Beach Volleyball gold in Mexico, the Opals progress through to next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament and Aussie baseballers finishing their Premier 12 campaign headline this week in Olympic sport.
Beach Volleyball – Mexican gold for Clancy and Artacho del Solar
Volleyball due Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar ended their 2019 season on a high, winning the 4-star FIVB tournament in Chetumal, Mexico.
The pair came from a set down to win the title over China’s Xia and Wang 15-21, 21-14, 15-12.
The pair went undefeated through the tournament, which included gutsy come from behind wins in both the semi-final and gold medal match.
It was a phenomenal return to form for the pair, taking the Chetumal title in just their second tournament back after four months of injury layoff since their World Championships bronze in July.
Find out more and catch the full gold medal replay HERE
Baseball – Aussies take historic win and top 6 finish from Premier 12
Australia’s baseballers finished their Premier 12 campaign in sixth place, going down in their final Super Round matchup to Chinese Taipei 5-1 off the back of a 4-run eighth innings from Taipei.
The result denied the Australians a place in the bronze medal playoff, at Australia’s first tilt at the Premier 12 tournament.
With a Tokyo 2020 quota spot going to the highest ranked team from Asia/Oceania not already qualified, South Korea’s silver medal earned them a place at baseball’s return to the Olympic arena.
With a final chance for Australia to qualify at a global qualification tournament in March next year, strong performances like the team’s historic 2-1 win over USA on Wednesday will give the team confidence.
“There are a lot of emotions about some of the results but I think we’ve been in every game and at some stage of every game, we’ve had an opportunity to win,” Manager David Nilsson said.
Find out more HERE
Modern Pentathlon - Ed Fernon secures quota spot with Oceania title
London 2012 Olympian Ed Fernon has secured a quota spot by name for Tokyo 2020, winning the Oceania title at the Asian/Oceania Championships in China last Tuesday.
In a remarkable comeback, Fernon put in one of the best performances of his career after several years away from international competition to claim the title, with fellow Australian Rhys Lanskey close behind.
“It’s been an amazing experience and a real team effort,” Fernon said with a huge smile after the event.
“So many people supported me along the way. Three months ago, this was the furthest thing to come back and have another shot.
“I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve here and I’m really excited for training for Tokyo.”
Find out more HERE.
Basketball – Opals progress to Olympic Qualification Tournament with 2-1 record in Malaysia
The Australian Opals have made it through to the 2020 global Olympic Qualification Tournament for Tokyo 2020 after finishing second in their pool at the Asian Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Malaysia.
With eight Asian teams vying for four spots at next February’s global qualifiers, Australia’s dominant wins over India and Chinese Taipei were enough to see them through as second in their pool, with a tough 82-69 loss to Japan in their final matchup.
Australia will compete with 15 other teams for 10 remaining Tokyo quota spots at the 6-9 February Olympic Qualifying Tournament, with hosts Japan and 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup champions US already securing their Tokyo berths.
The Opals will find out their Olympic Qualifying Tournament pools and locations at the FIBA draw on 27 November.
Hockey – Brisbane and Sydney crowned national hockey champions
A host of Hockeyroos and Kookaburras starred on grand final day for the inaugural Hockey One league, with Brisbane Blaze defeating Melbourne in a shootout to claim the women’s title and NSW Pride dominating Brisbane 8-3 in the men’s final.
In the women’s final, after being locked 1-1 at the end of regulation, Hockeyroo teammates went head to head in a nail-biting shootout. Rosie Malone slotted the championship-winning penalty past national goalkeeper Rachael Lynch to secure the win.
The NSW Pride men’s team finished their incredible year on top, capping off an unbeaten season with a dominant 8-3 grand final victory.
Tim Brand scored a first-half hattrick to set the tone and the Pride never gave Brisbane a chance in the second half.
Equestrian – Hazel Shannon wins Trifecta at Australian 3-Day Event
Hazel Shannon became the first rider to claim the Australian 3-Day Event Trifecta on the same horse, winning dressage, showjumping and cross country on 14-year-old chestnut Willingapark Clifford.
“It blows my mind to think about what we have achieved and where we have come from,’’ Shannon, 27, said.
“I wasn’t born into an eventing family or community. I came down from Far North Queensland to NSW to work for Heath Ryan for what was meant to be a gap year and 10 years later we have done this.
“That’s how I met Clifford. He’s changed my life and the partnership I have with him has achieved things I never thought possible.’’
Find out more HERE
Olympians awarded for stellar years
Olympians and Tokyo 2020 hopefuls are among the winners as Australia’s sporting institutes recognise the best performances of 2019.
At Friday’s West Australian Institute of Sport Awards, swimmer Brianna Throssell was named athlete of the year, while Sydney 2000 Olympian and sailing coach Belinda Stowell took out coach of the year.
Find out more about the best in the West HERE
In Sydney, Cate Campbell and Tom Burton took out the New South Wales Institute of Sport athlete of the year awards after a year of great international success.
2018 Youth Olympian Will Cooley also took out the young athlete of the year award.
This award is for all the Olympians and #Tokyo2020 hopefuls who are inspiring students and making a positive impact in schools all around the state 💚💛 We’re very proud the #OlympicsUnleashed program, presented by @optus has won the @7newssyd Community Spirit Award at the 2019 @nswinstituteofsport Awards 🎉 #nswisawards