Emma McKeon’s invincible pool run
On Saturday, McKeon qualified fastest in the 50m semi-final, in an Olympic record time. She then anchored Australia to bronze in the 4x100m mixed medley relay to earn her fifth medal. On Sunday, she won individual gold in the 50m and team gold in the women’s 4x100m medley relay to win her seventh medal. All up, McKeon has now swum in seven finals, three semi-finals and three heats. In every event she entered, she walked away with a medal, four of them being gold. Having won four medals in Rio - one gold, two silver and one bronze - her Tokyo tally now makes her the most successful Australian Olympian, with only Ian Thorpe winning five gold medals across the 2000 and 2004 Games. Still, she is in a lane of her own, with 11 total Olympic medals to Thorpe’s nine.
Liz Clay just misses out
In the women’s semi-final 100m hurdles, Liz Clay recorded a sensational personal best time and placed third. It was an impressive run, considering there were numerous false starts in the heat and a delayed start time as a result. As many would have unravelled as a result of the compounding nerves and anticipation, Clay managed to re-focus and run strongly. Unfortunately, she misses out on the final due to a faster heat which saw an Olympic record broken.
Jamaica's clean-sweep in 100m final
It was a podium sweep for Jamaica for the women’s 100m final. Elaine Thompson-Herah won gold with a record-breaking time of 10.61, breaking a 33-year-old Olympic record for the race. Teammates Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won silver with a time of 10.74, while Shericka Jackson took home bronze with a time of 10.76. According to AP News, it wasn’t since 2008 that Jamaica took home all three medals in this event. With her incredible run, Thompson-Herah becomes the fastest woman ever to run the 100m in the Olympic Games, with the record previously held by American track legend Florence Griffith Joyner who held the record with a time of 10.62, set at the Seoul Games in 1988.
Raven Saunders wins silver with podium protest to call attention to the oppressed
It was a big moment for Raven Saunders and all members of the LGBTQ+ community when the athlete won silver in the shot put competition on Sunday, with a distance of 19.79 metres. On the podium, Saunders held up her arms in the shape of an ‘X,’ telling reporters that “It’s the intersection of where all people who are oppressed meet.” A proud member of the Black community and LGBTQ+ community, Saunders is very open and honest about the mental health challenges she has faced.
She told NPR, “Being able to walk away with a medal and be able to go out here and really inspire so many people in the LGBTQ community, so many people who have been dealing with mental health issues, so many people in the African-American community, so many people who are Black all around the world. I really just hope that I can continue to inspire and motivate.”
Yulimar Rojas smashes world record
In emotional scenes, Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas jumped her way into the history books in the women’s triple jump. With the last leap of the competition, she produced a jump measuring 15.67m, seeing a world record that had stood for a quarter of a century fall as she extended it by a staggering 17cm. Patricia Mamona of Portugal won silver with a jump 66cm shorter, while Ana Peleteiro of Spain came in third.
Cycling movings indoors to the Izu Velodrome and opens with the women’s team sprint competition. It’s also another big day on the track, with medals from the women’s 100m hurdles, women’s discus, men’s 3,000m steeplechase, and women’s 5,000m final. Badminton and artistic gymnastics will also be taking place today, along with the women’s semi-finals in the football with Australia playing Sweden in Yokohama.