Rhys Howden | Australian Olympic Committee

Rhys's Story

Rhys Howden captained the men’s water polo team at the Rio 2016 Games, where he logged his third Olympic appearance and scored five goals for the Aussie side. 

The Aussies lined up against the Brazilian hosts in their opening Game of the 2016 Olympics, but the roars from the home crowd proved to be too much as the boys narrowly went down 8-7. In their second pool game, the Aussies bounced back to secure a 9-9 draw with powerhouse Hungary, before they recorded an 8-6 win over Japan in game three. 

Determined to try and secure Australia’s first ever men’s water polo medal, the Aussies then lined up with eventual Gold medallists Serbia and after a hard fought battle went down 10-8. Hungary defeating Brazil resulted in a fifth place finish in their pool for the green and gold, meaning the Aussies would not progress to the quarter-final stage. 

Brisbane born Howden began playing water polo at the age of 14, made his international debut in 2007 and at 21 he made his Olympic debut in 2008. Howden played driver for the Sharks, which placed eighth in Beijing.

At his second Olympic appearance in London he scored ten goals for Australia in the competition, where Australia placed seventh after going down to Serbia in the quarter-finals. Rio 2016 will be Howden’s third Olympic appearance.

He was named captain of the Aussie Sharks in 2013, when Australia finished eighth at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona, Spain. The same year he won gold at the Danube Cup in Slovakia.

Howden captained the Sharks at his fourth World Championships in 2015 in Russia, where they finished in eighth place; and again when Australia defeated Japan in a three-test series at the end of the year.

A love of water polo runs in the family; his father Phil played for and captained the Great Britain water polo team from 1977-1981. Howden says it was his father’s influence and guidance in the sport that got him to where he is today. His brother BJ also played water polo for the Sharks national squad.

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