With the Rio Olympic Games just around the corner, young Australian talent will be put on display for the world to see. Here are just a few of our upcoming female athletes to keep your eye on when the games kick off on August 5.
Taylor McKeown, 21: Swimming (Breaststroke)
Taylor will be making her debut Olympic appearance at the Rio Games this year. Born in Redcliffe, Queensland, Taylor embodies true fighting spirit and despite disappointing results at her first national swimming event back in 2009, Taylor returned triumphant the following year taking home Gold in the 100m and 200m breaststroke events.
From that point on, Taylor has represented both Queensland and Australia in breaststroke events around the world. Even though Taylor missed out on qualifying for the London Olympics in 2012 by a mere 0.3 seconds, her dedication and consistent performance has paid off as she will now represent Australia at Rio this August.
Michelle Jenneke, 22: 100m Hurdles
Born in Sydney, Michelle has been a multi-talented athlete her entire life. She took dance lessons, played soccer for 12 years and played representative level European handball, futsal soccer and touch football.
Michelle started training for hurdles when she was just 10 and became an Internet sensation after her pre-race dancing at the 2012 Junior World Championships went viral.
Passionate about charity work, Michelle also commits her time to raising funds and awareness for a multitude of foundations and has also released a fitness App called “Stretch with Michelle Jenneke.” Winning a silver medal at the Australian Open Championships last year, Michelle will be one to watch at the Rio Games.
Stephanie Catley, 22: Matildas (Football)
Steph made her senior debut at a very young age, representing Melbourne Victory in 2009 at only fifteen years of age.
Playing predominantly in the midfield, she was a key figure in the young side and has gone on to play over 50 games for the W-League Melbourne team. Making her international debut for the Australian side in 2012 against New Zealand, Catley was a key player in the Australian national soccer squad for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Claiming back-to-back domestic Young Player of the Year Awards and making over 32 appearances for the Matildas, Steph will be sure to turn heads come Olympic time.
Shelley Watts, 27: Boxing
From the small town of Laurieton in NSW, Shelley got into boxing after a severe injury forced her to stop playing football.
Since her first official fight in 2010, Watts has represented Australia in numerous international tournaments and two world championships.
Now living in Canberra, Shelley is a huge South Sydney Rabbitohs fan, studies a double degree at Southern Cross Uni and hopes to one day become a barrister. Watts is determined to make her mark on the Olympic boxing scene with a gold medal when she debuts in Rio later this year.
Ella Nelson, 22: 200m sprint
A coffee loving sprinter from Sydney, Ella Nelson is a 3 time national 200m champion. Making her international debut in 2010, she made her mark in athletics last year when she beat ‘Queen of the Track’ Sally Pearson at the Sydney Track Classic.
Currently studying Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wollongong, Ella somehow still manages to fit in her full-time training schedule. Completing two months in an elite training program in Arizona late last year, Ella has now achieved her ultimate dream: a spot in the Australian Olympic team in Rio for 2016.
Rachel Tallent, 23: 20km walk
Born and raised on a potato farm near Ballarat, Victoria, Rachel started race walking at aged 8. As soon as she finished high school in 2010, she made the move to Canberra to pursue her walking dream and train at the AIS.
Coached by her 3 time Olympic medal winning brother Jared (also a distance walker), she won her 20km event at the Australian Race Walking Championships this year and has big hopes for her Rio Olympic games performance.
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