21/04/2024
Australian Olympic Team celebrating the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Village

Australian Olympic Team celebrating the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony in the Olympic Village. Credit: Australian Olympic Team/Twitter

The Australian Olympic Team is ready for Tokyo 2020. Having been through the Opening Ceremony, it's time for the competition to start.

Now that we’ve seen the Australian Olympic Team walk out at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the Opening Ceremony, it’s the last chance to cover all the things you need to know about all the Australian athletes competing. Find out about all the athletes competing for Australia, and follow The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.

The Team

With 487 athletes, the team for Tokyo 2020 is the largest overseas team ever for Australia, and the largest ever to go overseas. With a record 16 First Nations athletes competing in 11 sports, and 261 female athletes, this team is one of the most diverse Olympic teams Australia has ever had.

Australia will be competing in 33 sports, including all four new Olympic sports, being karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing, with 307 Olympic debutants as part of the team.

Rio 2016

At Rio 2016, Australia finished with 29 medals, ranked 10th for the Games. The eight gold medals were won across six sports (swimming had three), with eleven silver medals and ten bronze medals.

Australia will be hoping to win more medals at Tokyo 2020, with four of the individual gold medallists returning to attempt to defend their crown, and many more strong hopes aiming for their first.

Archery

Australia has four athletes competing in Archery at Tokyo 2020.

The trio of men have a combined four Olympic appearances in David Barnes (Athens 2004), Ryan Tyack (Rio 2016) and Taylor Worth  (London 2012, Rio 2016). Alice Ingly who was named the fourth member of the side, and only Aussie female to compete in the event, also competed at Rio 2016.

Both Tyack and Worth were a part of the bronze medal team at Rio 2016, and have been the only team to win a medal for Australia in the archery event.

Australia’s best chances of a medal will be when the three men compete in the team event, however, since Rio, Tyack has won four consecutive Australian Open titles and will be looking to claim his first individual medal.

Archery for both individual and team events begin on July 23 and will conclude on July 31.

Artistic Gymnastics

Australia had three gymnasts qualify in the men’s and women’s individual events at Tokyo 2020. Tyson Bull is the lone Australian male gymnast while Georgia Godwin and Emily Whitehead will compete in the women’s competition.

While all three Australians are able to compete in the individual all-around competition, it is possible they will choose to compete in fewer apparatuses in the attempt to reach the final.

If they were to do so Bull is likely to focus on the Horizontal Bar, by far his strongest apparatus finishing in 23rd at the World Championships in 2017, foregoing all other apparatuses.

Godwin is the most likely to chase the All-Around final, winning silver in the event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 13th at the 2017 World Championships.

Whitehead on the other hand will likely choose to focus on balance beam and vault, winning bronze on vault and finishing in fifth on beam at the Commonwealth Games.

Artistic Gymnastics will begin on July 24 with the Men’s qualification and on July 25 with the Women’s qualification.

Artistic Swimming

One team of eight females will take to the pool and compete in Artistic Swimming. 

Amie Thompson and Emily Rogers are the two females whose appearance at Tokyo will be their second Olympic appearance and will compete in both the Team and Duet events.

For Rayna Buckle (the late inclusion to replace the retired Hannah Cross), Hannah Burkhill, Kiera Gazzard, Alessandra Ho, Kirsten Kinash and Rachel Presser, it will be their first Olympic appearance, all of whom will compete in the Team event.

Australia has never medal-placed at the Olympics in artistic swimming, with the best team result of seventh at Beijing 2008. China and ROC are considered the top medal contenders.

Artistic swimming begins with the Free Routine Preliminary for the Duet on August 2, and finishes with the Free Routine for the Team on August 7.

Athletics

Athletics has one of the biggest contingents with 65 athletes going, including a last-minute addition in Ed Trippas. Steve Solomon and Dani Stevens are the co-captains of the Athletics team, in their third and fourth games respectively.

Stevens herself has overcome what was a potentially career-threatening injury 12 months ago and recovered to be ready to compete for the fourth time at the Olympics.

In one of the most promising Athletics teams for Australia in decades, Australian athletes are considered a strong chance to bring home a number of medals in our strongest historical sport.

Nina Kennedy is now ranked as one of the top 17 female pole vaulters of all time, and has been taking chunks off her personal best every time she competes. After winning the Australian Championships in April, she has added 86cm to her personal best and is a strong chance to continue that growth at Tokyo 2020 when the Pole Vault kicks off on 2 August.

High Jump is another event that Australia will be hoping to do well in Eleanor Patterson and Nicola McDermott in hot form. McDermott is the first woman in Oceania to jump over two metres, having done it twice in competition in 2021. As one of the top-ranked high jumpers in the world, she is a strong medal chance when the heats start on 5 August.

Race walking is another event with a strong medal chance, as Jemima Montag comes in with a Commonwealth Gold Medal, and Dane Bird-Smith won bronze at Rio 2016. Both will be considered favourites to continue the strong history Australia has in the event in years past, when Bird-Smith competes on 5 August and Montag competes on 6 August.

Stewart McSweyn is one of the bolters to the medal favourites. He has the fastest mile in the world in seven years, and the fastest 1500m in Australian history this year. He has run blazing times and comes in as one of the favourites for the 1500m, and would be Australia’s first distance medal in more than 40 years, and will start in the heats on 3 August.

There is also excitement at Rohan Browning, who is the third fastest Australia sprinter of all time, with a personal best of 10.03 in the 100m. He is a chance to make the final at Tokyo 2020 and usher in a new generation of sprinting for Australia, starting from 31 July.

Liz Clay has been undefeated this season in the 100m hurdles which starts on 31 July, and will hope to carry that strong form forward, and is an outside medal chance, carrying the legacy of Sally Pearson and the mantle of Australia’s best hurdler.

This Athletics team has a chance to be Australia’s most successful Olympic Athletic team, and will carry the hopes of a successful Olympics.

GoldNina Kennedy (Pole Vault)
SilverNicola McDermott (High Jump)
BronzeStewart McSweyn (1500m)
BronzeJemima Montag (20km Walk)
BronzeDane Bird-Smith (20km Walk)

Badminton

Australia will be sending a smaller badminton team to Tokyo than they have in the past with four athletes making their way to the 2020 Olympic Games. The team includes three debutants – Setyana Mapasa, Gronya Somerville and Simon Leung – and one former Olympian, Chen Hsuan-yu who competed at Rio 2016.

Hsuan-yu will compete in women’s singles whereas Mapasa and Somerville combine in the women’s doubles and Somerville and Leung will pair up for the mixed doubles draw.

Australia has never claimed a medal in badminton at the Olympic Games with China the main nation to finish on the podium.

Basketball

There is inescapable hype surrounding both the Boomers and Opals leading into Tokyo 2020 after both squads experienced the heartbreak of finishing outside the medal position five years ago.

The Boomers finished fourth in 2016, and have never won a medal at an Olympic Games. For the Opals, they will be hunting their sixth Olympic medal, determined to make Rio 2016 an anomaly in their rich history of success in international basketball.

The Boomers – who are without superstar Ben Simmons – boast a squad of youth and experience. They took to the Las Vegas court and posted three convincing wins in exhibition play. First, a Patty Mills game-winner got them over the line against an experienced Argentina. From there, they upset world number one Team USA, before wiping the floor with an also undefeated Nigeria.

The Opals had an interrupted lead-in to the Games with Liz Cambage withdrawing after spending training camp with the team. Their one exhibition game was a huge success, though. The side – now led by 21-year-old phenom Ezi Magbegor – took it right up to world number one Team USA, and right past them in the final quarter.

Both sides remaining undefeated leading into Tokyo 2020 has seen expectations soar.

For the Boomers, a group stage avoiding the powerhouse nations of the USA, Spain and France has been fortunate. Nigeria (July 25th), Italy (July 28th), and Germany (July 31st) await in the group stage. The Boomers must then do what they have never done before to medal.

In the Opals’ case, Belgium (July 27th), China (July 30th) and Puerto Rico (August 2nd) make for a difficult group-stage. They’re ranked second in the world by FIBA for a reason, and will chase their chance for a sixth Olympic medal, and first gold medal at Tokyo 2020.

SilverOpals (Women’s)
BronzeBoomers (Men’s)

Beach Volleyball

Australia will take both a male and female pair to Tokyo for beach volleyball.

Duos Christopher McHugh and Damien Schumann will both make their Olympic debuts, and Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy will compete in their second Games after representing Australia at Rio 2016.

Artacho del Solar and Clancy look to be the best medal contender of the two duo’s, with the females currently ranked fifth in the world.

They will be pushing for a semi-final finish at the very least after finishing silver medallists at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and bronze medallists at the 2019 World Championships and more recently, placing gold in the Mexico 4-star tournament earlier in May.

Beach volleyball begins competition on July 24 and will conclude on August 7 with the men’s medal matches.

Boxing

Boxing is split into 13 weight divisions (eight for males, five for females) in Tokyo. Each division starts with 32 boxers and ends with two who battle in the ring, head-to-head to achieve gold.

Australia has never produced an Olympic gold medallist, though has five medals in total. The nation’s most recent medallist was Graheme Cheney who won silver at Seoul 1988.

Australia has fighters competing in five weight classes with Flyweight Alex Winwood and Lightweight Harry Garside making their Olympic debuts in Tokyo. Former Olympic silver medallists Paulo Aokuso (Light Heavyweight) and Caitlin Parker (Middleweight) are in the team, as is former Olympic bronze medallist Skye Nicholson (Featherweight).

Boxing at Tokyo 2020 begins on July 24 and concludes on August 8. Nicholson is the first Australian in action, competing on the opening day. Parker, Garside and Aokuso enter the ring the following day while Winwood competes on July 24.

Canoe/Kayak Slalom

Australia has three athletes competing in Canoe Slalom at the Tokyo games.

One of Australia’s favourites, Jessica Fox will be looking to add gold to her impressive Olympic resume, having won silver at London 2012 where she was the youngest and bronze at Rio 2016.

Fox goes into Tokyo as one of Australia’s medal favourites in the Canoe Slalom not only is she a previous medalist in her past two Olympics but she’s also a seven-time world champion.

Rio Olympian Lucien Delfour will also be competing in Canoe Slalom. At Rio 2016, Delfour finished in 17th at Rio 2016 and looking for Olympic redemption.

The Last athlete competing in Canoe Slalom is Daniel Watkins who is an Olympic debutant and will be competing in C1 although is one of very few who has competed internationally in both C1 and K1.

The Canoe Slalom kicks off on the 25th of July and will run until the 30th of July, with the event being held at the Kasai slalom centre.

GoldJessica Fox (K1)
SilverJessica Fox (C1)

Canoe/Kayak Sprint

The flatwater events have been a long-term Olympic staple on the water, and will no doubt be entertaining viewing as always at Tokyo.

Australia has brought a 14 athlete strong squad to compete at the Sea Forest Waterway, seven in the women’s and seven in the men’s events.

Paddling power couple Alyce and Jordan Wood will be competing in their second Olympics each and together, while Murray Stewart is the team’s most senior member at his third Games. The team also includes an exciting seven debutants.

The Australian team will be competing across nine different events, Stewart, Jordan Wood and Catherine McArthur the Aussies competing in multiple events with two each.

Sprint events will run from August 2 to August 7. At his second Olympics, Lachlan Tame will be looking to add to his K-2 1000m bronze at Rio alongside teammates Stewart, Jean Van der Westhuyzen and Jordan Wood in the K-4 500m.

Cycling – BMX

Since its debut in Beijing, BMX has been a much-loved part of the Olympic Games.

Logan Martin will represent Australia in the newly added Freestyle discipline and will go into the games confident of a podium finish after taking out the Freestyle World Championship earlier this year.

As for the racing, Australia will have three competitors with Anthony Dean, Lauren Reynolds and Saya Sakakibara all wearing the green and gold, the latter on Olympic debut.

Natalya Diehm will fly the flag for Australia in the women’s freestyle event, but Martin remains our greatest medal chance.

If he wins gold, Martin will become the first Australian to do so in the history of BMX at the Olympics, with Sam Willoughby’s second-place finish in 2012 Australia’s best result to date.

The BMX racing events will take place on July 29 and 30, with the freestyle events to follow on July 31 and August 1.

SilverLogan Martin (Freestyle)

Cycling – Mountain Biking

The power couple of Australian mountain biking is back at the Olympics, with Daniel McConnell at his fourth, and his wife Rebecca at her third.

Both have previously medalled at the Commonwealth Games, but will be hard-pressed to upgrade that to an Olympic medal.

Rebecca carries in World Championship medals that stand her an outside chance to bring home Australia’s first medal in the event, when she competes on 27 July. Daniel will be far more a bolter if he manages to break through for a medal on 26 July.

Cycling – Road

Riding through the picturesque areas around Mt Fuji, the brutal road cycling course will require a climber and all-rounder to win the race. While Australia hasn’t medalled in the road cycling in a number of years, they have been befallen by bad luck while in strong positions at previous games, as Amanda Spratt knows.

The field will enter the women’s road race on 25 July as underdogs, with Tiffany Cromwell captaining an outfit which includes debutants Grace Brown and Sarah Gigante, The two favourites are both from the Dutch team, but with a strong, well-rounded team, if there is chaos at the finish, expect Australia to be amongst it.

The men’s road race on 24 July is truly unpredictable, with the result very much dependent on the tactics employed by the Australian trio of Richie Porte, Lucas Hamilton and Luke Durbridge. Despite a strong team of climbers, Australia probably lacks the power punch in a finish to find a medal.

The Time Trials on 31 July are a different story. Rohan Dennis is a former world champion and Olympic medallist on the track. After looking like a strong chance for a medal chance in Rio, a mechanical failure cost Dennis time and he finished fifth. Look for him to avenge that and be right in amongst the top times.

BronzeRohan Dennis (Time Trial)

Cycling – Track

While Track Cycling has been historically a successful sport for Australia, with the likes of Anna Meares famous for her achievements, it’s likely that the endurance groups will be more successful than the sprinters out of this team of 14 athletes.

While Matthew Glaetzer, Nathan Hart, Matt Richardson and Kaarle McCulloch will be a chance in the individual sprints, and the men in the team events, it’s likely that the team pursuits will be where Australia challenges Great Britain to take a gold medal and a likely world record.

The women’s team pursuit group, of Ashlee Ankudinoff, Georgia Baker, Maeve Plouffe and Alexandra Manly will be hoping to break a run of Great Britain’s gold medals and win one of their own.

The men’s team of Leigh Howard, Luke Plapp, Kelland O’Brien, Sam Welsford and Alexander Porter will be hoping to do the same. Both teams will start qualifying on 2 August and will be hoping to carry through a win.

The women’s madison is an event where the strong chemistry between the women will likely help to propel Australia into medal contention, and despite the unpredictability of the race, the strength in their legs will hold them in good stead on 6 August.

Annette Edmonson is always a strong chance in the challenge that is the women’s omnium on 8 August, to close out the Games.

SilverMen’s Team Pursuit
SilverWomen’s Team Pursuit
SilverWomen’s Madison

Diving

Australia has seven athletes competing in the diving events at Tokyo 2020.

Four-time Olympian Melissa Wu and debutant Nikita Hains will represent Australia in the 10 metre platform, while Anabelle Smith and Esther Qin will dive in the 3 metre springboard.

There are three debutants in the men’s, including Sam Fricker, Cassiel Rousseau (10 metre platform) and Shixin Li (3 metre springboard).

Australia has medalled at the last five Games. Of the current athletes, Smith won bronze in the synchronised 3 metre springboard in Rio and Wu won silver in the synchronised 10 metre platform in Beijing.

The diving begins on July 25, however, the first Australians will compete on July 30 in the women’s 3 metre springboard. Competition will conclude on August 7 with the men’s 10 metre platform final.

Despite suffering injury setbacks in the lead-up, Wu is the most experienced Australian diver in competition and Olympic village life and is a chance for a bronze medal.

BronzeMelissa Wu (10m Platform)

Equestrian

Equestrian has three different disciplines – dressage, eventing and jumping. Australia will be represented by eight athletes across each of the three events.

Australia has enjoyed success in equestrian over the years at the Olympic Games, winning 12 medals, including six gold medals, in its history.

Six-time Olympian Mary Hanna will lead the dressage team, along with debutants Simone Pearce and Kelly Layne. Eight-time Olympian Andrew Hoy competes in eventing with three-time Olympians Chris Burton and Shane Rose joining him for the team event.

Four-time Olympian Edwina Tops-Alexander and debutant Kate Laurie will compete as individuals in the jumping event at Tokyo 2020.

Team dressage qualifiers begin on July 24 and gold is awarded on July 27. Team eventing sessions take place from July 30 before the final on August 2. Also on August 2 is the jumping individual qualifiers with the medal event a day later.

Football

Australia was expected to struggle in the football at the Olympics and to make it out of the group stage in both men’s and women’s.

However, the Olyroos, whose squad is filled with debutants, stunned the football world with a 2-0 victory over Argentina on Thursday night.

The Matildas on the other hand, boast six debutants; Teagan Micah, Aivi Luik, Kyra Cooney-Cross, Hayley Raso, Emily Gielnik and Mary Fowler.

That didn’t hamper them as they made their way past New Zealand and their chances of advancing were boosted with Sweden’s stunning win over the USA.

The Olyroos will now take on Egypt and Spain in the remainder of their group games, while the Matildas have Sweden and the reigning world champions, the USA.

Golf

Golf is back again on the Olympic stage after returning at Rio 2016 from an 112-year absence.

Three debut Australians will be hitting the fairway in Marc Leishman, Cameron Smith and Hannah Green. Highly rated Minjee Lee returns for second Games after placing sixth at Rio.

Australia is still searching for its first ever podium finish in golf, Marcus Fraser coming the closest in 2016 after finishing fifth. Reigning women’s gold medalist, Korea’s Inbee Park, will be looking to make life hard for Lee out on the green, once again the favourite to win.

The first tee off will be on July 29, opening the men’s individual stroke play and finishing on August 1. The women’s will follow on August 4 through to August 7.

Australia is not expected to medal, but Lee will likely be our best chance.

Hockey

Two of Australia’s most consistent and successful teams, the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos, will be pushing once again for places on the podium in Tokyo.

The Kookaburras, currently number one in the International Hockey Federation rankings, will be looking for Olympic redemption. They are aiming to return to the Olympic dais again after a poor result of seventh in Rio 2016.

Australia has won one gold medal in Athens 2004, three silver in 1968, 1976, and 1992, and five bronze medals in 1964, 1996, 2000, 2008, and 2012.

This year’s team will be co-captained by Eddie Ockenden and Aran Zalewski, Ockenden competing in his fourth Olympics. It includes six former Olympians named in their second Games and 11 debutants.

Australia is in Pool A of the Men’s competition and will play Argentina, India, Spain, New Zealand and Japan.

The Kookaburras first match is against Japan on July 24 and, should they qualify, the medal matches are on August 5.

The Hockeyroos are also aiming for a medal finish. The team has previously won Gold in 1988, 1996 and 2000, but have been quieter since the early 2000s.

Back on track since 2018, where they took Gold at the Commonwealth Games and Silver in the World Cup and World League, the Hockeyroos are aiming to return to the podium.

Australia has a good mix of experience to go with a number of debutants, such as Georgia Wilson, Madison Fitzpatrick and Greta Hayes, who were all added to the team following a rule change by the IOC.

It’ll be a challenge for the women, who are currently ranked fourth in the world.

The first job is for the Hockeyroos to make it through the pool stage, where they face Argentina, New Zealand, Spain, China and Japan in Pool B.

The Hockeyroos first match is on July 25, they’ll face Spain. The women’s medal matches will be contested on August 6.

GoldKookaburras (Men’s)
BronzeHockeyroos (Women’s)

Judo

Australia has sent a team to compete in judo each Olympiad since 1964 though Tokyo 2020 will be the nation’s smallest contingent of athletes in the sport. Just three competitors will be making their way to Tokyo to represent Australia – Katharina Haecker (Women’s -63kg) and Nathan Katz (Men’s -66kg) each in their second Games after Rio 2016 and debutant Aoife Coughlan (Women’s -70kg).

The trio will be hoping to add to Australia’s two Olympic judo medals. In Australia’s debut appearance in judo at the Olympics, Ted Boronovskis won a bronze and at Sydney 2000 Maria Pekli too won bronze.

Coughlan is perhaps Australia’s best chance for a podium finish, most recently claiming bronze at the 2021 Bishkek Asian Judo Championships.

Judo gets underway from July 24 and concludes on July 31. Katz performs on July 25 while Haecker and Coughlan fight on July 27 and 28, respectively.

Karate

Tokyo 2020 marks the debut of karate at the Olympic Games and Australia will just be taking one competitor as part of its team this year, Tsuneari Yahiro, who will be competing in the 75kg weight class.

Yahiro, apart from an injury in 2006, is undefeated at the Australian Championships since 2001, is a four-time Oceania Championships winner and has claimed a gold and two bronze medals on the World Circuit.

Karate at the Olympic Games will commence on August 5 and finishes up two days later on August 7. The 75kg division in which Yahiro will compete takes place on August 6 with pool bouts, semi-finals and the gold medal fight.

Marathon Swimming

The marathon swimming is one of the most exhausting events in the Olympics. With the high heat of Tokyo expected to play a part in stamina and endurance for the athletes, how Kareena Lee and Kai Edwards handle the hot water will be key.

Lee has finished close at the World Championships, with a seventh place in 2019, just 3.3 seconds off the pace, and is an outside chance at a medal in the women’s race on 4 August.

Edwards will compete in the men’s event on 5 August after finishing fifth at the final qualifier, showing his strong form.

Modern Pentathlon

After a surprise gold at Rio 2016, Chloe Esposito is not back to defend her gold, as she takes time off with pregnancy. Marina Carrier will take her place, and at age 23, will hope to follow in Esposito’s footsteps and bring home gold. Her event will start on 5 August, and will finish with the non-fencing event on 6 August.

On the men’s side, Ed Fernon is competing at his second Olympics. After taking time off to compete in non-Olympic athletic feats, he has returned and is in career-best form, after an extended training block since his return to the sport in September 2019. Fernon’s event will commence on 5 August, and will conclude on 7 August.

Rhythmic Gymnastics

The six gymnasts in the Rhythmic Gymnastics is the largest team Australia has ever sent in the final gymnastics discipline of Tokyo 2020.

Australia has had a constant presence in the individual event since Sydney 2000. Lidiia Iakovleva will compete with the goal in mind to be the first Australian to reach the final.

The individual event consists of four apparatuses, ball, ribbon, clubs and hoop with each routine going for 90 seconds. To win gold a gymnast must have the best combined score as medals are not awarded for each apparatus.

At Tokyo 2020 Australia has its first team competing in the group event, one of 14 teams, the Australians qualified at the Oceania Continental Championships.

Each group is made up of five gymnasts who complete two group routines, one with ribbons and the second with three clubs and two hoops.

The Rhythmic Gymnastics will commence on August 6 with the Individual All-Around qualification and the following day the Group All-Around will kick off.

Rowing

Australia has won 10 gold, 13 silver and 14 bronze medals in rowing. It’s a rich history in the water, dating back to 1928 and Henry ‘Bobby’ Pearce in the Men’s Single Sculls.

At the most recent Olympics in Rio, Kim Brennan became the first Australian woman in 20 years to win an Olympic rowing gold medal when she won the Women’s Single Sculls.

The Men’s Quadruple Sculls and Men’s Coxless Four also stepped up on the podium in 2016, taking home silver medals.

For Tokyo, Australia has selected 38 athletes to compete across nine boats, including 29 debutants, eight rowers at their second Olympics and Joshua Booth (Men’s Four) at his third.

Booth, Alexander Hill (both Men’s Four) and Cameron Girdlestone (Men’s Quad) are aiming for Gold to add to their collections after claiming silver in Rio.

Ahead of Tokyo, Australia has been performing well and finished in the top four of two-thirds of the qualifying events.

The Women’s Coxless Fours, featuring Jessica Morrison, Annabelle McIntyre, Rosemary Popa and Lucy Stefan, are a strong chance for Gold.

Also in line for a medal is the Women’s Eights squad. The team includes three returning Rio 2016 Olympians Olympia Aldersey, Molly Goodman and Genevieve Horton, along with debutants Sarah Hawe, Bronwyn Cox, Giorgia Patten, Georgina Rowe and Katrina Werry. James Rook will direct the boat as cox.

GoldCoxless Fours (Women’s)
SilverEights (Women’s)

Rugby Sevens

Debuting at Rio 2016, rugby sevens makes a return in Tokyo with men’s and women’s competitions. A shorter format to the conventional rugby, rugby sevens is a more condensed game time-wise but still produces high scores.

Australia’s men’s rugby sevens side progressed to the quarter-finals in Rio but failed to advance any further, suffering a 22-5 loss against eventual bronze medallists South Africa.

On the men’s side of the draw, Australia has been placed in Group A alongside New Zealand, Argentina and South Korea. Only two of the side’s 12 athletes competed in 2016, including captain Nick Malouf.

Debutant Maurice Longbottom is Australia’s best chance of scoring in Tokyo, second among Australians in the World Rugby Rankings for 2020, although leads the Aussie contingent embarking on these Games.

The men’s competition commences on July 26 with the pool rounds that continues into the next day. The quarterfinals begin at the end of the July 27 date while the following day sees the semi-final and final played.

At the sport’s debut five years ago, Australia’s women’s rugby sevens team won against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand with a scoreline of 24-17.

For the women, Australia has been put in Group C and will compete against China, the United States and Japan. Five of Australia’s 12-member team participated in the event at the last Olympics.

Two important members of the women’s squad are Charlotte Caslick and Emma Tonegato, each scoring seven tries in Rio, an equal second-most for the tournament. Co-captain Sharni Williams will also be important, currently sixth in points scored in the World Rugby rankings.

The women’s rugby sevens competition begins on July 29 with the pool round, continuing into the next day. Also on July 30, the quarterfinals will be played with a semi-final and final concluding on July 31.

BronzeWomen’s Sevens

Sailing

Australia has had plenty of success on the seas across the past five Olympic Games, collecting nine gold medals, three of which have come from the men’s 470 race.

In Rio, Tom Burton won Gold in the Laser, and Australia finished with three silver medals in the Men’s 470, Men’s 49er and Mixed Nacra 17 events.

At Tokyo 2020, the sailing team features seven debutants and six returning athletes, including four medallists.

Duo Nia Jerwood and Monique de Vries will debut in the Women’s 470 class. Another first-time Olympian Tess Lloyd will compete in the 49er FX with Jamie Ryan, who switched from the 470.

Victorian brothers Sam and William Phillips will debut in the 49er class, after a career-best finish of fifth in the 2020 World Championships.

Mara Stransky will compete in the Laser Radial class. The youngest member of the sailing team, she finished 18th in the World Championships in February and will be well-supported by a fairly experienced and successful team.

The final debutant, Matt Wearn, is a five-time World Championship medallist in the Laser Class and will be aiming to maintain this form coming into Tokyo. He is a favourite for Gold.

Of the returning Olympians, Jake Lilley will be racing at his second Olympic Games, after finishing eighth in Rio in the Finn Class.

Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse will be looking to go one better in the Nacra 17 class in Tokyo, chasing Olympic Gold after narrowly being beaten by Argentina in 2016.

Going for Gold in the Men’s 470 class will be Mathew Belcher and Will Ryan, after silver in the Men’s 470 at Rio 2016.

Belcher has an Olympic Gold medal with previous partner Malcolm Page at the London Games in 2012.

Since the partnership was formed, Belcher and Ryan have dominated the World Championships, taking five titles in the last seven years.

Australia will be looking to go better than its one Gold in Rio, and add two to the tally in Tokyo in the Men’s 470 and Laser Class.

GoldMen’s 470
GoldMen’s Laser
BronzeNacra 17

Shooting

A sport that’s split into three different disciplines based on the type of gun used, the events of rifle, pistol and shotgun will be on show in Tokyo.

Australia will be sending 15 athletes to represent the country in shooting, competing across 12 different events. Australia’s shooting team includes seven debutants and five-time Olympian Daniel Repacholi.

Australia’s shooting debutants include Alex Hoberg, Elise Colier, Katarina Kowplos, Laura Coles, Penny Smith, Sergei Evglevski and Thomas Grice. Dane Sampson (2012, 2016), Dina Aspandiyarova (2008, 2012), Elena Galiabovitch (2016), Jack Rossiter (2016) James Willett (2016), Leatisha Scanlan (2016) and Paul Adams (2016) have Olympic experience.

Aspandiyarova has competed for Australia since Beijing 2008, but represented Kazakhstan at Sydney 2000.

Men’s trap participant Willett has a chance at medalling for Australia, as does Scanlan in the women’s trap event, each winning gold at the 2019 World Championships.

Shooting begins on July 24 and finishes on August 2 with finals for medals occurring every day of the sport’s competition.

GoldTrap (Team)

Skateboarding

Joining the Olympics for the first time, 80 skaters will compete in both the park and street events across the men’s and women’s divisions.

Australia boasts a five athlete strong team. Kieran Woolley, Keegan Palmer and Poppy Olsen will contest the park event, while Hayley Wilson and veteran Shane O’Neill hit the street.

While none have had the chance to win Olympic medals yet, all our skaters come to Tokyo with strong resumes. Olsen won bronze at the 2017 X Games at just 17, while O’Neill has won gold and silver at both the X Games and the World Skateboarding Championship.

The street events commence on July 25 with the men’s division, while the women’s follow the next day. The women’s park is on August 4, and the men’s park concludes the events on August 5.

Every discipline contains strong contenders from the home nation, Brazil and the USA. Olsen will be battling Japan’s Misugu Okamoto and Sakura Yosozumi, as well as Great Britain’s Sky Brown, but will be our best chance of getting on the podium.

BronzePoppy Olsen (Park)

Softball

Australia’s national women’s softball team, nicknamed the Aussie Spirit have medalled at each Olympics softball has featured at, between 1996 and 2008. Their best result is a silver medal in 2004 and won bronze in 1996, 2000 and 2008, though this year’s Games in Tokyo is a chance to win the team’s maiden Olympic gold medal.

The Spirit have had a mixed bag of results at this year’s Olympic Games so far. In the opening game of the tournament, the Spirit went down to host nation Japan 8-1 in a mercy result after five innings but evened their record with a tight 1-0 win over Italy the day after.

After a rest day on July 23 and a move from Fukushima to Yokohama, Australia has three more games left in softball’s round-robin group stage format from July 24 against Canada, the United States and Mexico. The format has been adjusted for the six-team competition, with wins crucial as the top two teams in the standings play for gold whereas the third and fourth-placed nations compete for bronze with both games scheduled for July 27.

The only member of the Spirit with Olympic experience is captain Stacey Porter, appearing at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games and with being the world’s most-capped softballer, Porter will be leading the charge.

Porter has been playing professionally in Japan for 14 years and has the knowledge that could propel Australia in the country she spends time in. First-choice pitcher Kaia Parnaby and relief pitcher Ellen Roberts each play in the Japanese Softball League too.

Sports Climbing

Australia has two athletes representing the country in sports climbing. Them being Tom O’Halloran and Oceana Mackenzie, both qualifying at the 2020 IFSC Oceania Championships that were held late last year.

The pair are Olympic debutants and will make history as the first two athletes to represent Australia in Sports Climbing. While it is a new event, world rankings suggest that it’s unlikely that Australia will bring home a medal from Sports Climbing.

Sports climbing kicks off on August the 3rd and will run until August 6th.

August 3rd (Men’s) and August 4th (Women’s) will see the qualifying in all three disciplines and  August 5th( Men’s) and August 6th (Women’s) will see the finals for Sports Climbing.

Surfing

Australia has four athletes representing the country in Surfing and will make history as the first four athletes to represent Australia in surfing and the sport joins the Olympics at Tokyo 2020.

Sally Fitzgibbon and Stephanie Gilmore will pull on the green and gold in the women’s division and Julian Wilson and Owen Wright will do the same in the men’s.

When it comes to medal favourites it’s hard to go past Fitzgibbon and Gilmore. 

Fitzgibbon is a three-time gold medalist at the World Surfing Games (WSG) and is the favourite to take out gold at Tokyo. 

Gilmore is a seven-time WSL world champion which she claimed from 2007-2018. Gilmore brings a wealth of experience to the Surfing team and along with Fitzgibbon will be one that many Aussies are watching in hopes she takes home a medal. 

Surfing will kick off on the 25th of July running until July 28th -August 1st depending on weather conditions.

SilverSally Fitzgibbon
BronzeStephanie Gilmore

Swimming

After underwhelming results at Rio and London, Australia will be aiming to return to its success of the early 2000s in the pool. 

The Dolphins won three gold medals in Rio, including the 100m freestyle (Kyle Chalmers), 400m freestyle (Mack Horton) and women’s 4x100m freestyle relay. A total of 10 medals, including four Silver and three Bronze, was a disappointing meet for Australia. 

It’s been a long five years, however, during trials in Adelaide the team put the world on notice as new Records were set and rising stars emerged. 

Queens of the Australian swimming team Ariarne Titmus and Kaylee McKeown will be the ones to watch in Tokyo. 

At the Olympic trials in Adelaide, Titmus set three Australian Records (200m, 400m and 800m freestyle) and was just 0.44 seconds short of Katie Ledecky’s Rio 2016 400m record time. 

The competition between decorated United States’ swimmer Ledecky and Aussie Titmus will grip all swimming fans on July 26, as the in-form Titmus aims to take Ledecky’s crown. 

McKeown is the newest star in the Dolphins team. She set a new World Record in the 100m backstroke, a world-leading time in the 200m individual medley and a Commonwealth record in the 200m backstroke in trials and she’ll be a good shot at Gold in all three in Tokyo. 

There are more opportunities for Australians to be crowned, with flag bearer Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon in the pool for the 100m and 50m freestyle. The finals will be swum on July 30 and August 1, respectively. 

Both will also feature in Australia’s women’s 4x100m freestyle relay, which will be the heavy favourites to win Gold in Tokyo after their triumph at Rio 2016. This race will be on July 25. 

Five years on from his incredible debut performance, Kyle Chalmers returns to defend his 100m freestyle title on July 29. Some injury concerns in the last 18 months have challenged Chalmers, but he is fit, healthy and on track for a podium finish. 

Zac Stubblety-Cook is a medal chance in the 200m breaststroke, fresh off of an Australian Record swim at the Olympic trials. 

The men’s 4x100m medley relay will be an opportunity for Chalmers to combine with the likes of Mitch Larkin, Matt Temple and Matt Wilson for a medal. 

Also of interest will be the mixed 4x100m medley relay, a new event at Tokyo 2020. With only two males and two females selected in the team, choosing the right swimmer for each discipline is imperative. 

There will be some debate among Australian coaches as to who features and it will be largely influenced by performances in the early days of competition. However, we expect Chalmers and McKeon to feature, along with either Larkin or McKeown for backstroke and Wilson or Chelsea Hodges in the breaststroke.

The heat for this event will be swum on July 29 and the final on July 30.

GoldMatt Wilson (100m breaststroke)
GoldAriarne Titmus (200m freestyle)
GoldKaylee McKeown (100m backstroke)
GoldKaylee McKeown (200m backstroke)
Gold4x100m Women’s Freestyle Relay
Gold4x100m Women’s Medley Relay
SilverElijah Winnington (400m freestyle)
SilverZac Stubblety-Cook (200m breaststroke)
SilverAriarne Titmus (400m freestyle)
Silver4x100m Mixed Medley Relay
BronzeKyle Chalmers (50m freestyle)
BronzeBrendon Smith (400m individual medley)
BronzeAriarne Titmus (800m freestyle)
Bronze4x100m Men’s Medley Relay
Bronze4x200m Women’s Freestyle Relay

Table Tennis

Since its debut in 1988, China has dominated the medal tallies in table tennis.

Its lowest medal count was in that year, where it took home five medals from the table tennis events.

Australia has struggled in the event in the past, but could debutant Michelle Bromley help do some damage in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games?

2020 is also the first time table tennis has a mixed doubles event.

The singles events and the mixed doubles kick off on July 24. The mixed doubles finals will be on July 26. The women’s singles finals will be on July 29, and the men’s singles finals on July 30.

The teams events will kick off on August 1, with the women’s team event finishing on August 5, and the men’s team event on August 6

Taekwondo

Tokyo will play host to eight taekwondo events across three days of competition.

Though they will have their work cut out for them, Safwan Khalil, Stacey Hymer, Jack Marton and Reba Stewart will have the nation behind them and if there’s one thing we know, it’s that Aussies love an underdog.

In 2000, Lauren Burns, widely regarded as Australia’s best ever taekwondo export, won gold in front of the home crowd. 

Daniel Trenton also medalled for the Aussies that year, claiming silver in the heavyweight division, but since then, success for Australia in taekwondo has been sparse. 

With any luck, one of Australia’s four entrants in Tokyo will be able to break a medal drought spanning two decades, though the odds are stacked against them. 

Taekwondo will be taking place from July 24 through to July 27 at the Makuhari Messe Event Hall in Tokyo.

Tennis

Olympic Tennis has been a mainstay of the Summer Games since 1988, regardless of age and status. There are five gold medals up for grabs, with 64 entries for the first rounds of the men’s and women’s singles draw. The men’s, women’s and mixed doubles will begin with a round of 32.

Men’s doubles pairing Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde at Atlanta 1996 hold Australia’s only gold medal in tennis.

The 10-strong contingent of Aussies were dealt a blow with the withdrawals of Nick Kyrgios (personal) and Alex De Minaur (Covid-19). Nonetheless, any team including world number one Ash Barty will be must-watch and serious medal contenders.

Barty will make her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 fresh off her triumph at Wimbledon, with a testing draw leading her on a crash course with hometown hero Naomi Osaka in the final. She has been in the best form of her career, and question marks remain about Osaka’s lead-in to Tokyo 2020, with the responsibility of delivering a gold medal on home soil a daunting task.

Barty will also pair with good friend Storm Sanders in the women’s doubles. The duo haven’t played together before, but Barty is very successful in the format with 11 WTA Tour doubles titles. Sanders is currently at her career-highest world singles ranking of 134th.

SilverAsh Barty (Women’s Singles)
BronzeAsh Barty / Storm Sanders (Women’s Doubles)

Trampoline

Gymnastics’ newest Olympic discipline returns again for Tokyo, with both men’s and women’s medals up for grabs. 

The gymnastics events have been typically quite lean events for Australia historically, but it did win silver in trampoline’s debut Olympics at Sydney 2000. Ji Wallace bought home Australia’s first and only gymnastics medal at home.

There will be two Australians competing in the event, 24-year-old Dominic Clarke and 20-year-old Jessica Pickering both making their Olympic debuts.

Event days for the trampoline are July 30 for the women’s event and August 1 for the men’s event.

China’s Gao Lei and Liu Lingling comes in as favourite in the men’s and women’s respectively. After winning bronze at Rio 2016, Lei will be aiming to take the top placement on the podium. Unfortunately for the Aussies, the Chinese team looks near impossible to beat.

Triathlon

While Australia did not win a medal in Triathlon at Rio 2016, they remain a strong chance based on World Cup form. Aaron Royle is Australia’s likely hope in the men’s race on 26 July, while Matthew Hauser and Jake Birtwhistle are dark horses. 

Ashleigh Gentle, Emma Jeffcoat and Jaz Hedgeland will compete in the women’s event on 27 July, with all three strong across all three legs. 

The mixed relay will be the race Australia are targeting, after winning gold at the 2019 World Championships. In what is an exciting format, the Australians will be hoping that a strong start from one of their male athletes will carry them through to a gold medal on 31 July.

GoldMixed Team Relay

Water Polo

One of the oldest sports at the Olympics having debuted back in 1900, water polo will have both a men’s and women’s set of medals up for grabs in Tokyo.

The Sharks’ best finish in history was in 1992 where they finished fifth, while the Stingers’ won the inaugural gold medal in 2000 in Sydney and have won bronze in both 2008 and 2012.

Only two players remain with the side which claimed Australia’s last medal; Rowena Webster and Bronwen Knox.

The Stingers are currently ranked fifth in the world so would be Australia’s best chance at claiming a medal.

The Sharks also feature six debutants; Blake Edwards, Lachlan Edwards, Andrew Ford, Anthony Hrystanthos, Nathan Power and Timothy Putt.

Water Polo commences at the Tatsumi Water Polo Centre from July 24. The quarter-finals start on August 3, before the semi-finals begin on August 5. The women’s medal games will take place on August 7 while the men’s medal games are a day later on August 8.

Weightlifting

Australia has a five member weightlifting team in Tokyo, the largest since the 2000 Sydeny Games.

All five athletes are debutants, with Matthew Lydement (109kg+) and Brandon Wakeling (73kg) making up the males and Erika Yamasaki (59kg), Kiana Elliott (64kg) and Charisma Amoe-Tarrant (87kg+) the three female athletes.

Australia has won one Olympic gold medal in 1984 with super-heavyweight Dean Lukin. Robert Kabbas is our only silver medallist from that same year. Vern Barberis was the first Australian to win a medal in weightlifting with a bronze at the 1952 Helsinki games. Stefan Botev won our last Olympic weightlifting medal with a bronze at Atlanta 1996.

Weightlifting will begin on July 24 with the Women’s 49kg and conclude on August 4 with the Men’s 109kg+.

The weightlifting will be dominated in both the men’s and women’s weight classes by China, with Australia unlikely to win any medals.

Predicted Medal Tally

Gold15 Medals
Silver12 Medals
Bronze16 Medals
Total43 Medals

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