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Abby Andrews bio

Abby Andrews

Age

23

Place of Birth

South Brisbane, QLD

Hometown

Brisbane

Junior Club

Brisbane Barracudas

Senior Club

Queensland Thunder

Coach

Rebecca Rippon

Olympic History

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

High School

Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Career Events

Water Polo Women's Tournament

 

Abby's Story

After finishing high school at Brisbane Girls Grammar, Abby Andrews started tertiary studies at the University of Queensland, which led to her competing in the 2019 World University Games in Naples, Italy.

Australia came fifth, but Abby’s appearance caught the eye of Water Polo Australia, who invited her to a senior camp. Abby had actually already competed for Australia at the Youth World Championships in 2018, before she enrolled at the University of Michigan in January.

She established Michigan rookie records of 70 assists and 126 points in helping the Wolverines capture the 2019 Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) championship. She was named the CWPA Rookie of the Year and CWPA Rookie of the tournament. Her performances pointing to an Australian senior call-up and even higher honours to come.

 

“I honestly did not know how to react because my plans were to go back (to play with the University of Michigan),’’ Abby said. “But speaking with my family, I could not turn down the opportunity of a senior call-up back home.

“Even if I was not in their sights (for Tokyo), I was going to improve so much (by attending the camp) and they believed in me. So I had to believe in myself.”

Abby was most certainly in the sights of Water Polo Australia and was selected for her maiden Olympic Team for the Tokyo 2020 Games.

This pleased many people, especially her Queensland Thunder coach Benn Lees, who in early 2020 predicted Abby's Olympic honours.

“She is not only physically talented but has a wonderful attitude toward the sport,’’ Lees said. “She is a left-hander, very skilful and smart, and has a wonderful selfless attitude.’’

Abby would go on to make her Olympic debut at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games, alongside the Australian women's water polo squad. The team completed an impressive opening four games in the group stage of the tournament, ending in equal first on points and progressing to the quarter-finals second.

 The Stingers then lost a narrow quarter-final 9-8 against the ROC, but recorded consecutive wins against Canada and the Netherlands to achieve an overall fifth placing at the Games.

Abby was part of the Stingers team in Fukuoka, Japan, for the 2023 World Aquatic Championships, where Australia finished fourth. After a tight 12-10 loss to Spain in the semi-finals, the Stingers lost the third-place play-off to Italy 16-14.

At the 2024 World Championships in Doha, Australia finished sixth, beating Britain 20-8 in the round of 16 before going down by a point to the USA in the quarter-finals.

Abby describes moving to Italy to play professionally as the biggest challenge of her career.

“I lived in a house with four Italians and spoke not a word of Italian,” she said. “They also did not speak English, so it was extremely overwhelming and both mentally and physically challenging. Learning Italian was a huge step for me and made the experience one of the best things I have ever done.”

Her advice to young athletes is to always grab such opportunities. “Take every opportunity and challenge,” she said. “I have been able to play all over the world because I took a chance and those opportunities turned out to be the ones that have shaped who I am and what I can do in my sport.”

Abby’s pursuit of excellence isn’t limited to the pool. Juggling studies in a bachelor of advanced finance and economics at the University of Queensland with an elite sporting career has been tough.

“I’ve been pretty proud of myself for pushing through and continuing with the degree. It was really draining combining the two, but even when I went to Italy I managed to keep studying.”

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