Tall Thomas off to London Olympics
BUNDABERG professional volleyball player Thomas Edgar, 22, has the world firmly beneath the soles of his oversized UK 15 sneakers.
The former Bundaberg High School student will represent his country when he takes to the court with the Australian Volleyroos at the London Olympic Games.
The team booked plane tickets to London with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-20) thrashing of China in the final round of the Olympic qualification tournament on Sunday.
Edgar was the tournament's second top-scorer and earned the Volleyroos a solid 18 points in the final showdown against China.
Standing at a whopping 213cm tall, Edgar has proven to be a fierce attacking weapon for the Australian team and is literally head and shoulders above many of his opponents.
At full stretch and jumping, Edgar can be mighty hard to get past, with a spike reach of 3.5m.
He arrived back in Australia on Tuesday after competing in the fortnight-long Olympic qualifiers at Metropolitan Stadium in Tokyo.
Edgar said a dream would be realised when he competed with the Volleyroos at this year's London Olympic Games.
"It's a bit of a dream come true for me," he said.
"To achieve this at such a young age is absolutely unbelievable."
Edgar's damaging spikes and staunch defence has been in demand in Europe and he has added campaigns with Sweden's Linkoping Volleyball Club and Poland's Trefl Gdansk to his resume.
He has also played the past two seasons in Italy's Serie A Volleyball League.
Edgar plans to visit family and relax before he commits to two weeks of intensive training at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
He will then join the Volleyroos for a pre-Olympic tour, with matches against Russia, the United States and Poland.
Edgar said the odds would be stacked against the youthful Australian side at the Olympics.
"We're a young team, but there's plenty of enthusiasm, so hopefully we can show we've got what it takes out there," he said.
Edgar began playing volleyball at the age of eight and has been a member of the national volleyball squad since he was 18.
He follows in the footsteps of fellow Bundaberg High product - and his second cousin - Daniel Ronan and former North Bundaberg High student Steven Keir, who represented Australia in volleyball at the Sydney Olympics.