Tokyo 2020: Australian Recap – Thursday July 29

Maddison Levi brushes off her Japanese opponent in their Rugby 7s clash. Image: Australian Rugby 7s Team/Twitter

After an incredible day 5, Australia added a further two gold medals to their growing tally on day 6. While the water was again the scene of glory, a number of athletes took a huge step forward in a variety of sports. Keep up to date with all the happenings at Tokyo 2020 through The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and Olympic Central.

Flying Fox glides across the water to claim gold

With a flawless performance, Jessica Fox paddled her way to Olympic gold in the Women’s C1 Canoe Slalom.

After winning her semi-final by 2.64 seconds from Czech Republic’s Tereza Fiserova, the Australian powered on in the final to finish clear of her nearest rival by 3.64 seconds.

It is a run made all the more impressive by the fact that Fox did not concede a single penalty throughout the finals.

Victory was a family affair for the Fox’s. Father Richard commentated from Channel 7 studios, while sister/training partner Noemie and mother/coach Myriam watched on from the side lines.

The gold medal will take pride of place in the family trophy room, alongside Myriam’s Olympic bronze from 1996 and Jessica’s K1 Canoe Slalom bronze, also from this year’s games.

Sevens heaven for women’s rugby team

Domination was the order of the day for the Australian women’s sevens rugby team in their first two pool matches.

The reigning Olympic champions opened their Tokyo 2020 campaign with a 48-0 thrashing of host nation, Japan. Stamping her authority on the match was Emma Tonegato with a classy hattrick.

Australia followed up the emphatic win with a solid 26-10 victory over China.

Highlight of the day was provided by 21 year old Faith Nathan.

In the opening minute of the second half against China, Nathan ran the length of the field to score beneath the uprights.

The try was an important one in the context of the match, as it gave her side a 13 point advantage.

Australia will next face the USA at 11:30am on Friday July 30.

Hockeyroos Chalk(er) up win in Trans-Tasman clash

A third quarter goal to Australia’s Emily Chalker was enough to secure victory over New Zealand in their women’s Pool B encounter.

With a head full of steam, the Hockeyroos will be looking to make it five wins in a row against Argentina at 12:45pm on Saturday July 31.

For a full match recap, click here.

Ups and Downs for BMX Riders

Lauren Reynolds and Saya Sakakibara qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s BMX racing with strong performances throughout the quarter final heats, finishing with 9 and 11 points respectively.

Advancing is incredibly touching for Sakakibara, whose brother Kai also qualified for the games but was left with a permanent brain injury after an accident.

Fellow Australian Anthony Dean was not so lucky in the men’s event.

In the first heat, Dean came off his bike in the straight following the first turn to finish fifth.

His horror start continued into the following heats, where he finished fifth and sixth respectively.

Worth targeting medal run

Taylor Worth secured a place in the final 16 of the men’s individual archery event.

After cruising past Indonesia’s Alviyanto Prastyardi 6-0 in the first match of the day, the 30 year old from Bussleton caused a major upset by defeating seventh seed Wei Shaoxuan of China 6-4.

The close five set contest, of which two were drawn, came down to the final arrow of the match.

Needing a score of six or more, Worth hit a 9 to take the fifth set 27-23 to advance in the tournament.

He will next compete on Saturday August 1 at 11:22am against Turkey’s Mete Gazoz.

Fellow Australian Alice Ingley was defeated 7-1 by the Russian Olympic Committee’s Ksenia Perova in the round of 64.

The afternoon session saw David Barnes (round of 64) and Ryan Tyack (round of 32) also bow out of the men’s competition.

Another Golden Day in the Pool

Continuing the great standard set by Ariarne Titmus on day 6, Izaac Stubblety-Cook took home gold in the 200m breaststroke, while Kyle Chalmers claimed silver in the 100m freestyle.

In the team events, the women’s 4x200m freestyle relay team won bronze.

For a full recap of the day’s swimming, click here.

Heartbreak for shooters

Australian duo Penny Smith and Laetisha Scanlan were defeated in the final of the women’s trap shooting, where Slovakia’s Zuzana Rehák-Štefečeková set an Olympic record (43 out of 50 targets) on her way to gold.

Smith was the first shooter eliminated, while Scanlan had to settle for fourth place despite leading the field of six in the early stages of the final.

Athletics to proceed despite COVID scare

The Australian track and field team have been cleared to compete following the confirmation of COVID 19 cases among athletics competitors in Tokyo.

Positive tests for pole vaulters Sam Kendricks (USA) and German Chiaraviglio (Argentina) resulted in a precautionary quarantine order for 54 members of the Australian team.

Upon notice, three Australian athletes self-reported of their close contact with those confirmed, but returned negative results from testing.

At present, Australian pole vaulters Nina Kennedy and Kurtis Marschall are being quarantined outside of the Olympic village.

Barty and Peers roll on to mixed doubles semi

Mixed doubles duo Ash Barty and John Peers booked a place in the semi finals with a thrilling tie break defeat of Greece’s Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Taking advantage of the strong service game of Peers, the Australians claimed the first set 6-4. Not to be outdone, Greece fired back to win the second 4-6 behind numerous power slams.

Coming down to a tie breaker, Barty and Peers took their game to a new level. Their crafty play close to the net proved to be the difference in the third set.

The pair will now meet the Russian Olympic Committee’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Andrey Rublev on Friday July 30.

It will be the first time a mixed doubles pairing has reached the semi final stage in Australian Olympic history.

Sharks bitten in water polo

Despite outscoring their Serbian counterparts 7-3 in the second half, a spirited Australian men’s water polo team were defeated 14-8 in their Group B clash.

For a full match recap, click here.

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About Liahm O'Brien 54 Articles
Liahm is a features writer based in Burnie, Tasmania. His writing focuses on the human side of combat sports, painting a full picture of the athletes we see from the stands or on our tv screens. In 2017, he was published in The Footy Almanac.

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