympian Nathan Katz earned selection in Judo with a continental roll down quota. The Sydney based athlete is looking forward to the opportunity to go to his second Olympics
“It’s been such an overwhelming week,” Katz said.
“It’s just such a relief to hear I’m going. It’s been a challenging 18 months for everyone, to get a reward and keep that dream alive of having a crack in Tokyo, I’m super grateful.
“To have missed out originally by such a small margin was hard, I had dealt with that disappointment over the last month and now it’s like I’ve got a new lease on life.
“The last month of reduced work has left me feeling really refreshed physically and mentally. Rio didn’t go the way I hoped, and I’m going to make the most of this opportunity.”
More Tokyo News
Fourteen athletes have joined the squad from Football, Hockey and Rugby Sevens after a change in regulation for Olympic squads which was announced by the IOC earlier this month.
In previous Olympics, athlete replacements were only available as a permanent replacement if a selected athlete sustained an injury or withdrew under other circumstances.
The change allows for any of the additional athletes to be used across any matches throughout the Olympic games.
Madison Fitzpatrick, Greta Hayes, Tom Wickham and Joshua Beltz will represent Australia in Hockey, Lewis Holland and Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea in Rugby Sevens.
Mackenzie Arnold, Laura Brock, Charlotte Grant, Courtney Nevin, Cameron Devlin, Jordan Holmes, Marco Tilio and Lachlan Wales completing across the Olyroos and Matildas respectively.
Fitzpatrick will join her sister Savannah who has already been named in the Hockeyroos team.
“I was so overjoyed when Triny [Powell, Head Coach} informed the group,” Fitzpatrick said.
“My sister and I have had such a journey with our careers and being able to do this together is so exciting. Words can’t describe the emotions.”
Matilda Laura Brock is excited by the news that the Football squads will now be made up of 22 athletes.
“It means so much to me on a personal level, coming towards the end of my career, and every tournament means so much to me,” Brock said.
“Having missed out on the World Cup due to injury… it’s just so special.
“To find out that news of being brought back into it, it was a very emotional moment. I think a lot of the girls felt that emotion with me.
“Even just putting on our training jersey, I just get this immense pride. I love this team so much. I just really want to see us go all the way this Olympics.”
Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team Ian Chesterman says the Tokyo Games are building into something that will capture Australia’s imagination.
“We’ve always said this Australian Team deserves a special place in history. But this is an unexpected milestone, and a positive one,” Chesterman said.
“I am really pleased for the athletes who now have this opportunity, just as I am disappointed when we lose athletes through the misfortunes that are a part of sport.
“So, here we are just nine days until the Opening Ceremony, and I am in the position to congratulate all 488 athletes for their enormous effort to make it to Tokyo.
“The athletes announced today, from Olympic debutants to Olympic champions like Stuart Tinney, have been given an incredible opportunity and I am sure they will represent Australia with pride.
“We know these Games will be different, and the regulations allowing for extended squads in these sports is a welcome adaptation that will assist our teams to be at their best in Tokyo.
“To Chris and Jack, withdrawing from a Team due to an injury is an incredibly tough decision and I want to thank you for everything you have put into qualifying for these Games.”
Additional Athletes off to Tokyo
|Rio 2016, Athens 2004, Sydney 2000
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