Coming off back-to-back National Water Polo League titles in 2014 and 2015 with the UNSW West Magpies, Sydneysider and goalkeeper, Joel Dennerley, made his second Olympic appearance in Rio 2016 with a total of 19 saves for the green and gold 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.
Australia placed seventh after going down to Serbia in the quarter-finals at Dennerley’s maiden Games in 2012. Dennerley made 51 saves in just under 200 minutes of play in London.
Dennerley spent four years in the United States as the goalkeeper of the University of Southern California (USC) Trojans college water polo team, where he won four consecutive NCCA Championships (2008-2012). During this time he broke the college's record for all time most saves by a goalkeeper
Whilst playing college water polo in America, Dennerley completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Human Performance with a minor in Psychology at USC, and currently works as a business development manager at Coca-Cola Amatil.
Dennerley’s sister, Claire, plays European Handball for Australia and competed at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.