With the 29th Summer Universiade underway in Taipei, results are beginning to roll in for the Uniroos, with many more sports yet to play. This year Australia have sent their biggest ever team, with athletes looking to follow in the steps of Australian world championship, Commonwealth Games and Olympic champions including Cate Campbell (swimming), Steve Hooker (athletics), Brooke Hanson (swimming), Steve Moneghetti (athletics), Ralph Doubell (athletics), Jon Sieben (swimming) and Michelle Timms (basketball).
The Universiade is an international sporting and cultural event which is staged every two years in a different city. Double the size of the Winter Olympics, it is second only to the Summer Olympic Games. The Summer Universiade consists of 14 compulsory sports and up to 3 optional sports chosen by the host country.
In the swimming, UWA was represented by Alex Milligan and Nicholas Brown. Alex finished 2nd in the breaststroke heats, whilst Nicholas came 8th in the 50m Butterfly heats. The two combined with Will Stockwell and Brayden McCarthy for the men’s 4x100m freestyle, finishing 8th in the heats.
Staying in the water, both the men’s and women’s Australian Water Polo teams were able to kick the games off with a win. The men’s team, featuring UWA’s Nick Hughes as captain, went through 13-6 against Argentina, with Nick scoring in the 3rd quarter, only to be defeated 7-3 by Italy.
The women’s team beat Greece 10-3 in their first game, then also lost to Italy, 6-8. UWA’s Sofia Chaves played both games as a substitute.
21 year old Alannah Maclaurin (UWA Bachelor of Science), finished 7th in her fencing pool. Alannah was recently selected onto the fencing Australian Women’s Open Team, previously representing Australia on the world stage in France, Barcelona, Helsinki and the Philippines.
Featuring more than 7,500 athletes from 141 countries, the Summer Universiade is a crucial stepping stone for emerging young stars striving for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games or the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Uniroos finished the 2015 edition in Korea with a record 19 medals to finish 15th on the medal tally with four gold, three silver and twelve bronze, the best result from an Australian team so far in the Summer Universiade.
The competition is far from over, with events continuing until 30 August. UWA athletes will continue to feature, including Stephen Clough in the pole vaulting, and Wushu competitors Jessica Lim and Eda Pui.
Graduate Officer, UWA Sport Marketing, Communications, and Events