Appearances 5 (first in 2000)
Appearances 12 (first in 1986)
Association Australian Water Polo
|FINA code AUS|
Best result 1st (2000)
Captain Bronwen Knox
Head coach Greg McFadden
|Asst coach Eddie Denis
Confederation Oceania Swimming Association
The Australian national women's water polo team represents Australia in women's international water polo competitions and is controlled by Australian Water Polo Incorporated. It is currently organised into the Asia/Oceania regional group.
The Australian women's water polo team played their first international in 1975. Since that time they have gone from strength to strength. The team have often had to struggle with lack of funding, but despite that continued to perform credibly on the international stage.
Following 6th place at the 1994 World Aquatics Championships in Rome, Italy, they won the women's Water polo World Cup at home in Sydney, Australia, in 1995. In 1996, the women won the silver medal in the Olympic Year Tournament behind the Netherlands, then finished with bronze in the following year's World Cup in Nancy, France. Australia continued their successful mid-1990s run by winning the bronze medal at the 1998 World Aquatics Championships in Perth, and remarkably over the rest of 1998 and 1999 were unbeatable, winning the four international tournaments they contested in the Netherlands, Italy, the United States and Hungary.
After an incredible 14 month winning streak, they only managed the silver at the 1999 world cup in Winnipeg, Canada.
Another success came in 1997 when it was announced that women's Water polo would be included in the Olympic Games for the first time at their home Olympics in Sydney.
Having had an excellent build up to the 2000 Summer Olympic Games at home in Sydney, the team went into the first Olympic tournament at home. They only lost one match to the powerful Dutch side in that historic campaign, on the way to winning the first ever women's Olympic gold medal in front of an ecstatic home crowd.
In an incredible Olympic final, the evenly matched US and Australian sides were tied 3–3 with 1.3 seconds remaining on the clock, when Yvette Higgins blasted in a nine-metre shot from a free throw. The ball crossed the goal-line 0.2s from the final hooter to give Australia a 4–3 win, and the gold medal.
The Australian team which won the gold medal at the Sydney Olympics was composed of Naomi Castle, Jo Fox, Bridgette Gusterson (C), Simone Hankin, Kate Hooper, Yvette Higgins, Bronwyn Mayer, Gail Miller, Melissa Mills, Debbie Watson, Liz Weekes, Danielle Woodhouse, and Taryn Woods.
The team was brought back down to earth with an Olympic hangover in 2001, only managing 5th in the World Championships of that year. This dip in form was short lived, however, as they won the inaugural Commonwealth Water Polo Championships title in Manchester, England in 2002, beating world No 3 Canada 6–5 in the final.
The Australian women then suffered another lean patch, finishing 7th at the 2003 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, Spain, 4th at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, and 6th at the 2005 World Aquatics Championships in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
The team returned to successful ways by taking the bronze at the 2005 FINA Water Polo World League event in Kirishi, Russia, and at the 2007 Water polo world championship in Melbourne, Australia by taking the silver medal, after losing a hard fought final 5–6 to the US team.
At the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, the team took the bronze medal after beating Hungary for 3rd place in a penalty shootout.
The first history of the sport in Australia was launched in February 2009, under the title 'Water Warriors: Chronicle of Australian Water Polo', by Dr. Tracy Rockwell. The 592 page publication features over 1,300 images and is an in-depth reference on water polo in Australia from its very first match in 1879 to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. An updated edition is being planned.
Olympic Year Tournament
FINA World Championship
FINA World League
FINA World Cup
The following is the Australian roster in the women's water polo tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics. ‹See Tfd›
Head coach: Greg McFadden