WEEKEND WRITE-UP: Webster confirmed in Australian team, as 3x3 team get ready to take on qualifiers

In VIS sport, Rowie Webster has been announced in the Australian Olympic Team, whilst Bec Cole and her 3x3 Australian Team get ready to take on the qualifying event. Nikki van Dijk knocked off seven-time world champion Steph Gilmore, as Liz Cambage brought up 2,000 career points.

Water Polo 

The Australian Olympic Committee has announced the 13-strong women’s water polo team for Tokyo 2020, which includes Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder, Rowie Webster.

Captain Rowie Webster has been selected for her third Games, Rio Olympians Zoe Arancini Keesja Gofers, Hannah Buckling and Lea Yanitsas return for their second Games, while Elle Armit, Bronte Halligan, Lena Mihailovic, Gabriella Palm and Amy Ridge join Kearns and Andrews in making their Olympic debut.

The ‘Aussie Stingers’ have matched it with the best in the world, winning silver at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju Korea, and taking Olympic bronze at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. 

The team will start their campaign at Tokyo’s Tatsumi Water Polo centre on 24 July 2021, with Australia drawn in Pool A with European Champions Spain, Netherlands, Canada and South Africa.

Read MORE | Australian Olympic Team 

Curling  

Team Australia featuring Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder, Dean Hewitt and Tahli Gill finished thirteenth place overall at the World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Taking part in their first competition start since before COVID, Hewitt and Gill were one of 20 teams at the event, with the top seven teams achieving direct qualification to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.

Team Australia finished their Group A Round Robin with a record of 3 wins and 6 losses, missing out on advancing to the playoff stage.

The highlight was no doubt the 3 point win over curling powerhouse, Canada, with Hewitt and Gill emerging victorious 8-5.

Wins were also recorded against Hungary and Spain.

The event was won by Scotland, who defeated Norway in the final 9-7. 

Hewitt and Gill till have one last chance to qualify for Beijing later this year at the Olympic Qualification event, with the top two teams securing a place in the Olympic field. One of the ten place in the Olympic field will be taken up by China, who is already guaranteed a place as host nation.

Read MORE| Olympic Winter Institute of Australia 

Surfing

The inaugural Rottnest Search is underway, with competitors taking on the break this week. A field of 26 men and 18 women took to Strickland Bay, 18km off the coast of Western Australia, in the last event of the Australian Championship Tour of the World Surfing League. 

Nikki van Dijk knocked out seven-time tour champ Steph Gilmore in the round of 16 with an impressive couple of waves and a top wave score of 7.83, before her run came to an end in the Quarterfinals against two-time World Champion, Tyler Wright. 

The event is due to conclude on Wednesday, with the Championship Tour continuing on to the Surf Ranch Pro in Lemoore, California in mid-June. 

See full results HERE | Australian Olympic Team / World Surf League 

Basketball 

Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder, Liz Cambage scored in double figures for the 102nd time in her career (10 points) and the 6th straight game in the regular season. But the highlight came in the third quarter, when Cambage scored her 2,000 point of her career.

Although her team, the Las Vegas Aces, were unable to knock over the unbeaten Connecticut Sun (5-0), they're still sitting second in the Western Conference with 2 wins and 2 losses.  

Meanwhile, the Australian 3x3 Women's Basketball team just touched down in Graz, Austria ready to commence the FIBA 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament commencing tomorrow. 

Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder Bec Cole and her Australian teammates are set to take on Japan in their opening game, and will be a team vying for one of the 3 Olympic qualifying spots.

A big congratulations must also go out to wheelchair basketball athlete, Isabel Martin who was recently awarded the 2020 Basketball Victoria Wheelchair Basketball Player of the Year. 

See the full 3x3 Women's Schedule HERE | FIBA 3x3 

Paddle 

Tokyo hopefuls Susan Seipel, AJ Jennings, Dylan Littlehales and Curtis McGrath headlined the para-canoe program at the 2021 Paddle Australia Canoe Sprint Championships.

All four formed part of the Rio Paralympics team, now have their sights firmly set on a second Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

AJ took out two events throughout the competition, claiming gold in the Women's K1 200m Open Multi-Class event as well as the Women's K1 500m Open Multi-Class event. 

Meanwhile, Canoe Slalom Future Talent Program athlete, Mark Crosbee has returned to Melbourne from a 2 week training camp in New Zealand, to mark his return to white water training and competition from a significant rib injury sustained in January.

During the camp he was able to train at the Vector Wero white water facility in Auckland with New Zealand’s 3 x Olympian and Silver Medallist from Rio, Luuka Jones, train on the Kaituna River in Okere Falls and competed in the New Zealand North Island Championships in Kawerau, taking the overall win in the Men’s C1 category and 7th in the Men’s K1 category.

This camp was only possible once the AUS/NZ travel bubble opened, due to the rapid response, diagnosis and rehab of the injury by the VIS medical and S&C team led by Steve Hawkins, Dr Sue White and Ben King.

Read MORE | Paddle Australia 

Hockey

The upcoming four match test series against New Zealand will be a major determinant to who will represent Australia in the men’s hockey tournament at the Tokyo Olympics.

Kookaburras Head Coach Colin Batch has selected a 22-player squad for the Sentinel Homes Trans-Tasman Series to be played in New Zealand’s Palmerston North from 27 May - 1 June.

With only 16 players making the cut for the Olympic team, spots are on the line as the Kookaburras not only compete against New Zealand but also their teammates to try and cement their ticket to Tokyo.

The final Kookaburras team for the Tokyo Olympics will be announced on 14 June in Perth.

Read MORE | Hockey Australia 

Gymnastics 

It was a highly successful Australian Gymnastics Championships for Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holders Kipp Smith and Tyson Bull, collecting a total of seven medals across six events between them.

Smith and Bull teamed up in the with fellow Victorian's Oliver Dilnutt, Marcus Casamento and Ryan O'Keefe to win bronze in the Team event. 

Bull then went onto compete in his favoured event, the High Bar, where he won the gold medal. Smith went onto win silver medals in the Pommel horse and Rings event and completed his campaign with a bronze in the Parallel Bars event. 

More Gymnastics news HERE | Gymnastics Australia 

Archery 

Victorian Institute of Sport scholarship holder Laura Paeglis had a very successful campaign at the 2021 Archery Recurve Australian Open, winning two gold medals and two silvers. 

Paeglis won silver in the individual recurve event and the team event, before going onto win gold in the mixed team event. Fellow VIS scholarship holder, Alec Potts also collected a silver medal in the Team FSU event. 

For full results click HERE | Archery Australia  

Netball

The Melbourne Vixens walked into John Cain Arena with a sense of belief this afternoon, hoping to get their first win for the season. While their intensity was certainly inserted from the get-go, the stop start game became too much for them, come the final siren.

After a gallant fight and courageous push to the end, the Vixens have suffered yet another defeat, going down 54-68 to an impressive Giants side.

Head coach Simone McKinnis OAM bravely shook things up in the starting seven line up, with captain Kate Moloney in WA and Allie Smith starting in C. While the Vixens came out of the blocks with electricity and tenacity, it was the Giants’ pressure and their ability to convert Suncorp Super Shots that kept them in the lead.

McKinnis was relatively pleased with how the team performed but is still searching for a consistent amount of pressure presented across the full 60 minutes of the game.

“I thought we played some of our best netball at different times of that game that we’ve shown so far this season,” McKinnis said.

“There was some really positive play. I thought there was some good flow of the ball and we were letting it go to MJ, but then we just hate to see a final score like that.

“I thought that we were in the contest, and in the game for most part of the day. It’s just disappointing to see it blow out like that in the end.

“We’ve got to be able to maintain the high standards we set ourselves for how we want to play.”

Read full match report HERE | Melbourne Vixens 

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