Coaches of Australian 2020 Summer Olympic Medallists

By Greg Blood

At the end of the Tokyo Olympics it is important to recognise the coaches of Australia’s medallists. Listed are the individual or team coaches where they are known for Australia’s 46 medallists – 17 gold, 7 silver and 22 bronze.

The list highlights the majority of medallists had Australian born coaches or those that have been coaching in Australia since 2000 Olympics (Myriam Fox, Chava Sobrino, and Victor Kovalenko). Special mention goes to Victor Kovalenko who is retiring and has coached Australian 470s crews to six gold and one silver since 2000.

It would be great to see greater recognition of coaches. Previously the Australian Coaching Council would publicly recognise Olympic and Paralympic coaches.

Not listed are the many coaches that played an important part in the development of these athletes.



  • Men’s Team (Boomers) – 1 Bronze – Head Coach Brian Goorjian (United States), Coaches Matthew Nielsen, John Rillie,  Adam Caporn

Beach Volleyball

  • Women’s Team (Mariafe Artacho del Solar, Taliqua Clancy) – 1 Silver – Coach Kirk Pittman (New Zealand)



  • Jessica Fox – 1 Gold, 1 Bronze – Coach Myriam Fox (France)
  • Men’ Sprint K2 1000m (Thomas Green, Jean van der Westhuyzen) – 1 Gold – Coach Jimmy Owens


  • Logan Martin – 1 Gold – support from national coach Wade Bootes
  • Men’s Team Pursuit (Leigh Howard, Kelland O’Brien, Luke Plapp, Alexander Porter, Sam Welsford) – 1 Bronze – Coach Tim Dekker
  • Rohan Dennis – 1 Bronze – Coach unkown


  • Melissa Wu – 1 Bronze – Coach Chava Sobrino (Mexico)



  • Men’s Team – 1 Silver – Head Coach Colin Batch, Assistants  Anthony Potter & Rob Hammond



  • Men’s Coxless Four (Jack Hargreaves, Alexander Hill, Alexander Purnell, Spencer Turrin) – 1 Gold  – Coach Ian Wright (New Zealand)
  • Women’s Coxless Four (Annabelle McIntyre, Jessica Morrison, Rosemary Popa, Lucy Stephan) – 1 Gold – Coach John Keogh
  • Men’s Quadruple Sculls (Caleb Antill, Jack Cleary, Cameron Girdlestone, Luke Letcher) – 1 Bronze – Coach Mark Prater
  • Women’s Quadruple Sculls (Caitlin Cronin, Harriet Hudson, Rowena Meredith, Ria Thompson) – 1 Bronze – Coach Andrew Randall


  • Men’s 470 (Matthew Belcher, Will Ryan) – 1 Gold – Coach Victor  Kovalenko (Ukriane)
  • Matt Wearn – 1 Gold – Coach Michael Blackburn




  • Mixed Doubles (Ash Barty & John Peers) – 1 Bronze – Coaches Craig Tyzzer (Barty) & unknown (Peers)

Several Australian coaches have contributed to the success of other nations –

  • Rowing – Paul Thompson was Head Coach of the Chinese team that won 3 medals – 1 gold and two bronze – a record medal haul for China
  • Hockey’ – Alyson Annan coached the Netherlands women’s team that won the gold medal
  • Hockey – Graham Reid coached Indian men’s hockey team to the bronze medal.
  • Cycling – John Beasley coach Malaysia to a silver medal

Previous articles published related to coaching –

Diversity in coaches is crucial for Rio medal success – 2016

Contribution of Overseas Coaches to the AIS and Australian Sport – 2020

8 responses to “Coaches of Australian 2020 Summer Olympic Medallists”

  1. Hi Greg. Thanks so much for recognising the amazing coaches who are so dedicated and committed to their athletes and who cultivate their successes. I note that Zac Stubblety-Cook is coached by Vince Raleigh from the Chandler club in Brisbane.

  2. Thank you Greg. This is such important recognition for the wonderful coaches of these amazing athletes.

  3. Thank you Greg
    So cool seeing skateboarding on the list with so many great sports and my name with all the coaches
    Feeling very proud

  4. Greg – Thanks for your tireless support of coaches and the recognition of their important role in guiding athletes.

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