Green and gold brigade arrive at Rio airport

Published 27 July 2016 (AEDT)

RIO 2016: Rio de Janeiro International airport was a sea of green and gold this evening as a host of Australian Olympic Team athletes touched down ahead of the 2016 Games. 

It was the second day of Australian athlete arrivals which saw men’s and women’s rugby, men’s hockey, archery and gymnastics all arrive in the host city.

The hockey side who is looking to win their first Olympic gold since Athens 2004, and only their second overall, had an extra-long trip after journeying all the way from Perth which included a stopover in Sydney. Despite the long flight the team were excited to finally be in Rio.

“It’s really exciting to be here,” said triple Olympic medallist and captain Mark Knowles.

“For us to walk in with the uniform and see some media and some excited people it really hits home for everyone. 

“We had rugby sevens and a few other sports on the plane so it was a good vibe.”

Archers Alec Potts, Ryan Tyack, Taylor Worth and Alice Ingley flew in from Brisbane, via Sydney and Santiago, where they wrapped up their final training on home soil after a training camp in Taiwan.

“I’m looking forward to the atmosphere, getting out there and doing my best and seeing other sports,” said Australia’s sole female representative Ingley.

“I’ve heard from the boys at the test event and have seen videos of it (archery venue - the Sambodromo) and I can’t wait to actually see it for myself.”

Our gold medal prospect rugby teams both touched down after jetting across the South Pacific and are keen to get out on the training pitch.

“It’s great to get over here and get the stamp in the passport,” said World Series Rookie of the Year Henry Hutchison.

“I’m super excited. All guys have got their cameras out to make sure they catch every minute so we can save it and make a big movie at the end.

“There are really good spirts between both the men’s and women’s teams and we’re just keen to get started.”

The teams will both now head to Portobello just outside of Rio to finalise their Olympic preparations.

“We’re looking forward to getting into Portobello tonight and hitting our base camp there and later on we’ll be hitting the Village,” said World Series winning co-captain Shannon Parry.

“We’ve got ten days there and we’ll get some good heat training in.”

Gymnasts Larissa Miller (artistic) and Blake Gaudry (trampoline) were the final athletes through the gates and will join the men’s hockey team and archers as Australia’s first athletes into the Olympic Village.

More athletes will arrive on Wednesday local time including those from track cycling, judo, diving and shooting.

Matt Bartolo

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