A MEDAL HARVEST TO SAVOUR
OUR REACTION TO COVID CAN BEAR FRUIT IN TOKYO
IF THE global data experts are right, Australia is on track for its biggest Olympic medal haul in more than a decade.
The Games statisticians predicted a medal increase of more than 50 per cent before COVID-19 came along.
The latest forecasts are that Australia could do even better than initially forecast because we’ve weathered the pandemic better than most countries.
Before COVID, Australia was tipped to win 44 medals, including 12 gold, and finish sixth overall, well ahead of the 29 medals won at Rio in 2016.
The swimmers are forecast to win about a third of Australia’s medals in Tokyo. The rest will be spread across more than a dozen sports.
With proven champions including Mack Horton, Kyle Chalmers, Cate and Bronte Campbell, Emma McKeon and Mitch Larkin and a new wave of stars such as Ariarne Titmus, Kaylee McKeown, Minna Atherton, Matt Wilson and Elijah Winnington, this could be the best Dolphins squad in years, after they set the benchmark by winning 19 medals at the last world championships.
Javelin thrower Kelsey-Lee Barber is the reigning world champion but not the only Aussie in medal contention. A new generation of rising stars is surging up the rankings.
Australia has strength and depth across all disciplines; road, track, mountain biking and BMX, where Logan Martin and Brandon Loupos have won the last two freestyle world championships.
Another strong sport for Australia, led by multiple world champion and two-time Olympic medallist Jess Fox.
The Opals can challenge the US for gold while the Boomers are out to break their hoodoo.
The Matildas, led by global superstar Sam Kerr, are in the medal hunt.
Australia has won five medals in tennis since it was reintroduced to the Olympics in 1996 and with world No.1 Ash Barty is a strong chance.
One of the new sports at the Olympics and one of Australia’s big hopes. Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Julian Wilson and Owen Wright have all qualified.
Our champion women’s team is defending the gold medal it won in Rio, while the men are ranked fourth in the world.
Australia’s last Olympic medal in boxing was in 1988 but heavyweight Justis Huni is a medal chance.
Don’t rule out a double medal celebration for the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras.
Multiple Aussie medallists are common at each Games and Tokyo is expected to be no different.
With four men’s crews and four women’s crews qualified for Tokyo, this is shaping as a vintage Games for our rowers.
The addition of mixed events only adds to the prospect of a good haul for our shooters.
The Stingers have won medals at four of the five Olympics at which women’s water polo has been played, including gold in Sydney (2000). The Sharks are chasing a first medal in the men’s event but are among the chances this time.
Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar are among the best in the world in the women’s competition. Hopes are high for a podium finish.
Australia won bronze in the men’s team event at Rio in 2016 and are in the hunt again.
Australia has medal hopes in the synchronised and individual springboard events.