Halligan to Compete for Aussie Stingers at Tokyo Olympic Games
SYDNEY -- UCLA redshirt senior attacker Bronte Halligan (Sydney, NSW, Australia/Stella Maris College) will be one of the 13 athletes to compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games for the Aussie Stingers, the Australian Women's Water Polo Team.
She joins Bruin teammate Maddie Musselman as current collegiate water polo players at UCLA to make an Olympic roster. Both Musselman and Halligan have one year of collegiate competition remaining and could return to campus following the Olympics for their senior seasons.
Halligan will be one of five individuals with ties to UCLA to be in the Olympics in Tokyo for women's water polo, joining Musselman, and Team USA members Rachel Fattal and Alys Williams, as well as Team USA head coach Adam Krikorian, who played for the Bruins from 1992-95 on the UCLA men's water polo team.
"I am so excited to be part of my first Australian Women's Water Polo Olympic Team," Halligan said. "It has been a long time coming and I can't wait to be a part of the greatest celebration of sport -- the Olympic Games. I wouldn't be here without UCLA and the support of the UCLA women's water polo program. I came to UCLA after the disappointment of missing out on the Rio Olympic Games (in 2016) and I wouldn't be here today without that experience. I am so excited for the Olympics and I can't wait for the experience! I'm proud to represent the blue and gold in the green and gold! 4s up!"
Under a new format for the Tokyo Olympic Games, each nation will declare 12 active players before each match of the competition. The reduction in game day roster size from 13 to 12 was part of an expansion in the overall number of teams competing. The size of the women's tournament is now at 10 countries, up from eight, making it the largest Olympic women's water polo tournament ever.
At the Sydney Olympic Games (2000), Australia lost only one game, to the Netherlands, on the road to securing the historic inaugural Olympic Games gold medal. The Aussie Stingers also captured bronze in 2008 (Beijing) and 2012 (London).
Halligan becomes the 16th different Bruin to make an Olympic roster, joining UCLA's Alys Williams (USA) as a first-time Olympian for the Tokyo Games. Halligan is also the second Bruin to make an Olympic roster with the Aussie Stingers, joining Kelly Heuchan, who was with Australia in 2004.