Rohan Browning will be the star turn at the athletics after winning his 100m heat with a lightning-quick PB of 10.01 seconds on Saturday night to move to the second spot on the Australian all-time list.
If the 23-year-old Sydneysider can replicate that effort in the semis on Sunday he is every chance of becoming the first Australian man since Hec Hogan in 1956 to contest an Olympic 100m final.
Browning’s time was the fastest run by an Australian sprinter at an Olympics and he was up against some big guns, defeating Jamaica’s 2012 silver medallist Yohan Blake (10.06).
“That’s what I was looking forward to today,” Browning told Channel Seven.
“I had a look at the start list, I thought I’ve got one of the stiffest heats. You’d rather do it the hard way, it is much more satisfying.
“You have to front up to everybody at some point.”
Browning will contest the semi-finals on Sunday night.
— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) July 31, 2021
Barring a monumental mishap, swim ace Emma McKeon will on Sunday collect an Australian record for most medals at the Olympic Games.
McKeon is the red-hot favourite to win the 50m freestyle after setting an Olympic record when winning her semi-final.
And McKeon will be a key leg of Australia’s women’s 4x100m medley relay hunting gold on the final day of the swim program, producing the fastest leg in the team’s world-record-setting performance earlier in the meet.
“I definitely had belief in myself, and that has built over the last two years,” McKeon said.
“But to actually pull it off is a totally different thing sometimes. To have finally done it, I am over the moon.”
McKeon has nine career medals, equal with Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones, as Australia enters Sunday with 10 gold, three silver and 14 bronze.
If McKeon makes it on the podium twice more, she’ll equal Michael Phelps, Mark Spitz and Matt Biondi as the only swimmers to win seven medals at one Olympic Games.
On Saturday night, Australia took care of business in the basketball, completing a perfect preliminary phase with an 89-76 win over Germany powered by a masterful 24-point haul from flag-bearer Patty Mills.
They will head into the quarter-finals with a favourable seeding and should avoid the likes of powerhouses France, Spain and the US in the last eight.
But these Boomers fear no one, and not even the loss of centre Aron Baynes to injury has altered their thinking, with Nick Kay stepping into a starting role with aplomb as he poured in 16 points on seven of ten shooting.
“We are coming into it like we want to win six games and win a gold, so that was important for us,” Kay said of securing top spot in the group.
Meanwhile, big Australian Matthew Denny has smashed his personal best, only to come up with an agonising 5cm short of a medal in the men’s discus at the Tokyo Olympics.
The 25-year-old Queenslander produced a remarkably consistent series of throws in Saturday night’s final but reckoned it really hurt to just miss out on the bronze.
His first five efforts were all between 65.00m and 66.06m but he was still able to save his best for last, throwing a lifetime best 67.02m in the final round to move up to the fourth spot.
His previous biggest throw was 66.15m set last month in Queensland.
“I came in good form and the crazy thing for me was that I knew I had big throws there,” Denny said.
“It felt like a while to find out. To know that I was just off, I definitely need a gin or two!
“So to be so close to making so much history really hurts.”
Newly-crowned Wimbledon champion Ash Barty has added an Olympic bronze medal to her collection alongside John Peers in the mixed doubles.
Australia finished fifth in the women’s rugby sevens event in Tokyo after defeating the USA on Saturday night.
Meanwhile, reigning Commonwealth champion Brandon Starc is a legitimate medal shot in the men’s high jump final on Sunday.
The strong field also includes Qatar’s greatest-ever track and field athlete, Mutaz Essa Barshim, and Russian Ilya Ivanyuk.
New national record holder Peter Bol, four-time Olympian Jeff Riseley and Charlie Hunter will all be bidding to be the first Australians since gold medallist Ralph Doubell way back in 1968 to qualify for an Olympic men’s 800m final.
In the event for so long synonymous in Australia with the now-retired Sally Pearson, fellow Queenslander will be chasing a spot in the 100m hurdles final.
Sailor Matt Wearn only needs to finish the Enoshima course without disqualification on Sunday to confirm his gold-medal status in the Laser class.
It will be Australia’s third successive Games atop the Laser podium, with Wearn succeeding Tom Slingsby (2012) and Tom Burton (2016) as Olympic champion.
Reigning world champion Logan Martin is also the man to beat in the medal round of the BMX freestyle, a new Olympic event.
He leads after Saturday’s seeding rounds and is favoured to give Australian cycling its first Olympic gold medal since London, while Natalya Diehm is fifth out of nine riders in the women’s event.
Cameron Smith is five shots adrift of leader Xander Schauffele going into the final day of the men’s golf competition after the Australian carded a bogey-free five-under round of 66 in the third round.
The Kookaburras square off against the Netherlands in a heavyweight men’s hockey quarter-final encounter, while Australia takes on South Africa in the women’s water polo competition.
– with AAP