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Mary Hanna, dressage rider, to become oldest Australian Olympian

Photo: Annie Lever

Dressage rider Mary Hanna will become Australia’s oldest competing Olympian when she rides at the Rio Games. Hanna, named on Friday in the Australian equestrian team, will be 61 years and 253 days (8 months, 9 days) when she opens her campaign on August 10 in Brazil, surpassing Bill Roycroft (equestrian) at Montreal in 1976 (61y 128d). She was named in the Australian squad along with cousins Lyndal Oatley and Kristy Oatley and debutant Kelly Lane in the team and individual dressage competition. “Every time I have done the Olympics, I’ve thought this is probably the last time I will do it but, after the last time, I thought: I am going to keep going with this because I feel fit and healthy and why shouldn’t I? So, here I am,” said Hanna who will become the third Australian woman to compete at five Olympics. Hanna, and selected Australian table tennis player Jian Fang Lay, will reach the five-Games milestone in Rio. The pair will join retired beach volleyballer Natalie Cook who is Australia’s only five-time female Olympian. Hanna first represented Australia at the Atlanta Games in 1996 before continuing with Olympic competition at the 2000, 2004 and 2012 Games. Shooter Warren Potent at 54 was the eldest team member before Hanna’s selection. The dressage events start at Deodoro in Rio’s west on August 10 – day five of the Games.


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