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Gold Coast hockey heroes heading to Tokyo

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Twenty-two Commonwealth Games Alumni members will feature in the Australian hockey sides at the Tokyo Olympics where the squads will be going for gold.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has named the 16-person Hockeyroos and Kookaburras teams to take on the world at the Tokyo Olympics.

Kookaburras co-captain and three-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Eddie Ockenden will join hockey greats like Rechelle Hawkes AM, Jamie Dwyer OAM and Mark Knowles OAM in making his fourth Olympics, featuring 11 members of the gold medal-winning Gold Coast 2018 team, six Olympians named for their second Games and nine Olympic debutants have been selected.

Two-time Commonwealth games medallist Emily Chalker will compete at her third Games, with the Hockeyroos boasting 10 Gold Coast 2018 team members, two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Kate Jenner (2010 & 2014), seven two-time Olympians and eight debutants, including 19-year-old Amy Lawton, who will become the fourth-youngest Hockeyroo to compete at an Olympics.

Both the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras have shown their world-class talent this Olympic cycle, with the Kookaburras currently the world number one ranked team, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallists and 2019 FIH Pro league Champions, with the Hockeyroos claiming the silver medal at the 2018 Games and were the inaugural FIH Pro League runners up.

The teams continue Olympic family traditions, with Brooke Peris cousin to Olympic and Commonwealth Games 200m champion Nova Peris OAM, and Kaitlin Nobbs following in the footsteps of her mother Lee Capes (Seoul 1988 Olympics – gold), her father Michael Nobbs (Los Angeles 1984) and uncle Mark Hager (Seoul 1988 and Atlanta 1996 – bronze) who all represented Australia at the Olympics.

Hockey made its Commonwealth Games debut at the Kuala Lumpur 1998 Games.

The teams will aim to build on a phenomenal Olympic record of three gold for the Hockeyroos and one gold, three silver and five bronze for the Kookaburras, including Australia’s first Olympic medal in hockey last time Tokyo hosted the Games in 1964.

The Kookaburras will launch the Tokyo 2020 competition against hosts Japan on 24 July, with the Hockeyroos’ campaign starting on 25 July against Spain.

Chef de Mission of the Australian Olympic Team Ian Chesterman congratulated the athletes on their selection.

“Today is a fantastic recognition of the skill and resilience of these teams and players, and I congratulate them on making the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo,” Mr Chesterman told the AOC.

“The Hockeyroos and Kookaburras hold a special place in Australia’s Olympic tradition and these players will continue to build on that rich legacy. I want to particularly congratulate Eddie Ockenden – the talent, commitment, resilience and drive to make four Olympic Games is truly inspiring and an exceptional achievement.

“Thank you to Hockey Australia, the coaching and support staff, and the families, friends and supporters who have been there every step of the way with each of these 32 athletes.”

The hockey teams announcement takes the number of athletes selected to 219 of an expected 450, which includes 83 Commonwealth Games Australia alumni members.

At his fourth Olympics Tasmanian Ockenden will co-captain the side with Aran Zalewski.

“It’s special and humbling to join those great hockey players who have represented Australia at four Olympics,” Ockenden said.

“It doesn’t feel like it’s my fourth – I’m still excited to make it and excited about the challenge and opportunity ahead.

“We have a really strong squad – some really good players missed out on selection so our depth is huge in the Kookaburras at the moment. We’ve got a good mix of experience and some great young guys coming through with plenty of enthusiasm, so we’ll be confident – we just have to make sure we’re playing our best when we get over there and when it gets to crunch time.”

Gold Coast 2018 team member Stephanie Kershaw from Townsville was ecstatic to be named for her Olympic debut after injury ruled her out of Rio contention.

“I’m over the moon and beyond excited,” Kershaw said.

“It means everything to make this team. It’s obviously a different experience this time around, but I’m grateful for the opportunity and that the Olympics are still going ahead.”

“This Hockeyroos squad all have our common goal to win a gold medal. It’s a really talented group, so it will be awesome to see the kind of performances we can put out in Tokyo.”

The Hockey competition will run from 24 July – 6 August at Oi Hockey Stadium.

Australian Olympic Hockey Teams

Men's Team - Kookaburras

Name Age State Olympic Games Experience Commonwealth Games Experience
Daniel Beale 28 QLD 2nd (2016) 2014 – Men's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Tim Brand 22 NSW Debut
Andrew Charter 34 ACT 2nd (2016) 2014 – Men's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Tom Craig 25 NSW Debut 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Matthew Dawson 27 NSW 2nd (2016) 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Blake Govers 24 NSW 2nd (2016)
Jeremy Hayward 28 NT Debut 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Tim Howard 24 QLD Debut
Dylan Martin 23 NSW Debut
Trent Mitton 30 WA Debut 2010 – Men's Hockey – Gold; 2014 – Men's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Eddie Ockenden 34 TAS 4th (2008, 2012, 2016) 2010 – Men's Hockey – Gold; 2014 – Men's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Flynn Ogilvie 27 NSW Debut 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Lachlan Sharp 23 NSW Debut 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Joshua Simmonds 25 VIC Debut
Jake Whetton 29 QLD 2nd (2016) 2014 – Men's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold
Aran Zalewski 30 WA 2nd (2016) 2014 – Men's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Men's Hockey – Gold

Women's Team - Hockeyroos

Name Age State Olympic Games Experience Commonwealth Games Experience
Edwina Bone 33 NSW 2nd (2016) 2014 – Women's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Emily Chalker 28 NSW 3rd (2012, 2016) 2014 – Women's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Jane Claxton 28 SA 2nd (2016) 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Savannah Fitzpatrick 26 NSW Debut 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Kate Jenner 31 NSW 2nd (2012) 2010 – Women's Hockey – Gold; 2014 – Women's Hockey – Gold
Stephanie Kershaw 26 QLD Debut 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Amy Lawton 19 VIC Debut
Rachael Lynch 34 VIC 2nd (2016) 2010 – Women's Hockey – Gold; 2014 – Women's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Rosie Malone 23 QLD Debut
Kaitlin Nobbs 23 NSW Debut 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Brooke Peris 28 NT 2nd (2016) 2014 – Women's Hockey – Gold; 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Karri Somerville 22 WA Debut
Penny Squibb 28 WA Debut
Grace Stewart 24 NSW 2nd (2016) 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Renee Taylor 24 QLD Debut 2018 – Women's Hockey – Silver
Mariah Williams 26 NSW 2nd (2016)

With thanks Australian Olympic Committee and Hockey Australia.

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