The Aussie Sharks have entered the feeding grounds for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with the Australian men’s water polo team ready to continue their strong run of form and claim an Olympic medal.
Greek Australian debutant Anthony Hrysanthos is one of 13 players heading to Tokyo, with the team being announced on Thursday.
At the start of 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hrysanthos told The Greek Herald it was his dream since he was a child to be an Olympian. Now, his dream has come true.
“It’s everything that I’ve been working for over the past five years of this cycle, but also for many years after that. It’s definitely a testament to all the hard work and sacrifice that I’ve had to put in and to top it off with Olympic selection, it’s absolutely everything,” Hrysanthos said to The Greek Herald.
Hrysanthos is one of seven debutants for the Sharks squad who will be captained by Aaron Younger, who has been selected for his third Games. The squad also includes Rhys Howden and Richie Campbell, who will line up for their fourth Olympics.
Despite being drawn in the ‘group of death’, Hrysanthos is confident that the team will make waves in the competition, saying it’s the “best position they’ve ever been in” heading to the Olympics.
“Even though we probably have the group of death and it’s quite a challenging group, we’ve had really good results against all those teams and we’ve beaten a lot of those teams over the last couple of years,” Hrysanthos said.
“So if we can get a few wins in the group stage and get through to the top eight and the quarterfinals then we definitely have a chance at competing for a spot at a medal.”
Hrysanthos added that the team’s “disadvantage” at the moment is the lack of international games in over a year. However, prior to going to Tokyo, the Sharks will stop in Hawaii to play training games and scrimmages against the American national team.
The last time he spoke with The Greek Herald, Hrysanthos told people to “continue chasing their dreams as you never know where it can take you.” The Greek Australian is adamant on following his own advice and chasing his dream, which is taking him to Tokyo.
“Everything’s peaking at the right time and it’s a dream come true to get the opportunity to play at the Olympics, but it’ll be even sweeter to play really well and get a really good result for our country,” Hrysanthos added.
Hrysanthos’ grandparents were all born in Greece and come from the Peloponnesian Region. Playing for Vouliagmeni, he said he was also fortunate enough to take Greek citizenship during his time in Greece. Hrysanthos said upon selection to the national team, there were many “tears of joy” from his family members.
“They were really over the moon. A lot of tears of joy because everyone can recognise all the hard work and sacrifice that has to be made. So everyone’s really happy,” Hrysanthos concluded.