Sydney students dominate at Commonwealth Games

15 October 2010

Master's student Alex Croak is the first Australian to win Commonwealth gold in two sports.
Master's student Alex Croak is the first Australian to win Commonwealth gold in two sports.

University of Sydney athletes have had their most successful outcome ever at this year's Commonwealth Games with nine of 12 participating athletes returning home as medal winners.

All current or former members of the Sydney Uni Sport and Fitness Elite Athlete Program, the 12 were outnumbered by their medal tally of 15, with four gold, nine silver and two bronze.

"Given the calibre of our athletes we expected they would perform very well but they certainly exceeded expectations," says Matthew Phelps, High Performance and Club Development Manager for Sydney University Sport and Fitness.

Alex Croak, currently studying her Master of Health Sciences (Sexual Health), became the first Australian athlete to win Commonwealth gold in two sports.

Croak can add her gold medal in the 10m synchronised platform diving to the gymnastics gold she won at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth games.

Prashanth Sellathurai also broke records, winning the first gold in men's gymnastics in 30 years in the team event.

Currently studying his Bachelor of Applied Science (MRS) Diagnostic Radiography, Sellathurai picked up three medals overall, also taking gold in the men's pommel horse and bronze in the parallel bars.

Crowd favourite Matthew Mitcham, who is studying a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences at the University, also collected multiple medals.

Mitcham took home four silver medals in the 10m platform dive, the 10m synchronised platform, the 3m synchronised springboard, and the 1m springboard.

Former student Kaarle McCulloch teamed up with Anna Meares to win gold in the women's team cycling, also winning silver in the 500m time trial.

The University was also represented in the women's hockey (who won gold), netball (silver), rugby sevens (silver), athletics, wrestling, and swimming.

The spectacular performance is a fitting tribute to the University's Elite Athlete Program, which has supported more than 300 Australian representative athletes.

"Our achievements show the success of our program, that we're able to support such high calibre athletes at the University," says Phelps.

"The support we can give them allows them to support their studies, but also to train full time to perform at the highest level."

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