Hopefuls to Watch

More than 1,000 athletes have been identified by their national federations as being in contention for the 2016 Australian Olympic Team.

Selections to the Team have started and will run until July 2016.  View Selected Team Members here>>>

To give Aussie Olympic fans a snapshot of who may wear the green and gold in Rio, the AOC Media Team have chosen a sample of athletes to keep an eye on. Every time you come back to this page a different bunch of hopefuls will appear.

Get to know and support the athletes striving to represent Australia at Rio 2016, #ComeWithUS Australia!

<h5>Caroline Buchanan world championships 2015 silver</h5>
&copy; Getty Images

Caroline Buchanan

(Born Canberra, trains Canberra)

With five world championships and 16 national titles to her name it appears there is only one childhood dream remaining for Caroline Buchanan, Olympic gold.

Buchanan took up BMX at the age of 5 before also beginning competitive mountain biking when she was 14. She won her first mountain bike world title in 2009 and would eventually go on to win two more world titles in the discipline in 2010 and 2013.

She headed into her Olympic debut as the BMX World Champion and despite winning her semi-final she would go on to finish fifth behind Colombia’s Mariana Pajon. She went onto become the first Australian to hold world championship titles in two different cycling disciplines in 2013 and only just missed her 3rd BMX world championship crown in 2015 when she claimed silver. 

<h5>Andrew Bogut</h5>
<p>Andrew Bogut of the Boomers drives to the basket during the game one match between the Australian Boomers and New Zealand Tall Blacks.</p>
&copy; Getty Images

Andrew Bogut

(Born Melbourne, trains USA)

Having missed the London 2012 Games through injury, the Aussie team will be boosted by the return of one of the world’s leading big men in Andrew Bogut.

Fresh off winning the NBA Championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015, Bogut was a dominant force in the green and gold as he helped the side qualify for the Rio Games.

The 7-footer was taken as the first pick of the 2005 draft and has now spent ten years in the world’s toughest basketball league.

He lined up for Australia at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games and will now have the opportunity to push the Aussie men towards winning their first Olympic medal.  

<h5>Casey Eastham International Superseries</h5>
<p>Casey Eastham International Superseries</p>
&copy; 2011 Getty Images

Casey Sablowski

(Born South Coast, NSW, trains Perth)

One of the world hockey's superstars, Casey Sablowski (née Eastham) will be looking to make her third Olympic appearance in Rio.

Sablowski made her Olympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Games at just 20 years of age was described by Australian coach, Frank Murray, as a budding star of the sport.

She went on to compete at the London 2012 Games, where the side repeated their fifth place performance from the previous Olympics.

Sablowski came of age in 2014 when she took home the Hockeyroos Player of the Year award after she was a part of the Australian teams that won Commonwealth Games gold along with World Cup and Champions Trophy silvers.

The Hockeyroos secured their Rio 2016 qualification at the Hockey World League Semi-Final midway through 2015 after finishing the tournament in third place.

<h5>Anna Meares UCI Track Cycling World Championships</h5>
<p>Anna Meares UCI Track Cycling World Championships</p>
&copy; 2015 Getty Images

Anna Meares

(Born Rockhampton, trains Adelaide)

With two Olympic gold medals, ten World Championships, five Commonwealth titles and numerous national and world records there is no other way to describe Anna Meares than track cycling royalty.

Meares won her first Olympic title at the Athens 2004 Games when she took out the 500m time trial, while also claiming the bronze in the sprint. She astounded the sporting world four years later when she won sprint silver just seven months after breaking her neck at a World Cup meet.

She would return for her third Olympic Games in London and upset long time rival Victoria Pendleton in her own backyard to win the sprint gold medal while adding a fifth Olympic medal, a bronze, in the team sprint with Kaarle McCulloch. 

<h5>Annette Edmondson</h5>
<p>Annette Edmondson wins the gold medal in the Women's Omnium during Day Five of the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Paris, France.</p>
&copy; Getty Images

Annette Edmondson

(Born Adelaide, trains Adelaide)

With multiple world championships, an Olympic medallist and a world record to her name, Annette Edmondson has achieved plenty before her 25th birthday. Originally a sprinter, Edmondson shifted her talents to the endurance events and went on to make her World Championship debut in 2012.

She won took home bronze in the omnium on Olympic debut in London before expanding her skill set to now ride professionally on the road in some of the world’s toughest races in the track off-season.

After Commonwealth Games gold in 2014 she achieved her long-time goal of becoming world champion. Edmondson was a part of the world-record breaking team pursuit team that claimed World Championship gold in early 2015. She confirmed herself as one of the favourites at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games when she won the omnium at the same competition. 

<h5>Kim Brennan (nee Crow)</h5>
&copy; Getty Images

Kim Brennan (nee Crow)

(Born Melbourne, trains Canberra)

Dual world champion Kim Crow will be looking to add gold to her Olympic silver and bronze medals at her third Games in Rio.

Crow made her Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Olympics where she, along with partner Sarah Cook, finished fourth in the Women's Double Sculls B-Final. 

At the 2012 London Olympic Games, Crow was the only athlete to row in two events. She won a silver medal in the Women's Double Sculls (with Brooke Pratley) and a bronze medal in the Women's Single Sculls.

Crow cemented herself as a single scull powerhouse, after winning back-to-back world titles in 2013 and 2015. Her recent World Championship victory in Aiguebelette saw Crow defeat the 2012 Olympic Champion Mirka Knapkova.

Crow, who also chairs the AOC’s Athletes’ Commission, is a practising lawyer when she is away from the water. 

<h5>Jack Bobridge</h5>
<p>Jack Bobridge celebrates after winning the Men's 4000m Individual Pursuit Final at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome during day two of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.</p>
&copy; Getty Images

Jack Bobridge

(Born Adelaide, trains Adelaide)

A stellar 12 months has helped confirm Olympic silver medallist Jack Bobridge as one of the hot favourites on the track at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The endurance star claimed silver in the individual pursuit at the 2015 Track World Championships before unofficially breaking the team pursuit world record alongside Alexander Edmondson, Sam Welsford and Daniel Fitter midway through the year.

The three-time track World Champion made his Olympic debut in 2008, where he placed fourth in the team pursuit, before going on to win silver in the same event four years later. Since then he has competed in three Giro d’Italia Grand Tours and fought it out on many other road events around the world. He unsuccessfully attempted to break the world hour record at the beginning of 2015, covering 51.3 kilometres in the 60 minutes (Bradley Wiggins has since completed 54.5 kms in the allotted time).

<h5>Sam Stosur plays Sara Errani 2015 U.S.</h5>
<p>Sam Stosur plays Sara Errani 2015 U.S.</p>
&copy; 2015 Getty Images

Samantha Stosur

(Born Brisbane, trains Tampa)

Samantha Stosur began playing tennis at the age of eight after receiving a tennis racquet from her neighbour for Christmas.

At the age of 13, Sam took off for her first overseas trip – to the World Youth Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The three-time Olympian was the 2010 French Open runner-up, before claiming her first Grand Slam victory in 2011 at the US Open after knocking off Serena Williams.

After a fourth round loss at the 2015 US Open, the one-time world number four is hoping another big end to the year can set up a bumper 2016 campaign.

<h5>Katharina Haecker hopeful image</h5>
&copy; Getty Images

Katharina Haecker

(Born Hamburg, trains Melbourne)

Born in Germany, Katharina Haecker is Australia’s top-ranked judoka and is looking to make her Olympic debut in Rio.

Haecker made it through to the bronze medal match at the 2014 Commonwealth Games but just missed out on a podium finish in the -63kg division.

Having won both the 2014 and 2015 Oceania Championships she moved into the all-important top 14 ranked athletes in the division. If she maintains her ranking she will automatically qualify for Rio 2016.

<h5>Elise Kellond-Knight</h5>
<p>Elise Kellond-Knight against Rumi Utsugi of Japan during the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 Quarter Final match between Australia and Japan.</p>
&copy; Getty Images

Elise Kellond-Knight

(Born Gold Coast, trains Germany)

Elise Kellond-Knight has proven herself as one of the world’s top midfielders in recent years. The Queenslander lined up for the Brisbane Roar from 2008-2015, has enjoyed stints in Denmark and Japan and now plays for Turbine Potsdam in one of the world’s toughest leagues in Germany.

She was a key part of Australia’s historic first Asian Cup win in 2010 before going on to make 2011 Women's World Cup All Stars side having helped Australia to the quarter-finals of the tournament. She has continued to play an influential role in the centre of the park for Australia and was again named in the Women's World Cup All Stars side for the 2015 tournament as the Aussies won their first knockout match in tournament history. 

<h5>Melissa Wu FINA World Championships</h5>
<p>Melissa Wu FINA World Championships</p>
&copy; 2015 Getty Images

Melissa Wu

(Born Sydney, trains Sydney)

Now a team veteran, Melissa Wu made her international debut at the tender age of 13 at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

At the age of 16, Wu stormed through the women’s 10m synchronised platform event at the Beijing 2008 Games to claim silver alongside Briony Cole.

At her second Olympics at London 2012, Wu fell agonisingly short of the podium and finished fourth.

The pint-sized diver took an alternate route to her siblings who all train as weightlifters and often share their training photos together on social media. 

<h5>Rohan Dennis</h5>
<p>Rohan Dennis of Australia crosses the finish line during the Men's Cycling Road Time Trial at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.</p>
&copy; Getty Images

Rohan Dennis

(Born Adelaide, trains Europe)

With a silver medal on the track at the London 2012 Games, Rohan Dennis’ transition to the road paid dividends in 2015 with a string of impressive results.

Dennis claimed the coveted maillot jaune (yellow jersey) after winning the individual time trial at the Tour de France before going on to also claim the team time trial. He backed up those performances with a World Championship title in the team time trial and a sixth in the individual event towards the end of the year. 

Dennis will be looking to become only the second Aussie to win Olympic medals in two different cycling disciplines after Kathy Watt. 

<h5>Ed Jenkins</h5>
<p>Ed Jenkins runs the ball during the 2014 Gold Coast Sevens.</p>
&copy; Getty Images

Ed Jenkins

(Born Sydney, trains Sydney) 

With over seven years’ experience in the national team, Australian captain Ed Jenkins is the nation’s most capped rugby sevens player.

Jenkins won silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games before adding a bronze medal four years later in Glasgow.

He showed he still has what it takes to find the try-line after scoring 26 tries in the 2014/15 world series where Australia fell just short of automatic qualification to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Jenkins led his team through the Oceania qualifiers in November to earn a spot for Australia at Rio 2016.

<h5>Robin Middleton</h5>
<p>Robin Middleton</p>
&copy; Getty Images

Robin Middleton

(Born Leeds, trains in Melbourne)

Successful English Badminton player, Robin Middleton will looking to don the green and gold in Rio, in what would be his first Olympic appearance for Australia.

After a long career with the English Badminton team, Middleton first represented Australia at the 2014 Commonwealth Games with partner and Olympian, Ross Smith. The fourth seeded pair were defeated in the quarter-finals by the eventual gold medallists, Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong of Malaysia.

Turning his focus to the mixed doubles event in the lead-up to the Rio Games, Middleton took out the 2015 Oceania Championships mixed doubles title with Leanne Choo in February, 2015. 

<h5>Captain Rhys Howden scored a treble against Serbia</h5>
<p>Captain Rhys Howden scored a treble against Serbia</p>
&copy; Grant Treeby/Water polo Australia

Rhys Howden

(Born Brisbane, trains Brisbane)

Following in his father’s Olympic footsteps, Rhys Howden is looking to make his third Olympic Games appearance in Rio.

Son of former Great British captain Phil, Howden made his Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games as a 21-year old where Australia finished eighth. Four years later he returned to Olympic competition when he helped Australia claim seventh place at the London 2012 Games.

In what was a stellar 2011, Howden was named MVP for both the National Water Polo League season and finals and was also the competition’s highest goal scorer. Now captaining the side, Howden is the team’s most experienced player and will hoping he can lead his side to their first Olympic medal in Rio. 

<h5>Minjee Lee of Australia</h5>
<p>Minjee Lee of Australia plays a shot during practice prior to the start of the Evian Championship Golf on September 9, 2015 in Evian-les-Bains, France.</p>
&copy; 2015 Getty Images

Minjee Lee

(Born Perth, trains Perth)

At only 19 years of age and one of seven athletes to win on the LPGA Tour before her 19th birthday, Minjee Lee hopes to make her Olympic debut when golf returns to the Olympic Games after a 108-year absence.

Lee vaulted from 59 to 19 on the rankings after winning her maiden LPGA Tour in America in May 2015, finishing at 15 under par to claim a two-shot victory as she posted four consecutive rounds in the 60s capped by her closing 65.

After first developing a love of the sport at age 10, the Western Australian athlete won her first professional title as an amateur golfer when she claimed the Victorian Open in 2014. She reached the world number one amateur ranking before turning professional in late 2014. 

<h5>Sam Willoughby</h5>
<p>Sam Willoughby of Australia competes in the Elite Men Time Trial Race during day 4 of the UCI BMX World Championships.</p>
&copy; Getty Images

Sam Willoughby

(Born Adelaide, trains USA)

Superstar Sam Willoughby will be hoping to add Olympic Champion to his impressive list of achievements in Rio after just missing out of gold at the London 2012 Games.

Surprising even himself to become the junior world champion in 2008, a 17-year-old Willoughby packed his bags and headed to the US to pursue his dream. Four years on and having just been crowned elite world champion, Willoughby went on to secure the silver medal at London 2012. He again won the elite men’s world championship in 2014 while also winning the time trial at the same event.

With the talent pool getting deeper in the sport and dual Olympic Champion Maris Strombergs still in his prime, Willoughby will have to beat the toughest field assembled at an Olympic Games if he is to tick his final career goal off his list in Rio.

<h5>Mark Knowles Portrait Session</h5>
<p>Mark Knowles Portrait Session</p>
&copy; 2012 Getty Images

Mark Knowles

(Born Rockhampton, trains Perth)

Part of Australia’s golden generation of men’s hockey players, captain Mark Knowles will be looking to collect his second Olympic gold in Rio.

Bringing a wealth of Olympic experience to the team, Knowles is hoping to repeat his debut performance at the 2004 Athens Games where the Kookaburras won their first ever Olympic gold medal.

The 2014 World Player of the Year and team captain, has represented Australia at the 2008 Beijing & 2012 London Games, returning with two bronze medals. Knowles also has two Champions Trophy titles and one World Cup victory under his belt.

Knowles' side has had a successful start on their road to Rio, winning the Hockey World League Semi-Final in Antwerp to secure qualification for their ninth straight Olympic Games competition. 

<h5>Leanne Choo</h5>
<p>Leanne Choo</p>
&copy; Getty Images

Leanne Choo

(Born Adelaide, trains in Melbourne)

Having debuted at the London 2012 Olympic Games, 23-year-old Leanne Choo will be the only returning member to Australian Badminton Team is she makes a second Games appearance in Rio. 

After progressing through to the quarter-finals in the women’s doubles in London, Choo has shifted her focus to the mixed double’s event with partner Robin Middleton in the lead up to Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Choo resides and trains full time at the National Training Centre in Melbourne and had a stellar start to the year taking out the women’s doubles and mixed doubles events at the 2015 Oceania Championship in Auckland.

Choo and Middleton made it through to the second round at the 2015 World Badminton Championships before being defeated by the No. 11 seeded Indonesian pair.

<h5>Casey Dellacqua 2015 China Open</h5>
<p>Casey Dellacqua 2015 China Open</p>
&copy; 2015 Getty Images

Casey Dellacqua

(Born Perth, trains Sydney)

The dual Olympian started learning to play tennis aged seven when her mum, Nita, and her Nan put her in group lessons.

At London 2012 Dellacqua lined up with partner Samantha Stosur in the women’s doubles. The pair struggled against the eighth seeded Spanish duo of Maria Martinez Sanchez and Naria Llagostera Vives who knocked them out of the tournament in straight sets 6-1, 6-1.

Now ranked well within the top 10 in the women’s doubles, Dellacqua partnered with Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova to make the final of the 2015 US Open, going down to top seeds Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza.

The Perth left-hander recently became a mum to Blake.

<h5>Sam Groth 2015 U.S.</h5>
<p>Sam Groth at the 2015 US Open.</p>
&copy; 2015 Getty Images

Sam Groth

(Born Narrandera, trains Melbourne)

In 2011, Sam Groth walked away from tennis and was playing suburban football in Melbourne, now he’s back playing the major tournaments and representing Australia at Davis Cup level.

The right-hander learnt to play tennis when he was 10 on the grass courts of Corowa, NSW, before his family moved from Albury to Melbourne in 2005 so he could pursue his sporting ambitions.

With a dream of achieving a top 30 or 40 ranking in the next year, Groth’s major weapon is his serve. His 263kph ace at the 2012 ATP Challenger event in Busan, Korea is the fastest serve ever recorded. 

<h5>Men's Quad</h5>
<p>The Men's quad have come home with a silver medal as well as qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games</p>
&copy; Rowing Australia

David Crawshay

(Born Carlton, trains Tasmania)

2008 Beijing gold medallist David Crawshay will be looking to add a fourth Olympic Games to his resume in Rio.

Crawshay made his Olympic debut at the 2004 Athens Games where he rowed in the quad scull crew that won the B Final.

Alongside Scott Brennan, Crawshay won gold in the double sculls at the Beijing 2008 Games on a day that was Australia’s most successful in Olympic rowing history.

The pair attempted to defend their Olympic title in London but after having to come through the repechage, finished fifth in the semi-final and claimed second in the B Final.

Back rowing in the quad scull, Crawshay recently secured a silver medal at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette.

 

 

<h5>Bronwen Knox Women's Water Polo</h5>
<p>Bronwen Knox Women's Water Polo</p>
&copy; 2013 Getty Images

Bronwen Knox

(Born Brisbane, trains Brisbane)

With over 300 caps to her name, Australian captain Bronwen Knox will provide a world of experience to the Rio 2016 side as she looks to add another Olympic medal to her collection.

Knox made her Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games where she helped Australia to the bronze medal after finding the back of the net 12 times to rank her as the third highest scorer of the tournament. Knox and the Australia Team repeated their performance at the 2012 London Games as they again finished with bronze.

The Queenslander has won a gold medal at the 2006 FINA World Cup and silver medals at the 2007 World Championships, the 2010 FINA World Cup and 2010 FINA World League. The side recently finished fourth at the FINA World Championships and is now building towards a push for their first Olympic gold since Sydney 2000.

<h5>Jason Day third round PGA Championships</h5>
<p>Jason Day third round PGA Championships</p>
&copy; 2015 Getty Images

Jason Day

(Born Beaudesert, trains USA)

As golf prepares to make its Olympic return after a 112-year absence, Jason Day's ascendance to the top of the world rankings appears to be perfectly timed. 

2015 was a breakout season from the South-East Queenslander who won his first major when he became just the fifth Australian to win the PGA Championship when he finished on -18 to win by three strokes. Day added four other victories on the 2015 PGA tour to see him pass Jordan Spieth as the world's number one golfer. 

He will be hoping to make history next year and become one of Australia's first Olympic golfers before hoping to continue his recent success on the Rio course. 

 

<h5>Bianca Hammett</h5>
&copy; Getty Images

Bianca Hammett

(Born Warnambool, trains Brisbane)

At age eight Bianca Hammett was inspired to take up synchronised swimming after she saw an ad in the newspaper.

The Victorian has been in the synchronised swimming national squad since 2006, and made her Olympic debut at the London 2012 Games.

She helped the team qualify for Beijing 2008, but missed on making the Games Team.

Hammett is set to shine at Rio, after pairing with Nikita Pablo in the duet at the World Championships and being named as the Australian team flag bearer to represent all Aquatic sports.