Greatest Australian Athletes

Top 10 Greatest Australian Athletes Of All Time

10. Mark Ella

Greatest Australian Athletes
#10 Australia’s Finest Athletes of all time

Mark Ella was asked by rookie half-back Nick Farr-Jones before the 1984 Grand Slam tour, “Where do you want me to pass the ball?”. The mercurial one replied, “Just throw it, I’ll catch it”. That typified Ella, the most instinctive and intuitive footballer of any code I have ever seen. So instinctive he sometimes couldn’t even remember what he did after the game, it was so natural. He played only 25 Tests, and retired at 25, a huge loss to the 15-man code when he was at his peak. There’s never been anyone since who could remotely match him.

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9. Peter Thomson

Greatest Australian Athletes
#9Australia’s Finest Athletes of all time

Peter Thomson either won, or finished second, in seven successive British Opens – no golfer has come anywhere near that record. Thomson won in 1954, 1955, 1956, and 1958, and came second to Bobby Locke in 1952, to Ben Hogan in 1953, and Locke again in 1957. Thomson won his fifth British Open in 1965 among his 82 tournament victories worldwide. He has kept in close contact with his sport as a world-class golf course designer, and until recently as a television commentator.

8. Betty Cuthbert

Greatest Australian Athletes
#8 Australia’s Finest Athletes of all time

Betty Cuthbert at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Who could ever forget the “Golden Girl” with hair flowing, powering her way to three gold medals in the 100, 200, and anchoring the 4×100 relay. And eight years later winning a fourth gold at Tokyo in 1964 in the 400, an inaugural event at those Games. During the course of her wonderful career she set world records for the 100, 200, and 400 metres, as well as the 100, 220, and 440 yards.

7. Ken Rosewall

Greatest Australian Athletes
#7 Australia’s Finest Athletes of all time

Ken Rosewall is without peer in the history of tennis for his longevity. He won his first Australian singles title in 1953, his fourth in 1972, 19 years apart. Won his first French in 1953, his second in 1968, 15 years apart, and his first US in 1956, his second in 1970, 14 years apart. Rosewall never won Wimbledon but reached four finals between 1954 and 1974, 20 years apart. Like Laver, Rosewall missed 44 Slam tournaments during his early pro career. It would be reasonable to suggest he would have won at least 15 of them to take his Slam singles title to 23. That’s realistic.

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  • Horatio1313

    It is really drawing a long bow to place Ken Rosewall above both Laver and Margaret Court. In fact to even include him in the list does an injustice to at least half-a-dozen or so swimmers who would make a list of the top 20. There are so many other sports, let alone sports stars, which/whom would go close to making this list. The first choice in this list is the only one which is non-negotiable!

  • Georgia Partridge

    The most successful Australia athlete is not even on this list! How can you be so stupid two words DAVID FOSTER