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Olympics on horizon for bronze Aussie

By Patrick Nelson

Australian Tess Madgen in the bronze-medal play-off against Chinese Taipei at the 2013 Summer Universiade. Photo courtesy Australian University Sport Australian Tess Madgen in the bronze-medal play-off against Chinese Taipei at the 2013 Summer Universiade. Photo courtesy Australian University Sport

Women’s basketball star Tess Madgen’s sights remain fixed on the 2016 Olympic Games, following Australia’s bronze medal success at the Summer Universiade in Russia recently.

Tess, a part-time external Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science student, scored 34 goals in five games to achieve the highest points-per-game average (17) among the Australian players at the Universiade, an international multi-sport event for university athletes.

Tess said the team they wanted to beat the most was the USA, who they met in the semi-final.

“Of the four times I have played the USA, we thought this was our best opportunity to beat them,” she said.

But the Americans proved to be formidable opponents and led by 17 points with seven minutes to go.

“We showed some great Aussie spirit to get back into the game,” Tess said.

“They beat us by one point (79-78), which was shattering, but we were proud of our effort to get back into the game.”

Australia, known collectively as the Uniroos, sent more than 200 athletes to the games in Kazan, winning six gold, four silver and six bronze medals, to finish among the top 10 nations for the first time. The biennial event is regarded second only to the Olympics in significance among multi-sport tournaments.

“It’s always a great honour to represent Australia at any level and it was really cool to meet lots of other athletes from Australia and from around the world,” Tess said.

Tess will play for the Melbourne Boomers in the Australian 2013/14 Women’s National Basketball League, hoping to impress national selectors in the lead-up to the World Championships in Turkey next year.

“The squad won’t be named until the national competition is finished,” she said.

“But my main goal is to make it to the 2016 Olympics (in Rio de Janiero).”