Kareena Lee started the day with a bang for the Aussies, claiming gold in the Women's 10km swim. Picture: @DolphinsAUS

Day 12 was sensational for Australia with three medals in Aussie hands and a number of competitors qualifying for future Finals.

Australia ran, jumped, swam, dove, shot, skated, climbed, paddled, rode AND sailed its way to glory on a breathtakingly busy Day 12 of the Tokyo Olympics. Keep up to date with all the happenings at Tokyo 2020 through The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and Olympic Central.

Marathon milestone

August 4 2021 was a landmark day for Australian swimming as a member of the Dolphins squad took home a medal in the Marathon event for the very first time.

Simply competing in such a gruelling event is a testament to an athlete’s dedication and endurance but for Kareena Lee, so much more than just competing was achieved.

She fought hard all race, something Lee is used to doing after missing Rio 2016 following ongoing medical issues including a collapse at the 2015 World Championships.

Her story is one of perseverance and it showed during the race as she kept in touch with the front of the pack throughout.

In the middle section she drifted out towards the back of the top 10 and as far back as 15th, but pulled herself up and eventually into third position, missing out on gold by a whisker, a tremendous effort.

Poppy Starrs in the park

Skateboarding returned to light up loungerooms worldwide on Day 12 as the Women’s Park event got underway in Tokyo.

In Poppy Starr Olsen, Australia had just that, a Starr and someone who’s bold, brave tricks endeared her to the country as she fought her way into the Final, qualifying out of the heats in sixth position overall.

Come the Final, she improved that position, moving up to fifth place in the standings by the conclusion of the event.

Skateboarding has found its way into the hearts of many because of both the youthful competitors and the way that in competition, those had found friendship, each combatant cheering on the other.

It was refreshing to see in an era where sporting rivalries are obsessed over. Not for the first time, Tokyo had reminded us of what the Olympic spirit is about.

Olsen was a major part of that today and made her nation proud, something that prior to Tokyo would not have been possible on an Olympic stage.


Opals bounced in Quarter-Final

Nobody is going to forget the monumental achievement the Opals completed to make it through to the Quarter-Finals of Tokyo 2020.

Needing to beat Puerto Rico by 24 points to progress, they did exactly that in the final round of the group stage.

Unfortunately, lacklustre performances in the early stages of the competition meant that the luck of the draw was not in their favour and ultimately lead to their downfall as they were eliminated by world number one, Team USA.

The game against Puerto Rico showcased how much attacking potential this Opals lineup has, scoring at will on many occasions, but in the knockout stage, this was shut down by an elite USA lineup.

Only Leilani Mitchell and Cayla George were able to get to double digit points with American Breanna Stewart the standout with 23 points in as many minutes.

It will go down as a disappointing end to a frustrating campaign for the Aussies but one that was certainly not without its highlights.

More Tokyo 2020 News

Tokyo 2020 Recap: Men’s Basketball – Australia v Argentina

Kareena Lee becomes Australia’s first-ever Marathon Swimming medallist

Tokyo 2020 Recap: Women’s Basketball Quarter-Final – Opals vs Team USA

Aussies sail to success

Mat Belcher and Will Ryan are no strangers to Olympic success, having taken out silver in the Men’s 470 in Rio 2016.

Today, though, they went two better, finishing in first place in the Men’s 470 Sailing event, although heading into the day they already knew the gold was theirs.

Thanks to a phenomenal start to the competition, Belcher and Ryan had the medal stitched up by the 10th leg of the event, needing only to avoid disqualification today to take home the gold.

Not only did they avoid the DQ, in typical Aussie fashion, they went on and gave the final race their all, winning it and putting the cherry on top of a fantastic Tokyo 2020 campaign.


Persistent Pursuit pays off

It has been a chaotic campaign for cyclists in the velodrome at Tokyo 2020 with drama, world records, unfortunate falls and now, for the Aussie Pursuit team, a medal.

It was a battle of the Tasman for the bronze medal and Australia cruised to victory, defeating New Zealand after they suffered a fall early on, Australia going on to win without difficulty.

The quartet of O’Brien, Welsford, Howard and Plapp got Australia over the line with the team coming back from adversity after a terrible crash in the earlier stage of the competition.


A sporting debut

It was the first appearance of Women’s Sport Climbing at any Olympic Games and Australia had someone to root for, Oceana Mackenzie entering into the day’s competition.

Just 19 years old, Oceana has a bright future and although she failed to land a spot in the Final today, she will go home with a wealth of experience that was never before possible.

She finished 13th in the Speed Climbing round and went one better in the Bouldering, before finishing 26th in the final event, the Lead.

Much like Skateboarding and BMX, Speed Climbing captured the imagination of Australian audiences and it is highly unlikely that it’s the last time we see Oceana on the Olympic stage.


Diving in

Two Aussies took to the board in the Women’s 10m Preliminary Diving round, both at separate points in their career.

For debutant Nikita Hains, it was heartbreak, missing out on qualification for the next round by just three positions, her score of 270.00 not quite enough to get through but an impressive performance on the world stage.

Melissa Wu was similarly impressive but on an entirely different scale. At her fourth Olympics, Wu shone in the preliminary round, finishing fourth overall out of 30 competitors, scoring 351.20, just shy of 20 points ahead of fifth placed Benfeito of Canada.

Her score and her form give her every chance of bringing home yet another aquatic medal for Australia.

Back in the swing of things

Aussie women were in action as Women’s Golf entered the fray in Tokyo, Minjee Lee and Hannah Green both looking for Olympic success.

The event is a marathon, taking place over four days of competition and on day one, the Aussies held their own.

Both Green and Lee shot par, leaving them in the middle of the pack in the standings with plenty of Golf still to be played.

Round two is set for tomorrow and Swedish golfer Madelene Sagstrom will head into it with the lead, shooting five under on day one.


SuperBol IV

It was the race that had the nation watching as Peter Bol took on the world’s best in the Men’s 800m.

The field was open and the race there for the taking in the early stages, and Peter grabbed it by the horns, leading the race throughout the majority of the first lap.

It was what he had been encouraged to do, be brave and take it to the field, if nobody else had the guts to do so, set the pace.

As the second lap went on, Peter slowly dropped back in the field, eventually being overtaken by the three medallists, but true to form, he pushed until the final second of the race, bringing home a fourth placed finish.

After the race, Peter himself admitted that he wasn’t full of joy, with his goal being to come here to win, but there was a sense that there was certainly more to come from the young man.


Tracking the field

The Women’s 1500m Final will play host to not one but two Australians as Jessica Hull and Linden Hall progressed through to the Final earlier today, Hull with a new national record of 3:58.81.

Day 12 brought with it the first day of Men’s Decathlon competition and Australian youngster Ashley Moloney was amongst the action, putting in a phenomenal showing on day one.

He placed second in the 100m and the Long Jump, first in the 400m and the High Jump, and 10th in the Shot Put.

He currently sits in second place behind Canadian Damian Warner by just under 100 points heading into tomorrow’s events which will include Hurdles, Discus and Pole Vault.

Elsewhere, 3000m Steeplechase runner Genevieve Gregson, unfortunately, sustained an injury during the Final, causing her to not finish the race. She ruptured her achilles on the final water jump of the event. If that wasn’t enough, all of this happened on August 4, her birthday of all days.

Gregson took to Twitter after the race to thank fans and loved ones for their support messages, stating she needs to take some time to mend her ‘heart, soul & achilles’.

That’s a paddlin’

In the Women’s Canoe Sprint Bernadette Wallace (4th) and Josie Bulmer (7th) were both unable to progress to the next round of the competition despite strong showings, particularly for Wallace who narrowly missed out on qualification.

The Men’s 1000m Double Kayak, though, brought plenty of success on Day 12. Australia qualified for the Semi-Final after finishing first in its Quarter-Final with a time of 3:10.619.

This was almost two seconds slower than their heat time, though, which was an Olympic Best time of 3:08.773. With two victories in two attempts, the Aussies are in great form heading into tomorrow’s Semi-Final.

Alyce Wood and Alyssa Bull both qualified for their respective Semi-Finals in the Women’s 500m Kayak Single race, meaning that four Australian boats will be in Semi-Final action in the coming days.

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