Anna Flanagan shoots to score.The only thing capable of trumping Anna Flanagan’s spectacular first Olympic Games goal was the moment she almost cried when she met tennis ace Roger Federer in London.
The Hockeyroos defender is making the most of her debut Olympics on and off the field.
She scored a superb goal in the Hockeyroos’ 3-1 victory over Germany this morning, as the team got its campaign back on track.
But equaling the excitement was the chance to pose for a photo with Federer and basketball star Kobe Bryant in the athletes’ village.
The 20-year-old Canberran has immersed herself in the Olympic life.
It took its toll before the Hockeyroos tournament opener against New Zealand when Flanagan couldn’t overcome her nerves.
But with photos of some of her idols and her first goal under her belt, Flanagan is ready to rocket from Olympic rookie to Hockeyroos linchpin.
“It felt amazing to get that goal, the nerves before our first game were pretty insane so it’s good to get that out of the way,” Flanagan said.
“If you see my celebration [after the goal], it just all came out with screaming … I just hug whoever is closest to me.
“That other stuff is just a sideshow, I’ve got the focus and we showed it today and we put all of our hard work out there.
“But I almost started crying when I saw Federer, he’s the one person I wanted to meet, I never thought it would happen.”
They Hockeyroos suffered a massive upset when they were stunned by New Zealand in the opening round.
It was largely to do with their nerves as they failed to take chances and relax on the Olympic stage.
When they fell behind against Germany, the tournament could have started on a downward spiral.
But Flanagan helped steady the ship and her goal in second half stole the lead back for the Hockeyroos.
Her flick from the penalty corner rocketed into the top of the net and Flanagan couldn’t control her excitement, jumping up and down and screaming.
Her parents Fred and Judy were in the crowd and just as excited.
Flanagan hopes her first goal will open the floodgates with the Hockeyroos in a competitive group.
The young side still hopes it can push for a medal and coach Adam Commens said Flanagan was a crucial cog in his team.
“I’m very happy for Anna, she’s an outstanding prospect,” Commens said.
“She has improved immensely over the last 18 months. Nerves are normal in your first Olympic match … if you’re playing in a key defensive position even more so.
“That goal [against Germany] will go a long way to calming her and allowing her to show what she’s really capable of.”
The Hockeyroos will play the United States Thursday night Australian time, in their third match of the tournament.
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