Write down this day in the annals of history – For the first time in history, Australian athletes have won 4 Gold Medals on a single day at the Olympic Games.
Cue the music!
Sure the British won about 6 Gold Medals on that Super Saturday in London 2012, and the Americans have absolutely won just as many in a day in their sleep, but after the relative underachieving in London and Rio, this has just been superb to watch from our athletes, at a time when the good folk of Australia needed an escape from the fact that the Delta strain is about to kill us all.
- Emma McKeon starts off the final day of the Swimming program with Gold in the Women’s 50m Freestyle, breaking the Olympic 50m freestyle record for the third time this week, completing the 50 & 100m Freestyle double, claiming her 6th Medal of the games and overtaking Ian Thorpe and Leisel Jones to become the most decorated Australian Olympian in history with 10 medals.
Wayne Gardner always was and always will be the Wollongong Whiz, but I’d like to declare Emma McKeon a worthy successor to the title of Wollongong Whiz, because she’s bloody well more than earned it.
2. In the penultimate race of the Swimming program, the Australian women’s 4x100m IM team of Kaylee McKeown, Chelsea Hodges, McKeon, and Cate Campbell pull off a minor upset over the United States, in a fantastic race that had shades of the 4x100m men’s freestyle final from Sydney, as Campbell, in what may be her last swim at an Olympic Games, got the touch in over Abbey Weitzeil, as the Aussies bested the 4×100 IM Olympic Record set by the Americans in London 9 years ago.
Ian Thorpe noted on Channel 7 that Australia made up a collective 6 tenths on the Americans in changeovers alone (Campbell’s reaction time was 0.04s compared to 0.38 for Weitzeil), and despite being the apparent weak link, Hodges managed to stay within half a second of 100m breaststroke Gold Medalist Lydia Jacoby during the second leg, which set up the final 2 legs for McKeon and Campbell, in a race that was decided by 1 tenth of a second.
So that gave Australia it’s 9th Gold medal in Swimming in Tokyo, smashing the national record of 8 that had stood since Melbourne 1956, McKeown won her 3rd Gold of the games, and McKeon finished with with a grand total 7 medals (4 Gold & 3 Bronze), the most by any athlete thus far in Tokyo, and matching the Olympic record for a female athlete set by Soviet gymnast Maria Gorokhovskaya at Helsinki in 1952.
3. In the inaugural Men’s BMX Freestyle final at the Summer Olympics, Logan Martin, named after the storied part of south Brisbane in which he was born, who also built a damn $70,000 skatepark in his own backyard because he’s that much of a professional, took out the inaugural Olympic Gold Medal in BMX Freestyle with a score of 93.30 on this opening run, adding to his freestyle Gold medals at the X Games and World Championships, also becoming Australia’s first Gold Medalist on dry land this fortnight, and bloody oath, his Gold medal winning performance was just mesmerising in it’s execution.
Savage Garden came from Logan, so did three-time Athens Gold medalist Jodie Henry, and now Logan has quite literally won Gold at the Olympic Games.
4. Having been assured of the Gold Medal in the Laser dinghy class since Friday, Matt Wearn got through today’s Medal Race in a comfortable 2nd place, sending Fremantle into scenes it hasn’t seen since the 1987 America’s Cup, as Australia completed a Gold medal hat-trick in the Laser class, following on from Tom Slingsby in London and Tom Burton in Rio, and just to show how competitive Australia is in the Laser class, Wearn had to beat out Burton, the defending Gold Medalist, just to get selected for Tokyo.
It was also bloody great to see the Australian team give Matty the celebration of a true champion:
Considering Perth is the windiest city in Australia, it’s no wonder Matty absolutely starred when the winds picked up at Enoshima.
It’s also worth noting that all three Gold Medalists were coached by Michael Blackburn, himself a Bronze medalist in the Laser class behind Sir Ben Ainslie at Sydney in 2000, who just keeps building his reputation as one of the best coaches in Australia sport that 99% of the general public haven’t heard of.
Same could be said of the legendary Victor ‘The Medal Maker’ Kovalenko with Malcolm Page, Matty Belcher and Will Ryan in the 470 class!
After the shitkicking they copped from London and Rio, I don’t think I’ve ever seen an Australian swimming team go into an Olympics with that many individual live chances at medals, and so many of them wind up absolutely nailing their finals.
Titmus twice over, McKeown twice over, McKeon in everything, Stubblety-Cook in the 200m breaststroke, the relay teams were always competitive, and heck, Kyle Chalmers came off shoulder surgery and finished 0.06s off Caleb Dressel in the 100m freestyle final despite swimming a PB.
It might be a problem in Paris when we inevitably set a bar so high that none of them clear it, but for now, as the world collapses around us, it’s bloody great to see our athletes providing inspiration for the kiddies of 2021, giving them the inspiration to aim for Brisbane 2032.