ACU gold rush continues as Australian Women win Rugby Sevens gold in Rio

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Olympics Emma Tonegato Rugby Sevens Rio Credit: ARU Media

OT student Emma Tonegato has created history, playing a starring role in Australia’s victory over New Zealand 24-17 to claim the first rugby sevens Olympic Games gold medal in Rio.

The 21-year-old becomes the third ACU student to win a medal at this Olympic Games, following swim star Mack Horton’s 400m freestyle swimming gold and Anabelle Smith’s bronze in the synchronised 3m springboard.

ACU Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Craven praised Emma for etching her name in Australian sporting folklore.

“This has already been an historic Olympic Games for our ACU contingent, so to see Emma play a leading role in winning the first rugby sevens gold medal is a source of even greater pride in our wonderful student-athletes,” Professor Craven said.

“To have three Olympic medallists among our student body is a glowing endorsement of the Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP), which has allowed Emma, Mack and Anabelle balance their study commitments with training and competition.

“We look forward to cheering on all our Olympic and Paralympic athletes over the coming days and weeks, and wish them the best of luck in Rio.”

The 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games has eight ACU students past and present competing, with Australia’s first Olympian and Paralympian Melissa ‘Milly’ Tapper (table tennis), Exercise and Sports Science alumnus Grant Nel (diving), nine-time Paralympic medallist Ellie Cole (swimming), Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch, and Nursing graduate Paul Adams (skeet shooting).

Many of the ACU stars in Rio been a part of the Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP), which provides athletes and performers with support and assistance as they aim to compete and perform on the biggest stage.

To find out more about ACU’s EAPP visit

Learn more about our ACU athletes competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and get the latest on via ACU’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.