Tokyo quotas, podiums and the fastest Aussie 100m in over a decade
Canoe quotas earned, the fastest Aussie 100m in more than decade, first-ever doubles Grand Slam final, BMX podiums and great results for softball, hockey and rugby teams highlight the weekend in Olympic sport.
Canoe Slalom: Tokyo quota and Oceania golds
A double gold and Tokyo 2020 quota spot capped off an impressive opening day for Australia at the Oceania Championships in Auckland. Daniel Watkins won the men’s C1, securing the Tokyo 2020 quota spot, with teammate Ian Borrows taking bronze, while Jess Fox won the women’s K1.
With Australian results at the 2019 World Championships in women’s K1 and C1 and men’s K1 already securing Tokyo quotas, Watkins win ensured Australia has earned the maximum four quotas for Canoe Slalom.
Women’s C1 and men’s K1 finals will be decided later today in Auckland
Athletics: Marschall flies high and Browning blitzes field
Pole Vaulter Kurtis Marschall announced his return at Perth’s Jandakot Track Classic, launching 5.80m to win in a Tokyo 2020 qualifying standard.
After an injury-cruelled 2019 season, Marschall hit the 5.80m mark on his third attempt at the height, in his first competition jumping off a long run in almost a year.
Sprinter Rohan Browning also signalled his 2020 intentions, running a 10.06 (+2.2m/s) 100m, the fastest time by an Australian in all conditions since 2005.
With a Tokyo 2020 100m qualifying standard of 10.05 (with <2.0m/s wind), Browning will look to continue his strong start to the year throughout Athletics Australia’s summer season.
Other event winners include Brooke Stratton in the long jump, Nick Hough in hurdles and Riley Day in the 200m.
Cycling - BMX: Aussie podiums in Shepparton for opening World Cup
Saya Sakakibara, Anthony Dean and Izaac Kennedy opened the 2020 World Cup season with podium finishes, finishing with silver and bronze respectively on day one of the Shepparton event.
Some mid-race tangles meant the trio fell short of repeating their podium results on the second day of racing, with Sakakibara and Dean both finishing fourth with Kennedy bowing out in the semi-finals.
Lauren Reynolds finished the weekend with a fifth and sixth, while Caroline Buchannan in her first World Cup event in more than two years made it to the quarter-final and semi-final stages.
Riders will head to Bathurst this weekend for the second round of the World Cup.
Tennis: Aussie Wildcards make first Grand Slam final
Doubles pair Max Purcell and Luke Saville had a near-fairytale run, going from tournament wildcards to Grand Slam finalists, falling 6-4 6-2 to Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury in the Australian Open final.
The pairs’ phenomenal tournament will see them jump in world rankings close to the top 40.
With world rankings on 8 June central to earning Tokyo 2020 doubles quota spots, continuing this form throughout 2020 will see the pair contend for potential Olympic quota positions.
“It’s been great fun to share the court with a really good mate. And to win five matches at a Grand Slam, it’s amazing,” Saville said.
“We can really build on this Aussie Open, honestly. It’s been a roller coaster, it’s been a long few weeks for us, we’re going to take a few days to digest the result. It really sets up our year, honestly.”
Softball: Aussies claim Asia Pacific silver against Olympic opponents
Australia have won silver at the Asia Pacific Cup, going down 7-0 to Japan in the final.
With the tournament featuring four of the six teams who will compete at Tokyo 2020, Australia showed they can mix it with the best in the world.
The Aussie Spirit beat 3-2 Mexico in a thrilling eight innings semi-final, with the teams sent to an extra-innings locked at 2-2 after seven.
Spirit captain Stacey Porter was rewarded for an outstanding tournament, named the Asia Pacific Cup Most Valuable Player.
Hockey: Hockeyroos and Kookaburras take max points from Great Britain doubleheader
The Hockeyroos and Kookaburras earned maximum points from their FIH Pro League doubleheaders against England in Sydney.
The Kookaburras won their first match in a pulsating game, coming back from 4-2 down to even it at 4-4 in the dying moments before taking a 3-1 penalty shootout victory.
They followed it up with a 5-1 demolition on Sunday, outclassing the British.
Sailing: Aussie fleets take on Oceanias
The 49er, 49er and Nacra crews are in action on Geelong’s waters at the 2020 Oceania Championships.
With the respective World Championships coming up later this month in Melbourne, the fleets feature plenty of the world’s top crews looking to be in peak form.
With one day of racing remaining, Aussie teams will be looking to make moves to secure or move into podium positions.
Tess Lloyd and Jaime Ryan lead the Australians in 49er FX fleet, sitting in third, with Amelia Stabback and Caitlin Elks in eighth.
In the 49er class, Thomas Needham and Joel Turner are sitting third, with brothers David and Lachy Gilmour and Sam and Will Phillips sitting 10th and 11th respectively. In Nacra, Rio bronze medallists Lisa Darmanin and Jason Waterhouse are leading the Australians, sitting sixth overall.
Racing continues on Geelong Harbour today.
Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media