Australia: Olympic injury blow for Kookaburras |
July 1, 2004
Daily Telegraph, Australia
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KOOKABURRAS co-captain Paul Gaudoin yesterday became the second Australian in 24 hours to have their Olympic dream shattered by injury ? after Alisa Denne's withdrawn from the softball team a day earlier.
The loss of the tough, experienced Gaudoin is a significant blow to the Australian men's hockey team just six weeks before the start of the Games.
The only member of the squad who had competed in two previous Olympics, Gaudoin was forced to withdraw on medical advice after undergoing knee surgery earlier this year.
Hockey Australia told the Australian Olympic Committee of the 28-year-old Gaudoin's withdrawal yesterday, and named Queenslander Liam De Young, 23, as his replacement.
Gaudoin was one of just six players from the Sydney Olympics bronze medal-winning team to be selected for the Athens Olympics.
He also captained Australia to their gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002.
The Kookaburras now boast 12 first-time Olympians in their squad as they prepare for Athens.
Gaudoin's late withdrawal follows Alisa Denne's withdrawal from Australia's softball team on Wednesday.
Denne has had knee reconstruction after snapping the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee.
She will be out of action for between six and nine months.
The Queenslander, who has been replaced by Amanda Doman, also underwent a knee reconstruction on her left knee in 2002.
The Australian team is currently preparing for the Canada Cup ? one of their key hit-outs before the Olympics, where they are expected to match, if not better, the bronze won four years ago in Sydney.
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