Kerri Pottharst and Natalie Cook won the bronze medal, behind two Brazilian combinations, at the inaugural appearance of beach volleyball at Atlanta 1996. In Atlanta, both the Brazilian teams had won the unofficial world championship at least once in the preceding years.
The Aussie girls switched partners after Atlanta before coming back together in 1999. At Sydney 2000, Pottharst and Cook had the support of a parochial, 10,000-strong home crowd at Bondi Beach. They defeated defending champion Sandra Pires and Atlanta silver medallist Adriana Samuel in the semifinal, 15-6.
The gold medal game wasn’t so easy against Adriana Behar and Shelda Bede. The Australians were behind at the start of each set. They clinched the first set 12-11 and then after trailing 8-10 they levelled at 10-10 in the second. An ace to Pottharst and then a missed shot by the Brazilians clinched the gold 12-10. In their 17 previous meetings the Australians had only won three times but they got the one that mattered. At her third Olympics Pottharst teamed with Nicole Sanderson for ninth.