For the first time in its 116 year Olympic history all 204 nations at London 2012 will have women athletes and women will compete in all 26 events. It is also 100 years since Australia’s first women won a medal – swimmer Fanny Durack won gold and Wilhelmina Wylie won silver in the 100m freestyle event at the Stockholm 1912 Games. Australia has sent 186 female athletes to London out of a team of 410 to compete in 23 sports. Both the youngest (16 year old diver Brittany Broben) and oldest (equestrian rider Mary Hanna, 57) are women.
Here is the A-Z guide to Australia’s elite sportswomen at the London 2012 Olympic Games…
(For full athlete profiles – and their final results – check out the Australian Olympic Team website)
Australia did not qualify any athletes (female or male) in fencing, football or handball. There are also no female competitors in Australia’s trampoline, volleyball or wrestling teams (and no males in the beach volleyball, rhythmic gymnastics or synchronised swimming events).
- Elisa Barnard (19) – Olympic debutant from NSW and one of two Australians competing.
Australia has sent 52 athletes to compete in the track and field events in London. They include 18 women:
- Lauren Boden (23) ACT – 400m hurdles
- Melissa Breen (21) ACT – 100m
- Zoe Buckman (23) VIC – 1500m
- Genevieve LaCaze (22) 3000m Steeplechase – she was lucky to make selection for her Olympic debut after she originally missed the cut-off date by two days. Her qualifying time was accepted after the selection date was extended.
- Regan Lamble (20) ACT – 20km Road Walk
- Beki Lee (25) ACT – 20km Road Walk
- Kaila McKnight (28) VIC – 1500m
- Sally Pearson (25) QLD – 100m Hurdles – She won a silver medal in her debut Olympics in Beijing 2008 and has won 34 of her last 36 hurdles events. In 2011 she was named IAAF Female Athlete of the Year (a first for an Australian).
- Clare Tallent (31) ACT – 20km Road Walk – after debuting in Beijing in 2008 she is in her second Olympics in London (alongside her husband Jared).
- Jessica Trengrove (24) SA – Marathon
- Lisa Weightman (33) VIC – Marathon
- Eloise Wellings (29) NSW – 10,000m
- Benita Willis (33) VIC – Marathon – in her fourth Olympics. She previously ran the marathon in Beijing (2008), the 10,000m in Athens (2004) and the 5,000m in Sydney (2000). In 2004 she won Australia’s first World Cross Country Championship gold medal.
- Alana Boyd (28) QLD – Pole Vault – in her second Olympics (she debuted in Beijing 2008, becoming the first Australian to join both parents as Olympians)
- Kim Mickle (27) WA – Javelin Throw
- Kathryn Mitchell (30) VIC – Javelin Throw
- Liz Parnov (18) WA – Pole Vault
- Dani Samuels (24) NSW – Discuss Throw – in her second Olympics after debuting in Beijing in 2008.
- Victoria Na (21) – Olympic debutant from VIC. The only Australian competing in the singles event.
- Renu Veeran (26) competing in the women’s doubles with Leanne Choo (21) - both Olympic debutants from VIC.
There are 12 members in the Opals women’s team, captained by four-time Olympian and Australia’s flag bearer in the opening ceremony Lauren Jackson. The Australian women’s team won its first Olympic medal – a bronze – at Atlanta in 1996, followed by consecutive silver medals in 2000 (Sydney), 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing). The London Olympic team is:
- Suzy Batkovic (31) NSW – international player and veteran of Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympics.
- Abby Bishop (23) SA
- Liz Cambage (20) VIC
- Kristi Harrower (37) VIC - international player and, like Jackson and Snell, a member of all three silver medal winning Australian teams since debuting in Sydney 2000.
- Laura Hodges (28) SA - international player and veteran of Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008 Olympics.
- Lauren Jackson (31) NSW – captain of the squad and member of all three silver medal winning Australian teams since her Sydney 2000 debut. She was selected to the Opals in 1998 aged 17 years and is considered to be the country’s most decorated basketballer – having won multiple WNBL championships and Most Valuable Player (MVP) titles in Australia as well as US national competition accolades (two WNBA championships, three MVP awards and seven-time member of the All-Star team). She was honoured at the London Olympics with being the flag bearer at the opening ceremony.
- Rachel Jarry (20) VIC
- Kathleen Macleod (25) VIC
- Jenna O’Hea (25) VIC
- Sam Richards (29) VIC
- Jenni Screen (30) SA - international player and second-time Olympian after debuting at Beijing 2008 Olympics.
- Belinda Snell (31) VIC – international player and, like Jackson and Harrower, a member of all three silver medal winning Australian teams since debuting in Sydney 2000.
The Australian beach volleyball team is an all-female affair:
- Natalie Cook (37) QLD – The first Australian woman to compete at five Olympic Games (and the only athlete to compete all five Olympics since the event was introduced in 1996). She won bronze in that event with Kerri Pottharst and the two claimed gold in Sydney 2000. In London she partners with Tamsin Hinchley (32) SA.
- Louise Bawden (30) SA and Becchara Palmer (24) SA
- Naomi Fischer-Rasmussen (28) from WA is Australia’s only female boxer at London (alongside 10 men). It is the first time women have been able to compete at the Olympics. Ranked world number one in the 69kg class in 2011, she is competing in the 69-75kg (middleweight) class.
- Jessica Fox (18) from NSW is the only Australian woman in the four-member slalom team. She is competing in the K-1 event.
Australia has 16 kayakers competing in the Sprint events, including six women:
- Jo Bridgen-Jones (24) NSW in the K-4 500m
- Hanna Davis (26) SA in the K-4 500m
- Naomi Flood (26) NSW in the K-2 500m
- Lyndsie Fogarty (28) QLD in the K-2 500m and the K-4 500m
- Rachel Lovell (34) QLD in the k-4 500m
- Alana Nicholls (26) WA in the K-1 200m and the K-1 500m
- Rebecca Henderson (20) from ACT is Australia’s female representative in the 30-40km Mountain Bike (MTB) event after only three years on the national team.
The BMX event debuted at the Beijing 2008 Games. Two of the five-member squad for London are women:
- Caroline Buchanan (21) from the ACT is the sport’s World number 2 and has won multiple Australian BMX championships. She is also a highly competent mountain biker, having been named Australia’s Female Mountain Biker of the Year three times. She was too young to qualify for the Beijing Games so makes her Olympic debut in London.
- Lauren Reynolds (21) from WA, ranked World number 5, is making her Olympic debut.
- Shara Gillow (24) from QLD makes her Olympic debut only four years after taking up cycling professionally. She won the 2011 Australian Female Road Cyclist of the Year award and will compete in the 140km Road Race and the 29km Time Trial event.
- Chloe Hosking (21) from ACT makes her Olympic debut in the 140km Road Race.
- Amanda Spratt (24) from NSW is the current Australian national road race champion and makes her debut at the London Olympics
There are three ‘sprint’ events: The Individual Sprint has two or more riders race over three laps, with the last 200 metres timed. In the Team Sprint event, two teams of two riders compete against each other and the clock around three laps of the track. In the Kierin, up to seven riders race over 2000m, with the first 1,400m held at 30km/h led by a special motorised bike which brings the riders up to 50km/h before leaving the track.
There are also two ‘endurance’ events: The Team Pursuit involves teams of three riders with the front rider (who regularly swing up and rejoins the back of the team) keeping up a high pace without dropping any teammates. In the Omnium is a medley event comprising a 250m Flying Lap time trial, 20km Points Race, 3km Individual Pursuit, 10km Scratch Race, 500m Time Trial and finally an Elimination Race (every two laps the last rider over the line is eliminated).
- Amy Cure (19) TAS is one of the youngest members of Australia’s cycling team. She makes her Olympic debut in the Team Pursuit
- Annette Edmondson (20) SA makes her Olympic debut (alongside her brother Alex) and will compete in the Team Pursuit and the challenging Omnium event.
- Melissa Hoskins (21) WA won the 2012 Australian U/23 Road Championship and debuts in London in the Team Pursuit.
- Kaarle McCulloch (24) SA makes her debut in London in the Team Sprint event alongside Anna Meares. In 2011 the two women won the Team Sprint world title for the third year in a row.
- Anna Meares (28) SA – on her debut Olympics in Athens in 2004 she won a gold medal in the 500m time trial and bronze in the sprint event. She returned to the sprint event in Beijing in 2008 (just seven months after breaking her neck in a race crash) and won silver. In 2011 she won triple world championships – in the individual sprint, team sprint (with Kaarle McCulloch) and keirin events. She will compete in all three events again in London.
- Josie Tomic (23) WA won the 2010 World Championship title in the teams pursuit and is competing in that event in her London Games debut.
Seven of the 10 Australian divers are women:
- Brittany Broben (16) QLD is the youngest Australian athlete at London. She is competing in the 10m platform
- Rachel Bugg (23) SA is partnering Loudy Wiggins (33) VIC in the Synchronised Diving off the 10m platform. Loudy (then Tourkey) won bronze medals in the 10m platform synchronised at Sydney’s 2000 Olympics and the individual 10m platform at Athens in 2004.
- Jaele Patrick (24) was born in Victoria, but moved to the US on a scholarship. She is competing in the 3m springboard
- Anabelle Smith (19) QLD is partnering Sharlene Stratton (24) QLD in the Synchronised Diving off the 3m springboard. Sharlene will also compete in the individual 3m springboard event.
- Melissa Wu (20) NSW won her first Australian title at just 13 year old. She won a silver medal in the 10m synchronised platform (with Briony Cole) at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. She will compete in the 10m individual platform dive in London.
- Mary Hanna (57) from VIC is the oldest Australian athlete competing in London – her fourth Olympics (she debuted in 1996 inAtlanta). She is one of three women competing in the individual and team Dressage events.
- Kristi Oatley (34) competed in Sydney in 2000 and Beijing in 2008. She grew up in NSW, but moved to Germany in 1995, which remains her training base.
- Kristi’s cousin, Lyndal Oatley (32) is a debut Olympian. She also resides and trains in Germany.
- Lucinda Fredericks (46) is part of the four-member Eventing equestrian team, competing in the individual and team events. She earned a silver medal in her first Olympics at Beijing in 2008. She grew up in the UK and is based there, but became an Australian resident after marrying her husband (and teammate Clayton Fredericks.
- Julia Hargreaves (26) is one of the four Jumping event equestrians and will compete in the individual and team events in her debut Olympics. Her training base is in Sydney.
- Edwina Tops-Alexander (38) is based in the Netherlands, but grew up in NSW. This is her second Olympics
Five of the eight-member Australian gymnastics team are young women, including the country’s first female World Champion Lauren Mitchell, who returns with Beijing Olympians Georgia Bonora and Ashleigh Brennan.
The Artistic Gymnastics team will compete in four apparatus (vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor). They perform as a team for medals and the top 24 all-round gymnasts advance to finals for individual medals as well. Australia’s team comprises:
- Georgia Bonora (22) VIC
- Ashleigh Brenna (21) VIC
- Emily Little (18) WA
- Larrissa Miller (20) QLD
- Lauren Mitchell (21) WA
Australia has one Rhythmic gymnast in London, who will compete in four apparatus (ribbon, rope, clubs and ball):
- Janine Murray (22) WA
Although ranked Number 7 in the world and with an average age of 25, the young Hockeyroos will be hoping to follow their predecessors into a medal winning position in London. The Australian women’s team won gold in Seoul (1988) Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000). The 16 members are:
- Teneal Attard (27) WA
- Madonna Blyth (26) QLD – captaining the side in her second Olympics
- Fiona Boyce (25) WA
- Jade Close (24) WA
- Toni Cronk (32) WA
- Casey Eastham (23) NSW
- Anna Flanagan (20) ACT
- Kate Jenner (22) WA
- Kobie McGurk (26) WA
- Hope Munro (31) WA
- Georgia Nanscawen (20) WA
- Ashleigh Nelson (25) WA
- Megan Rivers (31) WA
- Jodie Schulz (24) WA
- Emily Smith (20 WA
- Jayde Taylor (27) WA
- Carli Renzi (29) VIC is the only woman in the six-member Judo squad. She is competing in the 52-57kg event in her debut Olympics
- Chloe Esposito (20) from NSW is the female member of Australia’s Modern Pentathlon team. She is one of the youngest athletes to compete in London’s competition, which comprises pistol shooting, fencing, 200m freestyle swimming, show jumping and a 3km cross-country run.
There are 46 rowers representing Australia in London. The women are competing in six events with all races contested over 2,000 metres. Kim Crow, who took up rowing after injury curtailed a promising hurdling career, is rowing in the single and double sculls in her second Olympics and will be one of the few Olympians to contest two events at one Games. The women’s eights were originally omitted from Olympic selection because of the team’s poor performance in Beijing, but a grassroots campaign finally convinced Rowing Australia to allow the group to qualify for selection, which it did at the last selection event in May (it had to finish in first or second to earn a place).
The Eights (the ‘Motley Crew’):
- Renee Chatterton (22) SA
- Sarah Cook (27) ACT
- Tess Gerrand (24) NSW
- Alexandra Hagan (21) WA
- Sally Kehoe (25) QLD
- Elizabeth Patrick (27) VIC (coxswain)
- Robyn Selby Smith (31) ACT
- Phoebe Stanley (26) VIC
- Hannah Vermeersch (19) WA
- Amy Clay (34) NSW
- Dana Faletic (34) ACT
- Pauline Frasca (32) VIC
- Kerry Hore (31) ACT
- Kim Crow (26) ACT (also competing in the Single Scull) and Brooke Pratley (32) ACT
Lightweight Double Scull:
- Hannah Every -Hall (34) ACT and Bronwen Watson (35) NSW
- Kate Hornsey (30) TAS and Sarah Tait (29) VIC
Thirteen Australian sailors have gone to London, including seven women:
- Nina Curtis (24), skipper Olivia Price (19) and bowman Lucinda Whitty (22), all from NSW, are competing in the Elliott 6m class in their first Olympics.
- Jessica Crisp (42) from NSW is competing in her fourth Olympics (having first sailed in the Mistral class in Sydney 2000). In London she will again compete in the RS:X Winsurfer event.
- Elise Rechichi (26) from WA won a gold medal in Beijing in 2008 in the 470 class (with Tessa Parkinson). At her second Olympics, she is now paired with Belinda Stowell (41) from WA who is at her third Olympics. She also won gold in the 470 class (with Jenny Armstrong), but in the Sydney 2000 games.
- Krystal Weir (27) from VIC will sail in the Laser Radial class. It is her second Olympics, after competing in Beijing 2008.
Australia has sent 17 shooters to London. They include:
- Dina Aspandiyarova (36) from VIC in the 10m Air Pistol in her third Olympics. She represented her native Kazakhstan in Sydney 2000, but went to the 2008 Beijing Games as an Australian.
- Suzanne Balogh (39) from NSW in the Trap in her second Olympics. She debuted in Athens in 2004 with a surprising gold medal win in the trap event (her world ranking was 20 at the time).
- Hayley Chapman (20) from SA is competing in the 25m Pistol event alongside her father David, making them the only father-daughter pair to compete for Australia in the same Olympic Games.
- Lauryn Mark (32) from VIC in the Skeet event. Born in the US, she came to Australia (invited by now-husband and fellow shooter Russell) to prepare for the Sydney 2000 games but wasn’t selected. She stayed, became an Australia citizen and competed in the 2004 Athens Olympics and missed out on bronze by one shot. She returns to London for her second Olympic Games.
- Alethea Sedgman (18) from VIC is competing in the 3-position 50m Rifle and the 10m Air Rifle events in her first Olympics.
- Robyn Van Nus (29) from NSW is competing in her second Olympics, in the 3-position 50m Rifle and the 10m Air Rifle events.
- Lalita Yauhleuskaya (48) from VIC will contest the 10m Air Pistol and 25m Pistol events in her fifth Olympics. She debuted in Atlanta in 1996 for Belarus and also won a bronze in Sydney 2000. However, she changed citizenship in 2001 and has represented Australia in Athens (2004), Beijing (2008) and now London.
Australia’s 47-strong swimming squad includes 24 women in 20 events:
- Jess Ashwood (19) NSW – 800m Freestyle
- Angie Bainbridge (22) ACT – 4 x 200m Freestyle – she won a gold medal as a heat swimmer in the 4x200m Freestyle relay in her debut Olympics at the Beijing 2008 Games.
- Bronte Barratt (23) QLD – 200m Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle and 400m Freestyle – In 2007 she broke Tracey Wickham’s 30-year Australian 400m freestyle record and went on to win a gold medal in the 4x200m relay in Beijing 2008.
- Bronte Campbell (18) QLD – 50m Freestyle – she will swim against her sister Cate in her debut Olympics.
- Cate Campbell (20) QLD – 100m Freestyle, 4 x 100m Freestyle and 50m Freestyle. She won bronze medals in the 50m freestyle and 4x100m freestyle events in her debut Olympics in Beijing 2008.
- Alicia Coutts (24) ACT – 100m Butterfly, 4 x 100m Freestyle and 200m Individual Medley – In her second Olympics, she will hope to emulate her 2010 Commonwealth Games medal winning performance (where she won five).
- Brittany Elmslie (18) QLD – 4 x 100m Freestyle and 4 x 200m Freestyle
- Blair Evans (21) WA – 400m Individual Medley
- Sally Foster (27) ACT – 200m Breaststroke – debuted in the Beijing 2008 Games.
- Melissa Gorman (26) QLD – 10km Marathon Swimming – in her second Olympics (after Beijing 2008).
- Samantha Hamill (21) QLD – 200m Butterfly - debuted in the Beijing 2008 Games.
- Belinda Hocking (21) ACT – 100m Backstroke and 200m Backstroke – she debuted in the Beijing 2008 Games at age 17.
- Leisel Jones (26) QLD – 100m Breastroke – the first Australian swimmer to compete at four Olympics, she has already won eight Olympic medals (3 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze), beginning in Sydney 2000.
- Yolane Kukla (16) QLD – 4 x 100m Freestyle
- Megan Nay (23) QLD – 200m Backstroke
- Jade Neilsen (21) QLD – 4 x 200m Freestyle
- Kylie Palmer (22) QLD – 200m Freestyle, 4 x 200m Freestyle, 400m Freestyle and 800m Freestyle – she was one of the gold medal winning 4x200m freestyle relay team in her debut Olympics in Beijing 2008. She was the most successful swimmer of the 2012 Olympic trials, qualifying for three freestyle distance events.
- Leiston Pickett (20) QLD – 100m Breaststroke
- Stephanie Rice (24) QLD – 400m Individual Medley and 200m Individual Medley – triple gold medal winner in her debut Olympics in Beijing 2008, the same year she also broke two world records.
- Jessica Schipper (25) QLD – 100m Butterfly and 200m Butterfly – at her third Olympics, she won gold as a heat swimmer in the 4x100m medley in the 2004 Athens Games and gold in the final in Beijing 2008. She also broke the 200m butterfly world record in 2006 and agin in 2009.
- Melanie Schlanger (25) QLD – 100m Freestyle, 4 x 100m Freestyle and 4 x 200m Freestyle – in her second Olympics. She won gold as a heat swimmer in the 4x200m freestyle relay and bronze in the 4x100m freestyle relay in Beijing 2008.
- Emily Seebohm (20) QLD – 100m Backstroke – debuted in Beijing 2008 where she won gold in the 4x100m medley.
- Libby Trickett (27) QLD – 4 x 100m Freestyle – returning from retirement to compete in London. She won gold (4x100m freestyle) and bronze (50m freestyle) in her debut Olympics in Athens 2004 and two gold (100m butterfly and 4x100m medley), and a silver (100m freestyle) and bronze (4x100m freestyle) in the 2008 Beijing Games.
- Tessa Wallace (18) QLD – 200m Breastroke
The synchronised swimming squad is another all-female team:
- Eloise Amberger (25) QLD will partner Sarah Bombell (29) QLD in the duet event as well as the team competition. Both are competing in their second Olympics.
- Jenny-Lyn Anderson (19) QLD
- Olia Burtaev (17) QLD
- Tamika Domrow (22) QLD
- Bianca Hammett (21) QLD
- Tarren Otte (28) VIC
- Frankie Owen (24) QLD
- Samantha Reid (23) QLD
The three-member women’s team comprises:
- Jian Fang Lay (39) VIC is playing in the singles and team competitions in her fourth Olympics. She debuted in the Sydney 2000 games.
- Miao Miao (31) VIC is playing in the singles and team competitions and is also at her fourth Olympics.
- Vivian Tan (34) NSW is playing in the team event in her debut Olympics.
- Carmen Marton (26) VIC is one of the two Australians at the London Olympics. She will compete in the 67kg division in which she placed 9th in her debut at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Australia has four women competing in singles and doubles events:
- Casey Dellacqua (27) NSW will play in the doubles in her second Olympics. She was in the doubles and singles in Beijing in 2008
- Jarmila Gajdosova (25) VIC will play in the doubles
- Anastasia Rodionova (30) VIC will play in the doubles
- Sam Stosur (28) QLD will play in the doubles and singles competitions. This is the third consecutive Olympics for the 2011 US Open winner.
There was a tight contest for the places in the three-member women’s squad, with Beijing gold medalist Emma Snowsill just missing out. The three women representing Australia are:
- Erin Densham (27) VIC in her second consecutive Olympics
- Emma Jackson (20) QLD, the Olympic debutant
- Emma Moffatt (27) QLD who won a bronze medal in Beijing in 2008
The women’s water polo team won a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. The 13 members of the Stingers London Olympic team are:
- Gemma Beadsworth (25) WA is at her second Olympics. Her brother Jamie is on the men’s team.
- Victoria Brown (27) VIC
- Kate Gynther (30) QLD captains the side and is competing in her third consecutive Olympics, having debuted in Athens in 2004.
- Bronwen Knox (26) QLD
- Holly Lincoln-Smith (24) NSW
- Alicia McCormack (29) NSW
- Jane Moran (27) QLD
- Glencora Ralph (23) WA
- Mel Rippon (31) QLD
- Sophie Smith (26) QLD
- Ash Southern (19) QLD
- Rowie Webster (24) VIC
- Nicola Zagame (21) NSW
- Seen Lee (29) from VIC is the female representative on Australia’s two-member weightlifting team. This is her first Olympics, where she is competing in the 58kg division. When women’s weightlifting was added to the 2002 Commonwealth Games program in Manchester, she won a bronze medal for Australia.