Jake Whetton made Olympic debut at Rio, as part of an evenly balanced men’s hockey team that boasted experience and new talent.
The Aussie’s Olympic campaign kicked off with a 2-1 win over trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand but despite starting strong, the side then suffered back-to-back 1-0 losses to Spain and Belgium. Determined to claim their third straight Olympic medal, the Aussies then secured a 2-1 win over Great Britain which saw Whetton score in the 55th minute. The side then backed this up with a 9-0 victory over Brazil, setting themselves up for a quarter-final clash against the number 2 ranked side, the Netherlands. The Aussies quickly saw their hopes of a gold medal fade as the Dutch secured a 4-0 win, knocking the favourites out of the Olympic competition.
Whetton’s hockey career began at just four-years-old when he followed in the footsteps of his parents and played for his local club, the Eastern Suburbs Tigers in Brisbane.
Nick-named “Whetty”, this Brisbane boy made his debut for the senior team in 2011 and was selected in the 2012 Olympic development squad ahead of the London Games but would have to wait another Olympic quad before making his debut. Over the next five years, Whetton has been an ever-present force in Australian hockey claiming over 100 international caps.
The 25-year-old was a member of the 2016 Coal Hockey India League winning team, the Jaypee Punjab Warriors, where he played alongside four other Australian representatives in the six week league.
The forward credits 1976 Olympic silver medal winner Greg Browning as one of those to have had the strongest influence on his career. Encouraging him to attend training sessions with the likes of former Kookaburras Dean Butler and Stephen Lambert back in his hometown in Queensland gave Whetton the training and confidence needed to rise to the top.
A health and fitness fanatic, Jake has ambitions to take up hockey coaching and to travel extensively around Europe in his post-playing career.