Tokyo 2020: Australia’s best medal hopes at the Olympic Games

Posted: 7 August 2021 9:00 am
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Australia has sent its largest ever team to an overseas Olympics and it has resulted in a huge medal haul.

The Australian Olympic team has produced something special at the Tokyo Olympics. Almost 500 Aussie athletes had to wait an extra year for these Games but they are making up for lost time.

With a record haul from the pool and plenty of other medals elsewhere, it has been a highly successful event for the Australian team. There's more expected at Tokyo 2020 so you have every reason to tune in.

When are the Tokyo Olympics?

Delayed a full 364 days due to the pandemic, the Games burst into life with the opening ceremony on Friday 23 July. Competition unfolds every day until the closing ceremony on Sunday 8 August. To keep you fully up to speed, we have a complete guide to all things Olympic Games 2021.

Australian medal hopes, Saturday 7 August

This is the penultimate day of competition and the last full day. Only the men's marathon and some team events remain. Having held fourth place for much of these Games, the Australian team (17 gold medals) was finally caught by Great Britain (18) and the Russian contingent (17) on Friday. The Aussies have a few chances to turn the tables, but whatever happens it has been an incredibly successful Olympics for Australia. If the team can snare 1 more gold, it would be the most at a single Olympics. These are a few of the sports where medals are on offer on Saturday (all times AEST):

  • 7:30am: Women's golf final round - Minjee Lee came into Tokyo as the in-form Aussie golfer. But compatriot Hannah Green has been the more impressive so far. Green entered the final round 5 shots behind leader Nelly Korda and right in the hunt for a medal.
  • 5:55pm: Men's Madison track cycling final - It has been an unusually quiet Games for Australia at the Izu Velodrome. The 2-man Madison team could put a little golden lustre on that if it can overcome a hot field on Saturday evening.
  • 8:35pm: Women's high jump final - In contrast it has been an impressive track and field campaign and Nicola McDermott and Eleanor Patterson can underline that in the high jump final. Australia also has 2 men, Ollie Hoare and Stewart McSweyn, in the 1500m final at 9:40pm.
  • 9pm: Men's basketball bronze medal match - It's deju vu all over again for the Boomers as they take on Slovenia in the bronze medal playoff. This is no less than the 6th time Australia has been in this position and the previous 5 have all ended in defeat. With the clock ticking on the careers of stalwarts Patty Mills and Joe Ingles, it's an opportunity they can't afford to miss against Luka Doncic's Slovenian outfit.

Australia's team for the Tokyo Olympics

Australia has named a team of 488 athletes, comprising of 261 women and 227 men. The team includes 307 Olympic debutants. It's the largest Australian team ever sent to an overseas Olympics.

Australia finished a disappointing 10th in the medal table at the last Summer Olympics in Rio in 2016, grabbing 8 gold, 11 silver and 10 bronze. Since then Australia's Olympic committee declared it would no longer make medal projections. So we're left to come up with it ourselves. The USA topped the table in Rio with 46 gold, 37 silver and 38 bronze medals.

Australia's best medal hopes at Tokyo 2020

Australia's swimmers sent a message to the world at the Olympic trials in Adelaide in June as 1 world record, 4 Commonwealth records and 5 Australian records were set during a scorching meet. They backed that up at the Olympics, big time.

Australian swimmers are ranked number 1 in at least 13 events at this meet and had a stunning meet in Tokyo, led by Emma McKeon, Ariarne Titmus and Kayle McKeown. We take a closer look at Australia's swimming team here.

High jumper Brandon Starc hit form ahead of the Games, but ultimately finished fifth in Sunday night's final. Peter Bol also captured the attention of the whole country with his brave fourth-place in the 800m final on Wednesday night. Ash Moloney took Australia's first medal on the track at these Games, a bronze in the decathlon, a feat Kelsey-Lee Barber matched in women's javelin.

Ash Barty was a shock first-round loser in the tennis, but claimed a bronze medal in the mixed doubles competition alongside John Peers. Australia's men's basketball team, which beat the star-studded USA in a warm-up game recently, lost to the Americans in the semi-finals. As mentioned they now take on Slovenia for that long coveted medal.

Australia's sailor and rowers have done extremely well, while unexpected results also typically emerge at the Olympics, as they did in skateboarding with gold medallist Keegan Palmer. Putting all of these world-class competitors together, it's no surprise optimism was high and that has proven the case at Tokyo 2020.

Looking for more Olympics news? Check out our in-depth Tokyo Olympic Games guide including up-to-date schedules and Finder's guide to streaming sport.

Note: We have updated this story with details of Australia's medal hopes on 6 August, minor edits.

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