Laurel Hubbard’s historic moment
New Zealand transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard was knocked out of her competition after failing on all three of her snatch lifts, seeing her eliminated before the clean and jerk round, and without a valid lift. While it meant she finished at the bottom of the 87 kilogram plus competition, it was still a historic moment for Hubbard whose appearance in the Games was instrumental for transgender representation in sport.
Following her exit, Hubbard told reporters: “I’m not entirely unaware of the controversy which surrounds my participation at these Games. And as such, I would particularly like to thank the IOC, for I think really affirming its commitment to the principles of Olympism and establishing that sport is something for all people, that it is inclusive and is accessible.”
The Matildas’ quest for gold ends
After a stunning Olympic campaign, the Matildas faced heartbreak on the field when they went down 1-0 to Sweden. It wasn’t without controversy however, as a controversial call from the referee disallowed a Sam Kerr goal in the closing stages of the first half. Kerr had volleyed Steph Catley’s free kick home at the near post only for the ref to rule Matilda Emily van Egmond, further down the line of players, had blocked the run of Swedish defenders. After the match. Van Egmond said: “One hundred per cent that was a fair goal. Personally I didn’t think there was much contact at all…I thought the girl ran into me and I am actually not too sure if there was anything at all in it.”
The Matildas still have a shot at the bronze medal, taking on the US team on Thursday.
Hockeyroos shock loss
Many couldn’t believe it, but after a sensational Olympic campaign, the hopes of ending their Olympic medal drought came to a crashing end for the Hockeyroos when they were upset by India 1-0. World number three Australia had opened their tournament with five successive wins to emerge as a medal favourite, but after the 12th-ranked Indians put up a fight, it saw them eliminated from the competition. The side haven’t won an Olympic medal since their gold at the 2000 Sydney Games. In an emotional interview post-match, Edwina Bone said: “I’m just really proud of them. It’s just such a shame to end it this way. We’ve worked really hard and we’ve come together as a really united group under a really inspirational leader.”
Sifan Hassan stuns on track
If you haven’t been watching Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan in the athletics, you need to. Aside from an incredible technique, her gutsy performances epitomise what the Olympic spirit is all about. In her 1500m heat, Hassan was caught up in a tangle in the final lap, hitting the floor and left with a huge gap between the front runners. She had an incredible amount of ground to make up, but never one to give up, Hassan turned on the pace and didn’t managed to just catch the race leaders, but pass them - winning her heat.
The athlete is attempting something that’s never been done before: to medal in an audacious treble; the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m. After her staggering 1500m heat which she won in the morning, Hassan then had to go back to the track in the evening for the women’s 5000m final. Despite hanging back for much of the race, the tactics played into her favour and she produced a stunning final lap that put on the pace, making her untouchable in the women’s event. Having won gold, her dreams of an Olympic treble are kept alive.
Jasmine Camacho-Quinn wins 100m hurdles
It’s the event that had so many false starts in the heat, you felt for Aussie Liz Clay who had to make her Olympic debut amidst such chaos. But while Clay fell agonisingly short of missing the finals, Jasmine Camacho-Quinn stormed to victory and the gold medal - only Puerto Rico’s second ever gold. She burst into tears afterwards, saying: “For such a small country it gives little people hope. I am just glad I am the person to do that. I am really happy right now. Anything is possible.”
Sport climbing makes its debut today, the women also run their 800m and 200m finals, and Simone Biles looks likely to return to competition in the balance beam final. The men will also compete in the 400m hurdles final, pole vault final, and 1500m heats. In the hockey, the men’s competition reaches the semi-final stage with India taking on Belgium, and Australia going up against Germany. The cycling track continues with the women’s team pursuit and the men’s team sprint today.