Tokyo 2020 Olympics Briefing: Australia’s Stars Leave It All Out On The Track

They were a long time coming, but in n way has Tokyo 2020 failed to live up to the hype of an Olympic Games. Perhaps now more than ever, as many of us find ourselves in an extended lockdown, the Games provide a welcome distraction from the minutiae of everyday life. With a simple flick of the channel, we can find ourselves absorbed in the sport of canoe slalom or gymnastics, surfing and skateboarding, watching the world’s top athletes give nothing but their all as they look to be victorious and stand atop that medal podium.

With all eyes now on our track and field stars, Australia’s athletes are proving that they are a forced to be reckoned with. Our top athletes have taken to their events with steely-eyed focus and determination, and while not everyone walks away with a gold medal, the way they have conducted themselves is reason alone for celebration. It’s there in our Aussie athletes that we see just what it means to be compassionate, kind and loyal sportspeople. Of course, there are still the upsets that make sport the engaging theatre of triumph and loss that it is. With that in mind, here’s a round-up of the key Olympic moments for female athletes from the last 24 hours at Tokyo 2020.

Jess Hull sets Aussie record in 1500m semi-final

The two Australian stars that are Jessica Hull and Linden Hall stunned in their semi-final 1500m, with both qualifying for the final after strong performances in both races. Hull set a new Oceania record in the first semi-final, running a time of 3:58.81. It was an incredibly gutsy performance, that saw her attack the lead and then perform a late surge in the race. Linden Hall also led through much of her 1500m and did incredibly well to finish within the top.

Genevieve Gregson suffers heartbreak in 3000m final

For anyone watching, it’s clear that the 3000m steeplechase is a gruelling event. Add to that the incredible heat and humidity athletes are having to face at Tokyo, and it becomes a test of survival. Australia’s Genevieve Gregson was doing incredibly well in her race only to experience devastating heartbreak. As finishers crossed the line and Gen couldn’t be seen, cameras showed her fall on the last water jump, landing in the water as she grabbed for her ankle. Taken off the track in a wheelchair, Gen and the medical team later confirmed she had ruptured her achilles tendon.

Melissa Wu qualifies for semi-final

The diving sensation that is Melissa Wu isn’t new to the Olympic Games, and has now qualified for her fourth Olympic women’s 10m platform semi-final, making it almost look easy. Against a competitive group of 30 strong contenders, Wu managed to secure her spot. She will now face 17 other divers for a spot in the finals and what could be her first Olympic medal.

Poppy Starr becomes first Aussie woman to ever compete in Skate Park event

With skating having just been introduced to the Olympics in 2020, audiences around the world watched as a class of young skateboarders took to the competition. Japan’s Sakura Yosozumi and Kokona Hiraki won gold and silver in the women’s park final, with Great Britain’s Sky Brown taking bronze. But all eyes were on Australian star Poppy Olsen, who became the first Aussie to make an Olympic skateboarding final, finishing fifth overall. 

Coming Up

Australia and Belgium will battle it out in the hockey final for gold. Australia last won in 2004, while Belgium has never won, but will be aiming to go one step better than their silver in Rio. The marathon 10km swimming event is underway today, along with day two of the women’s golf competition. The women’s beach volleyball semi-finals are on, while in athletics the main attraction include men’s triple jump and shot put final, men’s 110m hurdles final, women’s pole vault final, men’s 400m final, women’s 800m heats and men’s 1500m semi-finals.

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