Tokyo 2020 Preview: Who will sprint their way to Gold

Liz Clay is one of many Athletics (Sprint) athletes going to Tokyo Photo (Athletics Australia/Website)

There are 15 gold medals on offer in the sprint events for the Athletics in Tokyo. For all your Olympic coverage, stay tuned to The Inner Sanctum’s Olympic hub and the Olympics Central.

Cathy Freeman, Sally Pearson and Usain Bolt are just a few of the many track athletes that we’ve enjoyed watching for many years. With Tokyo 2020 just around the corner, there is a new wave of Olympic Athletes looking to sprint their way to glory come week two of Tokyo 2020.

Under the sprint category, you have the 100m, 200m, 300m and 400m races as well as the 110m (100m for women) and 400m hurdles.

As well as the relays with the  4x100m and 4x400m in both men’s and women’s divisions and a 4×400 mixed relay.

New Addition in Tokyo

The Mixed 4x400m relay is a new addition to the Tokyo 2020 games. With each team having both two men and two women. The format was first trailed in 2017 at the World Relays in Nassau. The USA team currently hold the world record with a time of 3:09.34 that was set in 2019.

You can watch the mixed relays on July 30th with the final to take place on the following day.

Why to Watch

When you ask most people their favourite Olympic memory, 90 per cent of the time it’s an Athletics event that has raced its way into many hearts across the world.

Whether it be Cathy Freemans Gold Medal win or Usain Bolts 100m sprint, many highlights have come from these events.

Tokyo 2020 is shaping up to be no different from plenty of Olympic debutants to seasoned campaigners, you wouldn’t want to miss this.

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Athletics fixture

All the Athletics action kicks off on the 30th of July as the Swimming draws to a close.

30th of July

Day one of the athletics means the first rounds of qualifying with the Women’s 100m Mixed 4x400m and Men’s 400m all taking place.

31st of July

The first round of the Women’s 400m hurdles and Men’s 100m takes place on the 2nd day of Athletics. The preliminary round of the Men’s 100m, the Qualifying round for the women’s 100m hurdles are all pencilled in for day two

All eyes will be on the final for the Mixed 4x400m and Women’s 100m which are the highlights for day two of the Athletics.

1st of August

The first round of the Men’s 400m is locked in for day three of the Athletics. The semi-finals are on for the Men’s 100m, Women’s 100m hurdles and Men’s 400m hurdles will also be a feature of day three.

The final for the Men’s 100m is always a highlight and it is also scheduled for day three of the Athletics.

2nd of August

The first round and semi-finals for the Women’s 200m, Men’s 400m semi-finals, Women’s 400m Hurdles Semi-final all locked in for the fourth day. Although all eyes will be on the Women’s 100m hurdles finals which are also pencilled in for the fourth day of Athletics.

3rd of August

It’s a jam-packed day of short distance running with several medals up for grabs, the finals for the Women’s 200m, and Men’s 400m hurdles all locked and loaded for day four of the Athletics.

The first round for Women’s 400m and semi-finals for Men’s 200m also planned for the 3rd of August.

4th of August

More medals up for grabs on the 4th of August with finals Men’s 800m, Men’s 200m, and Women’s 400m hurdles locked in.

Men’s 110m Hurdles semi-finals and Women’s 400m semi-finals also primed for the 4th of August.

5th of August

As the short distance events start to draw to a close there are more medals up for grabs with the finals for Men’s 110m hurdles and Men’s 400m locked in for the 5th of August. As well as the first rounds of the Women’s 4x400m and the Men’s and Women’s 4x100m relays.

6th of August

Another day, more medals up for grabs with the final of the Women’s 400m, Women’s 4x100m final and the Men’s 4x100m final all locked in for the second last day of the short distance events.

The first round of the Men’s 4x400m relay will also take place on the 5th of August.

7th of August

On the last day of short-distance events, there are two more finals with medals up for grabs with the Women’s 4x400m Relay final and the Men’s 4x400m final both locked in to round out a jammed pack of nine days of short distance events.

Important Historical Results

Cathy Freeman (400m, Sydney 2000)

A historic event in the scheme on Australian sporting history, was when Cathy Freeman won gold at the 2000 Olympics. A race that even twenty years later has left her immortalised all around Australia.

Usain Bolt (100m, Beijing 2008)

Usain Bolt set the world record in the 100m sprint all the way back at the 2008 Olympics held in Beijing. The Jamaican claimed the world record that is yet to be beaten with a time of 9.69 seconds and did it all with an untied shoelace.

Sally Pearson (100m hurdles, London 2012)

When many people think of Australian hurdlers, Sally Pearson is normally the first one that springs to mind. The race not only won Pearson a gold medal but set an Olympic record with a time of 12.35 seconds.

Medal Favourites

There are a few Australians that are looming likely to take home medals in the sprints.

Rohan Browning: On Olympic debut, Browning is firming as a favourite to take out a medal in the 100m sprint. Clocking a personal best of 10.05 seconds at the Queensland Track Classic in March that locked in his spot to Tokyo and will be the first Australian in 17 years to compete in the Men’s 100m.

Steven Solomon: The only Australian sprinter that has past experience at the Olympics, competing at the 2012 games in London where he reached the final. There is plenty of belief that he can go further at the 2020 Tokyo games when competing in the 400m race.

Team USA- 4×400 mixed relay: The current world record holders for the mixed relay are going in as red hot favourites to take home the gold come the final on July 21st. With this being the first mixed relay held at the Olympics, Team USA will be looking to cement their spot at the top.

Team USA competing at the mixed relay finals in 2019. Photo: World Athletics (Twitter/@WorldAthletics)

Australian Olympic Team

NameEvent/sOlympics
Hana Basic100mDebut
Alex Beck400mDebut
Ellie Beer4x400m RelayDebut
Angeline Blackburn4x400m RelayDebut
Rohan Browning100mDebut
Sarah Carli400m HurdlesDebut
Liz Clay100m HurdlesDebut
Riley Day200mDebut
Nick Hough110m HurdlesDebut
Kendra Hubbard4x400m relayDebut
Bendere Oboya400m, 4x 400m RelayDebut
Anneliese Rubie-Renshaw4x400m relay2nd (2016)
Steven Solomon400m2nd (2012)

These events are a favourite for many so make sure you don’t miss a moment and see our Athletes go down in Australian Olympic history. You can watch our Aussies compete from the Ultimate Glory between the 30th – 7th of August.

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