PULL out the green and gold, our very own Lachlan Sharp is heading to the Summer Olympics.
Although he now calls Western Australia home, a spot on the Kookaburras team for Tokyo 2020 is a dream come true for the Lithgow product.
Sharp was one of nine debutants named in the 16-person squad in Perth on June 14 and he's ready to take on the world.
"I'm pretty stoked and excited," he said.
" I don't think it has really sunk in yet, but seeing the joy and emotion on my family's faces after I told them means a lot to me, as it has not only been a dream for me but for them as well," he said.
Seeing the Kookaburras win gold in 2004 has been a motivator for Sharp for as long as he can remember.
"That memory probably is my earliest moment where I've been set on achieving that same goal."
Sharp said he was excited to head to Tokyo and experience the Olympic scene but mostly looked forward to stepping out on the turf.
"I think playing the games will be the most enjoyable moments for me.
"The whole Olympic scene in regards to the village and what we can physically do outside of our own sport will be very limited due to COVID restrictions, so it will be a very different Olympics to the ones in the past," he said.
Seeing the joy and emotion on my family's faces after I told them means a lot to me.Soon to be Olympian, Lachlan Sharp
But despite COVID, Sharp said he felt safe travelling with the Australian Olympic team being vaccinated.
"...so that gives me confidence, and with all of the restrictions within the village I'm not really nervous, I think it will be pretty safe."
Ahead of the Olympics, Sharp and the Kookaburras will head to Darwin for two training camps to assist in heat acclimatisation.
"That's before we leave for Tokyo as we prepare for the conditions over there. Tokyo will be one of the hottest games to date," he said.
The Kookaburras have shown their world class talent this Olympic cycle as they hold the number one international ranking, and as well as the 2019 FIH Pro League title.
The team will aim to build on a phenomenal Olympic record of one gold, three silver and five bronze, including Australia's first Olympic medal in hockey last time Tokyo hosted the games in 1964.
The Kookaburras will launch the Tokyo 2020 competition against hosts Japan on July 24 at Oi Hockey Stadium.
Kookaburras head coach Colin Batch said his first aim was to qualify for the quarter finals.
"We come up against a determined host country first up who will be nicely acclimatised and very eager to perform well in front of their home crowd, so each match generates a different set of circumstances."
"We're not looking too far past that first match against Japan," he said.
The hockey competition will run from July 24 to August 6.
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