WEEKEND WRAP: Tokyo quotas, a rainbow jersey and a record-breaking crowd

Submitted by admin on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 14:21
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Rugby Sevens Oceania Champions - Oceania Rugby
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Australia's athletes were on fire this weekend, securing over a dozen Tokyo 2020 quota spots, dominating the podiums and breaking national crowd-attendance records.

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Rugby 7s – Men’s team book ticket to Tokyo

The Aussie 7s men’s team has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, defeating Samoa 19-12 in the Olympic Qualification Final of the Oceania Sevens Championship in Suva Fiji on Saturday.

Australia came back from a 12-0 deficit to score three unanswered tries, including a charge-down try by Captain Lewis Holland in the dying minutes to secure the win. The Aussie men then went on to defeat Fiji in a thrilling final, taking out the overall championship 22-7 and ensuring both Australian teams went undefeated at this year's Oceania Sevens Championship.
 

Earlier in the evening the Women’s Sevens defeated Fiji 24-12 to win the overall Oceania Women Sevens Championship and cap off a remarkable undefeated tournament. Find out more HERE

Shooting – 11 Tokyo quota spots for Aussies at Oceania Champs

Australian shooters were on target at the 2019 Oceania Championships in Sydney, locking up 11 quota spots for Tokyo. Siblings Jack and Tori Rossiter, Beijing and London Olympian Dina Aspandiyarova and 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympian Alex Hoberg all claimed quota spots for Australia.

The 11 quota spots take the total shooting quota spots earned for Australia to 15, with results at 2019 World Championships and World Cup events already securing spots for Tokyo 2020. Find out more HERE

BMX Freestyle – Aussie World Championships 1-2

Brandon Loupos claimed the rainbow jersey, Logan Martin took silver, while Natalya Diehm moved Australia a step closer to Olympic qualification in a dominant display by Australia in the BMX Freestyle finals at the 2019 Urban Cycling World Championships in China on Sunday.

With BMX Freestyle making its Olympic debut in Tokyo, the Australians showed they are a force to be reckoned with in 2020.


Loupos was lost for words after claiming the rainbow jersey, calling it a dream come true. “It (the rainbow jersey) has been my phone background for 365 days, now it is on my chest, I can’t believe it. I am absolutely speechless,” the 2018 World Championship bronze medallist said.

Despite crashing on a backflip attempt in his first run in the final, Loupos put together a stunning second run to shoot to the top of the leaderboard with a double backflip, flair whip, a 1080, a 720 into a double whip transfer and cash roll, before ending with a five flair scoring 93.20 points. Find out more HERE

Canoe Slalom – Jess Fox named to Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team

Multiple world champion canoeist Jess Fox was officially selected to the Tokyo 2020 Australian Olympic Team, making her third Games after silver and bronze at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Fox will compete in both the K1 and C1, with C1 making its Olympic debut for women.
 


 

Catch up on all the latest on Fox’s selection HERE
 

Swimming – Cate Campbell takes 2019 FINA World Cup crown

Cate Campbell won the 2019 World Cup title by 45 points over Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu, finishing the year on 357 points after a strong World Cup meet in Doha. With points awarded based on results across seven two-day World Cup meets, Campbell went into the final Doha meet with a lead of 24 points.

Winning gold in the 100m freestyle and 50m freestyle and silver in the 50m butterfly ensured she extended her lead to claim the crown. Emily Seebohm and Kaylee McKeown made it an Aussie 1-2 in the 200m backstroke, while Bronte Campbell secured silver and bronze in the 100m and 50m freestyle respectively.

Tennis – Fed Cup heartbreak as France win thriller

Australia’s Fed Cup team have fallen just short of a first title in 46 years, going down 3-2 to France in Perth. Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic combined to beat Ash Barty and Sam Stosur to win the deciding doubles rubber 6-4 6-3, after Ajla Tomljanovic’s singles victory locked the final up at 2-2. It is France’s first Fed Cup title since 2003, while Australia’s wait for a trophy in the team competition extends to a 46th year.

Find out more HERE.

Baseball – Aussies through to Super Round at Premier 12

Australia kept its Premier 12 and Tokyo 2020 qualification hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over Canada in the Premier 12 tournament in Korea. With the top two teams from each pool progressing, Australia’s win and Korea’s victory over Cuba meant Australia went through to the six-team super round, holding the tiebreaker in a three-way tie with Cuba and Canada.

With a Tokyo 2020 quota spot on the line for the top-finishing Asian team, Australia’s progression to the super round keeps qualification to baseball’s Olympic return on the cards in Korea. The team will open their super round matches against Japan tonight, before taking on Mexico, the US and Chinese Taipei.

Find out more HERE

Golf – Minjee Lee takes third in Japan Classic

Minjee Lee notched a brilliant final-round 68 to finish in the top three at the Toto Japan Classic today. It was the second consecutive top-three finish for the Western Australian after her runner-up finish in Taiwan last week, in great form leading up to the season finale championship. After a week’s break, the top 70 players on the tour head to Florida for the year-ending LPGA Tour Championship, with the Australian charge led by fourth-ranked Lee and 21st ranked Hannah Green.
 

Cycling – Madison magic for Aussies in Glasgow World Cup

Annette Edmondson and Georgia Baker took World Cup gold in Glasgow in the Madison, just hours after Edmondson took individual bronze in the four-event omnium.

The Australian pair dominated the 120-lap Madison from the outset, winning five of the first eight sprints held every ten laps, while figuring in two others, to set up a commanding lead.
 
Despite a crash by Baker inside the final 15 laps, the pair kept calm and rode away with the win on 40 points ahead of Great Britain (31pts) and the Netherlands (19pts).

“We are so happy to take the gold medal and it shows all the hard work back home in Adelaide is paying off,” Edmondson said. The men’s Madison team of Leigh Howard and Sam Welsford also tasted podium success, winning bronze despite being caught up in a mid-race crash.

You can find out more HERE.

Cycling – Glaetzer reveals cancer battle

World champion sprinter Matt Glaetzer revealed Sunday he has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The dual world champion underwent surgery early last week and has been advised to allow the wound in his neck to heal and to keep his heart rate and blood pressure under control before resuming normal training in a few weeks. “You never want to hear that you’ve got cancer, it’s got such an ominous connotation to it, and it’s pretty heavy,” Glaetzer said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Its a challenge I didn't think I would have to face, but I'm certainly not facing it alone. 2 weeks ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Thankfully I have the most treatable kind which has a great prognosis but there are still challenges ahead. If it weren't for the diligent medical staff at the @australiancyclingteam, who knows how much worse my situation could have become. I can't express how much I appreciate them and their attention to detail. Thank you. To everyone and especially us blokes who shrug things off and think 'It'll be right', sometimes its not. If you notice something strange, please just get it checked out. It may just save your life. Thank you @reecehomfray and @thetiser for looking after me through this process. If you haven't been able to access the article yet, swipe away. Tokyo 2020 is still the goal. The journey looks slightly different now, but bring it on. #menshealth #athlete #cancer #olympics

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“But I anticipated this throughout the process, I was preparing myself for the worst-case scenario. I figured there's nothing I can do about it, at this point worrying about it wasn’t going to make it better.

“I am thankful for the type of cancer that I do have and that it is treatable. I am grateful for the fact that my medical team caught it when they did, that they went through the steps, that they were very diligent in checking my sore neck that has then led to catching this.”

Glaetzer said he is resolved not to let this stop his pursuit of a third Australian Olympic Team selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. “So it is now about what’s the plan from here, how can I minimise its impact on myself as an athlete. Because I don't want to stop being an athlete anytime soon, I love what I do.

“I’m not going to stop chasing the Olympics and trying to be the best in the world, it’s what I love to do. It puts everything into perspective, but I’m not going to let this stop me. If I’m able to, and it's safe to, I'm not going to let this have power over what I want to do.”

Read Matt's story HERE.

Football – Matildas in record-setting win against Chile

The Matildas beat Chile 2-1 in Sydney in front of 20 029 fans, setting a record attendance for a Matildas game on home soil. Captain Sam Kerr bagged two goals taking her tally to 40 goals from 40 games across all competitions, with the Matildas, Chicago Red Stars
and Perth Glory.


Kerr’s double also took her Matilda’s career goalscoring tally to 38, equalling legend Cheryl Salisbury to move into third on the all-time Matildas scoring list. Find out more and check out the players’ reactions to the game HERE.

Diving – Aussie dive into medals at Gold Coast Grand Prix

Australian divers medalled in every event they contested in windy conditions at the FINA Diving Grand Prix on the Gold Coast. In the 3m springboard dual Olympian Annabelle Smith won silver with young gun Kiarra Milligan claiming her first World Cup medal in bronze.

Shixin Lin won bronze in the men’s 3m before pairing with Matthew Carter to take another bronze in the 3m synchro. The 10m platform saw Nikita Haynes win bronze in the women’s with Sam Fricker taking silver on the men’s side.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thank you Gold Coast ☀️

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AOC's response to ABC decision on Tokyo Games

Submitted by admin on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 13:52
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The AOC has called on the ABC to reverse its decision not to provide live radio coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

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AOC Chief Executive Officer Matt Carroll says the decision is short-sighted and runs contrary to the ABC Charter.

“The ABC should reconsider this decision. The AOC is prepared to put this case to the Chair of the ABC directly, on behalf of the 8 million Australians who participate in Olympic sports.

“Not to mention the millions more who follow, support and celebrate those athletes.

“The AOC believes the decision is monumentally short-sighted and a great let down to Australians who rely on their national broadcaster - from the smallest of communities to our suburbs.

Mr Carroll says we live in times when even more Australians should be inspired to participate in sport, to defeat the growing scourges of obesity and mental illness.

“Tokyo 2020 presents such an opportunity to do that, given the time-zone, in particular.

“The Olympics can inspire Australians to embrace something valuable and as the ABC’s charter indicates – to contribute to a sense of national identity. There’s no bigger event in the world to fulfil this ambition.

“There is no sporting movement in Australia that covers the multi-cultural and geographical diversity of our country as the Olympic movement – we will be sending athletes to compete in some 42 disciplines in Tokyo. These are things go to the heart of the ABC Charter,” Mr Carroll concluded.

Aussie shooters secure 11 Tokyo 2020 quota spots at Oceania Champs

Submitted by admin on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 11:13
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Australia's shooters have taken their overall Tokyo 2020 quota to 15 after a dominant display at the Oceania Championships last week, where they claimed 11 spots.

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It was a memorable event for the Aussies, with Victorians Mitchell Iles and Sergei Evglevski both winning gold medals and achieving Tokyo Olympic Games quota positions on the last day of the Oceania Championship.

The two quota positions will see Australia occupy 15 places across all disciplines at next year’s Tokyo Games.
 


 

Iles, a 2016 Rio Olympian, captured the gold medal and an Oceania Junior Record in the Men’s Trap shooting 43 of 50 targets to defeat teammate Daniel Di Pietro (39 targets) with New Zealand’s Owen Bennett (29 targets) winning the silver and bronze medals.

The biggest shock of the event was the early elimination of Australia’s 2004 Athens Olympic Games bronze medallist, Adam Vella.

Vella entered the final as the highest-ranked shooter after the morning qualification round but was the first of six shooters to be eliminated.

In the Men’s 25m Rapid Fire Pistol, Evglevski (30 points) was largely untroubled when winning gold with ACT’s Thomas Ashmore (22 points) and New Zealand’s Thomas Noble (15 points) winning the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Evglevski, 22, a silver medallist in the event at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, said he is now focused on the final Olympic selection trials in the New Year.

The Championship ended on a high note for New Zealand with Natalie Rooney (37 targets) winning gold in the Women’s Trap when she defeated the Australian pair of Lisa Smith (33) and Breanna Collins (26).

Rooney, the Rio 2016 Olympic Games silver medallist behind Australia’s Catherine Skinner, held a one-shot lead going into the final five shots and managed to hit four targets while Smith could only down one.

Earlier in the championships, the brother-sister duo of Rio 2016's Jack Rossiter and Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympian, Tori Rossiter also earned Tokyo quota spots, with Jack setting a new Oceania Senior Record (451.8) in the 50m Rifle and Tori both winning gold and setting the Junior and Senior Oceania record in the 10m Air Rifle (246.8).
 

Prior to the Championships, Australian shooters Laetisha Scanlan and Penny Smith had claimed Tokyo Games quota positions in the Women’s Trap.

The full list of Australian shooting quotas are;

  • Women's Trap (Laetisha Scanlan and Penny Smith)
  • Men's Trap (Mitchell Iles, Sergei Evglevski, James Willet )
  • Men's 10m Rifle (Dane Sampson)
  • Men’s Skeet (Paul Adams)
  • Women’s Skeet (Laura Coles)
  • Men’s 3P (Jack Rossiter)
  • Women’s 3P (Emma Adams)
  • Women’s 10m Air (Dina Aspandiyarova)
  • Men’s 10m Air (Bailey Groves)
  • Women’s 25m Pistol (Elena Galiabovitch)
  • Men’s 10m Rifle (Alex Hoberg)
  • Women’s 10m Rifle (Tori Rossiter)


The Australian Olympic shooting team will be announced in March.

Shooting Australia

Brandon Loupos wins 2019 BMX Freestyle World Title

Submitted by admin on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 10:20
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Brandon Loupos claimed the rainbow jersey, Logan Martin took silver, while Natalya Diehm moved Australia a step closer to Olympic qualification, in a dominant display by Australia in the BMX Freestyle finals at the 2019 Urban Cycling World Championships in China on Sunday. 

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Loupos was lost for words after claiming the rainbow jersey, calling it a dream come true.

“It (the rainbow jersey) has been my phone background for 365 days, now it is on my chest, I can’t believe it. I am absolutely speechless,”  the 2018 World Championship bronze medallist said.
 

“It just shows you dreams can come true if you put your mind and heart to it and you just go for it.”

Loupos, 26, began Sunday’s final in unfortunate circumstances, crashing on a backflip attempt in his first run. However, in a stunning second run, Loupos shot to the top of the leaderboard with a double backflip, flair whip, a 1080, a 720 into a double whip transfer and cash roll, before ending with a five flair scoring 93.20 points.

“I can’t believe what is going on right now, especially after crashing in my first run. I was thinking about whether I should change my run or stay consistent for my second run,” the Sydneysider said.

“But I said stick to the plan, went out there and just charged. 

“I put everything into God's hands, I asked the Lord to give me the strength to get through the second run. Thank you to the man above watching over me, not for giving me the world title, but for allowing me to finish my run fit and healthy and be able to ride again tomorrow.”

Loupos opened the 2019 season in stunning style by recording the highest score ever recorded at a World Cup at the first round in Japan in April. In September, he claimed gold at the inaugural Urban Games in Hungary. 

“I couldn’t be happier. So stoked to be standing here right now, stoked to be Australian and representing Australia,” Loupos said, who is targeting a spot on the Australian team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games where the discipline will make its Olympic debut.

“My goal is to represent my country, I feel just being there (Tokyo) would be winning, but I want to go there and not just get a medal, but win a gold medal for my country.”

2017 World Champion Logan Martin scored 92.90 in a clean first run to sit just behind his teammate in second. But Queensland’s Martin was felled by a flat tyre in his second run, the final run of the day, which sealed the world title for Loupos.

“I was feeling good all weekend, and during practice today I also got a flat so I had to regain my composure, get my wheel fixed and back into the zone and do the run I had planned,” Martin, the dual 2019 X Games gold medallist who also finished the 2019 FISE World Series in second overall, said.

“I did that and it got me into second place, but in my second run, I, unfortunately, got another flat.  

“But congratulations to Brandon, it was a great result for Australia.”

Queensland’s Natalya Diehm, 22, launched Australia into contention for the women’s competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games after a stunning World Championship debut for Australia.
 

Diehm, finished sixth in the BMX Park Final to move Australia closer to securing a position at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“My first run didn’t go as planned, but I did my best in my second run, even though I was trying to play it safe,” Diehm, who took out the 2019 Vans BMX Pro-Skate Park Series in her first international season.

Only nine women will get to contest the Freestyle competition in Tokyo, which will be comprised of two riders from the top-ranked nation, one rider from each nation ranked second to fifth, and one rider from host nation Japan.

The final two spots will go to the next two best countries outside the top five at the end of qualifying in May.

“I am super happy for myself and everyone here, and I hope this means we get a spot at the Tokyo Olympics,” added Diehm. 

Martin, Loupos and Diehm will head back to Australia where they will contest the Oceania Championships in Melbourne followed by the 2019 Cycling Australia National Championships in Brisbane this December.

Cycling Australia

Aussie 7s men claim ticket to Tokyo and double Oceania gold for men and women

Submitted by admin on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 09:23
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Australia have had a remarkable Oceania Sevens tournament, with the men’s team securing their ticket to Tokyo 2020 by winning the Olympic Qualification Tournament and both the men’s and women’s team winning overall Oceania Championship gold.  

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After the women's team had already secured their Tokyo berth in June, the Oceania Sevens was the last shot for the men to also claim their spot after missing out on the top four automatic qualifying spots in the Sevens World Series.

Anything less than a victory on Saturday would have pushed them into a global repechage just a month out from the Olympics.

After the women's team had already secured their Tokyo berth in June, the Oceania Sevens was one of two remaining chances for the men to also claim their spot after missing out on the top four automatic qualifying spots in the Sevens World Series.

Anything less than a victory in the Olympic Qualifier on Saturday would have pushed them into a global repechage just a month out from the Olympics.

It was an incredible charge-down from captain Lewis Holland that stole the win for the Aussies, who trailed 12-0 at the half-time break, and he admitted there was an overwhelming sense of relief after the result was secured.

“It's a bit of a relief I guess,” he said after the qualifier final.

“The last three months have been building towards this moment because we didn't get there through the World Series, that was our first goal and this was our second hurdle we had to get over if we didn't overcome the first one. 

“To get that game out of the way is a really big relief.”

Coach Tim Walsh said the clarity of knowing they had secured their Olympic spot certainly made the path for the next 10 months much simpler.

“It's very difficult to peak in June and peak again in July for the Olympics... I can throw that other play away,” he said.

“This makes planning a little easier and gives us a lot more freedom to make sure we are fully prepped for the Olympics and not doubling up our peak performance.”

 

 

Them men followed their Tokyo qualification with victory over reigning Olympic champions Fiji 22-7 to claim the Oceania title.

The Australian women's team went undefeated to reclaim the Oceania title, beating Fji in the final.

The Aussie women trailed 12-0 in their championship final against Fijiana and stormed home with a 24-0 second half to claim the gold medal.

The victory came after two wins over New Zealand in as many days, a huge boost of confidence for the young team.

Having already sewn up their own Tokyo berth, Aussie women’s coach John Manenti named a number of new faces in his squad for the tournament, looking for them to prove themselves.
A group that included Uni 7s standouts Georgia Hannaway and Rachel Crothers was set for a major litmus test in Fiji, taking on New Zealand, Canada and Japan.

Manenti said the gold medal was ultimately a bonus for his young side.

“I suppose we obviously always want a win when we play but this was more about giving exposure and minutes to some of our younger girls and probably the biggest thing we got out of it was testing them against good quality teams,” he said.

“We obviously played New Zealand twice and a good Canadian team and a good Japanese team, the World Series Japanese team, so those three games were good and then tonight we had to show a bit of character coming home against the Fijians - down 12-0, in front of their home crowd and a few things going against us -  so I think we learned a lot and they'll be better for the tournament now."


Hannaway was among one of the best for Australia in the tournament, along with youngsters Faith Nathan and Madison Ashby.

Manenti said their performances over the three-day competition showed that there was a level of players below the national squad more than capable of taking the step up to World Series rugby.

Rugby Australia

Get to know Canoe Slalom

Submitted by admin on Sat, 11/09/2019 - 13:22
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With Australia leading the way in Canoe Slalom boasting the 'greatest paddler of all-time', here are 10 things to get you up to speed ahead of Tokyo 2020.

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1. What is Canoe Slalom?

Canoe Slalom is a race against the clock through a combination of up and downstream gates on a whitewater course

2.    What is the difference between a canoe and a kayak?

A canoe has a single blade with the athlete paddling from kneeling position, while  kayak has a blade on each end which is paddled from a seated position.

3.    What Canoe Slalom events will be at Tokyo 2020?

There will be four events within Canoe Slalom at Tokyo 2020 with both men and women contesting the kayak and canoe singles (K1W, K1M, C1W, C1M).

4.   How do you get through the course?

Athletes race between coloured gates - there are a minimum of six upstream gates on each course with red dictating upstream and green for downstream. Athletes can incur time penalties with two seconds added for a gate touch and 50 seconds added for missing a gate entirely.

 

5.   How long does it take to complete a course?

The fastest athletes will stop the clock between 90-110 seconds.

6. When did Canoe Slalom make its debut at an Olympic Games?

Canoe slalom was first part of the Olympic programme at the Munich 1972 Olympic Games. Athletes from former Democratic Republic of Germany (East Germany) won all four gold medals. Canoe slalom was dropped from the programme for 20 years, returning in 1992.

7.    What will make Canoe Slalom different at Tokyo 2020?

Tokyo 2020 will be the first time gender equality will be achieved in Canoe Slalom, with women being able to compete in both kayak and canoe for the first time.
 

8. Who is the world's greatest slalom canoeist?

Australia boasts the greatest canoe slalomist of all-time – Jessica Fox. She earned this title (which originally belonged to her parents!) after winning 10 individual World Championship medals including seven gold and seven overall World Cup titles.
 

 

9.   When did Australia start competing in Olympic Canoe Slalom?

 Australia made its Canoe Slalom debut at Barcelona 1992, where Danielle Woodward claimed silver.
 

10.    How many Olympic medals has Australia won in Canoe Slalom?

In total, Australia have won five Olympic Canoe Slalom medals, three silver and two bronze. After Woodward’s silver at Barcelona, Jacqui Lawrence and Rob Bell claimed silver and bronze respectively at Beijing 2008 before Fox won silver at London 2012 and bronze at Rio 2016. Australia is tied with France for having the most medals in Canoe Slalom at an Olympic Games (four medals).

 

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Fox ready to create history at first gender-equal Olympics for Canoe Slalom

Submitted by admin on Sat, 11/09/2019 - 02:57
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Jess Fox aka the official 'Greatest Paddler of All-time' has been announced on the 2020 Australian Olympic Team for Canoe Slalom, and this will be the first time in Olympic history that women will have the opportunity to compete in both canoe (C1) and kayak (K1).

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The Olympic silver and bronze medallist is excited to contest her third Olympics, with the addition of the C1 event making it even more special.

“Being selected for Tokyo is amazing. Achieving selection, whether it’s for the first or third time, is always so special,” Fox said.

“Each Olympic Games has felt different and Tokyo 2020 will be unique in regards to the expectations and the experience I now have, but also due to the fact it will be the first time I’ll be competing in two events, so I’m very excited about that prospect,” the 25-year-old continued.

“Tokyo will be historic for our sport as it represents the first time canoe slalom has had gender equality at an Olympics. It’s been a long time coming and I’m so excited to be a part of it.”

Although the potential of medalling in both events is an exciting one for Fox, she says she is just focusing on the task at hand.

“The dream is to achieve Olympic gold, but ultimately I need to just stay focused on the process and manage both events well,” she said.

“To arrive physically, technically and mentally ready and paddle at my best is something I’ve trained so hard for.”
 
Although C1 is new to the Olympic Programme for women, Fox has dominated in the event for several years.

In 2014 she created history when the then 19-year-old became the first woman to win the double (K1 and C1) at the U23 World Championships in Penrith NSW and the World Championships in the USA.

Her historic run continued when in 2018 she claimed eight gold World Cup medals and achieved the “triple-double” – taking out both the K1 and C1 events across three consecutive World Championships. With 10 individual World Championship medals (seven gold) and seven overall World Cup titles to her name, Fox's feats earned her the illustrious title of the most successful athlete in the history of canoe slalom, a title that was previously held by both her mother and coach, Myriam Fox-Jerusalmi and father, Richard Fox.

The Penrith local credits her parents along with her sister and fellow paddler Noemi, with helping to get her to where she is today.

“My family have been so integral to my success,” Fox said.


“My mum, obviously by being my coach and my dad who has been a huge support along with my sister Noemie, who is an amazing training partner and a woman I’m so grateful for.”

Fox also extended her gratitude to the Paddle Australia team and her friends who support and understand the demanding life of being canoe slalom's 'greatest athlete of all time' (GOAT).

“I’m so grateful for the entire Paddle Australia support team of coaches, staff and team supporters as well as my personal sponsors who have been there for me this whole Olympiad,” she said. 

“I’m also thankful for my friends near and far who support me even though I’m rarely there for the birthdays and coffee dates!”

Fox took part in the Tokyo Test Event earlier this month, which gave her valuable insight into what to expect when she takes on Tokyo 2020. 

“I’ve checked out the course and done a bit of tourism already, but I can’t wait to be in the Olympic village with the whole team and soak up the vibe and atmosphere of the Olympic Games.

“It’s always so inspiring and I’m so proud to have another opportunity to represent Australia in Tokyo and to also support my teammates,” she said.

“Post-competition I hope I can get to some events and support our Team.” 

Liana Buratti

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Canoe Slalom Champion Jess Fox named to Tokyo 2020 Australian Olympic Team

Submitted by admin on Sat, 11/09/2019 - 00:54
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Jess Fox has been selected for the 2020 Australian Olympic Team
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Slalom canoeist Jessica Fox has been selected for her third Olympics, named on the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo 2020.

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The 25-year-old will contest the K1 (kayak) following her K1 silver at London 2012 and bronze at Rio 2016, and C1 (canoe) as the event makes its Olympic debut for female competitors.

Fox achieved Paddle Australia’s auto-qualification standard by winning the 2019 overall World Cup titles and medalling at the 2019 World Championships in both C1 and K1 events and was officially selected by the Australian Olympic Committee today.

Australia’s Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman welcomed Fox’s selection to her third Games.

“Jess is a phenomenal athlete and ambassador for Olympic sport and it is fantastic to announce her selection to the Tokyo 2020 team,” Chesterman said. 

“Jess has an incredible record across her Olympic and World Championships career and I look forward to seeing Jess pursue her goals in Tokyo. With her selection now secured, Jess can focus on her preparations for next year.”

The slalom program consists of four events – C1 and K1 for both men and women, a change from the Rio program of women’s K1 and men’s K1, C1 and C2, with the women’s C1 Olympic debut making Tokyo 2020 the first Games with an equal number of women’s and men’s canoe events and athletes.

“The addition of women’s C1 in Tokyo not only gives Jess another chance to represent Australia but provides more opportunity for Australians to see an incredible athlete representing the green and gold at the highest level.

“Congratulations not only to Jess but to her family and entire paddle community, who have played such a vital role in nurturing and developing athletes like Jess to reach the Olympic Games.”

Fox was ecstatic to lock in her selection for her third Olympic team.

“I still can’t believe it will be my third Olympics,” Fox said. “It’s just as exciting as my first, but I can go in now knowing what to expect.

“Thinking of the Opening Ceremony gets me so pumped and inspired. I left the London 2012 Opening Ceremony with sparkles in my eyes and goosebumps that lasted the rest of the Games, then getting to walk behind Anna Meares in Rio and be part of that atmosphere was amazing – to know I’ll get to do it again in Tokyo is an incredible feeling.”

Born in France and moving as a child to Penrith, Fox’s career highlights are extraordinary – seven overall World Cup titles and seven World Championship gold medals across C1 and K1, including claiming both overall titles and winning C1 and K1 World Championship silver medals in 2019, making her the most successful canoe slalom paddler of all time.

“I’m not the same athlete I was for London – I feel really proud of my career and what I’ve achieved and I want to get to Tokyo the best I’ve ever been – physically, mentally and technically.

“I’m so excited at that opportunity to have C1 on the Olympic program – I’ve been competing in both C1 and K1 the last 10 years and to know I’ll be there the first time women take on C1 at the Olympics is really special. One of hardest things at the Games compared to World Cups has been having a lot more time to kill with only one event, having C1 in Tokyo will help me feel closer to my normal event preparation.”

Paddling is a family affair for Fox, with mum and coach Myriam a French Olympic paddler and multiple world champion, dad Richard a world champion and Olympic British paddler and sister Noemie a national teammate.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without my family and to share this with them is really special. From my grandad signing me up to a local paddling club in Marseille the day I was born, to dad teaching me the basics as a kid, going into advanced training with mum and sharing a team with Noemie, I know I always have the biggest and best support system with me wherever I go.”

Paddle Australia President Andrea McQuitty celebrated Fox’s selection for Tokyo.

“We have a successful history in women’s canoe slalom at the Olympic Games and we are very excited and incredibly proud to see Jess head to her third Olympic Games next year,” McQuitty said.
 
“Our strong women’s canoe slalom program is led by Jess as well as her mother and coach Myriam Fox. What the whole Fox family has done for paddling around the world has just been extraordinary and we are looking forward to exciting times ahead. 
 
“I’ve known Jess since she was two years old and it has been wonderful following her journey growing into the world’s best canoe slalom paddler as well as the strong and inspiring woman she has become. She is not only one of the world’s best athletes, but a champion on and off the water who is inspiring the next generation of girls in our sport and beyond.  

"It’s only fitting that she will be amongst the first women who will contest a gender-equal Olympic canoe slalom competition next year with the opportunity to compete in two events.”

Fox’s announcement takes the selected Australian team size to five of an expected 480 final team.

2020 Australian Olympic Team

Sport / Discipline Athlete
Canoe Slalom Jessica Fox
Marathon Swimming Kareena Lee
Sailing - 470 Mat Belcher
Sailing - 470 Will Ryan
Sailing - Laser Matt Wearn

 

Canoe Slalom will take place from 26 to 31 July at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre, the first humanmade course in Japan.

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AOCM Change-Maker National Summit

Submitted by admin on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:02
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Australian Olympic Change-Maker SA
Article Introduction

In 2019 the AOC set out to reward and recognise young Australian Change-Makers - students who demonstrated the Olympic spirit through leadership and driving positive change in their communities, by implementing the Australian Olympic Change-Maker (AOCM) program.

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Schools nationally were encouraged to nominate up to two students per school from years 10-12 who embodied the theme of “change.” From the minor to major, ordinary to amazing, whether leading teams, coaching juniors, supporting seniors, making a difference at a sports club, a national cause or effecting change on the world stage.

 

The nominations received were overwhelming, showcasing 1,027 young Australians whose Olympic spirit transcended the sporting field, acting as a force for positive change in the future.

All nominees were given the opportunity to attend a state or territory forum, with more than 700 attending across Australia. The forums provided a unique opportunity for Change-Makers to come together with other like-minded students from around the country. More than 25 Olympians were engaged in the Forums.

 

Change-Makers were encouraged to submit a one-minute video that demonstrated how they were driving change in their school or community with their submissions to be reviewed by a panel of Olympians. More than 450 submissions were received to attend the National AOCM Summit. 

Although a difficult task, the Olympian panel selected 26 students who stood out as Change-Makers to represent their state, territory and school at the National AOCM Summit.

You can find the list of students selected for the National AOCM Summit HERE which is due to take place in Canberra on 4-6 December 2019.
 

Aussie Modern Pentathletes find nothing to lose ahead of Tokyo Qualifiers

Submitted by admin on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 13:58
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Marina Carrier Modern Pentathlon
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Early next week, Aussie Modern Pentathletes competing for a chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020 will feature a cross-generational challenge and if there's one saying that defines the process of becoming an Olympian, it's 'never say never.'

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Next week 14 of Australia's Modern Pentathletes will compete for a shot at Tokyo 2020, with the senior and age group events taking place in China on November 12 and Olympic qualification on the line.

 

This is likely to be Australia's biggest travelling team to a major international competition and features an exciting contest between London 2012's Ed Fernon, who is on the modern pentathlon comeback trail, and 18-year-old National Champion Rhys Lanskey

The competition will be historic, as this is the first time two Australians will compete against one another. Competition will be of the highest calibre, as the top placed Oceania athlete at the UIPM Asia/Oceania Championships in Wuhan books their place at the Games. 

When Max Esposito, who was seventh at the Rio 2016 Olympics, was ruled out of the qualification event with injury, Lanskey’s chances of securing a spot at the Olympics improved. He says he's excited about his duel against Fernon. 

"We were originally thinking we would be going up against Max at the Trials in China. But we got quite a big shock when he wasn’t going to be there, which opened a small window. But Ed is not going to be easy. He’s a world-class athlete and all I can do is do my best. I’ve got nothing to lose!”

Lanskey was impressive in winning the national title in March 2019, off only a few months solid training, and got great experience when representing Australia at the World Juniors and World Youth Championships in Europe across July. He has been back training full-time with his coaches at the Queensland Academy of Sport since returning from Europe.

“It should be a great experience in China and I’m looking forward to competing for Australia again.”

 

After a four-year break, 31-year-old Fernon was convinced by his athletics coach, and then his wife, to come out of retirement. Fernon’s last competition was in 2015 at the World Championships. He has achieved other sporting conquests though. In 2017, Sydney businessman and father of two won the Mongol Derby, which is the longest and toughest horse race in the world. And also climbed some of the world’s highest mountain peaks. Fernon has got himself back into great shape in less than three months of hard training. He has surprised himself with how his body has responded to elite training again. 

The fencing is going to be very important in China. Both men are training extremely hard for their epic face-off. Lanskey, who had never tried fencing before he took up the sport, is training hard with Australian fencing high performance director Paul Crook in Brisbane, and Fernon has reactivated his fencing muscle memory with his old fencing coach, Olympian Bill Ronald. 

"At the moment I’ve been fencing really well and my running and shooting is going well. It’s been really enjoyable getting back into training,” Fernon explained. “I’ve got nothing to lose here in this competition. Really for me, if I’m unsuccessful in China the worst-case scenario for me is I just got fitter over the last three months. This would really be the icing on the cake and being able to go and do another Olympics.  I’ll go over there pretty relaxed about the competition to be honest and we’ll see what happens."

 

Experience against youth manifests itself differently for Australia's women, as the scene is set for Marina Carrier to claim a spot for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. She finished as the second Oceania Athlete in this event four years ago to Chloe Esposito, who'd go on to become Australia's first Olympic gold medalist in modern pentathlon. However, due to injury, Esposito will not be on the starting line in China, making the mountain easier to climb for Carrier. 

 

Although the Oceania spot appears to be a two-woman contest, the field will be tough with the top five athletes from Asia earning their Olympic spot for Tokyo 2020.  In China next week Carrier needs to complete the competition ahead of New Zealand’s Rebecca Jamieson. The 28-year-old finished 67th at the 2019 World Championships in Budapest in September, after finishing 8th in the Laser-Run World Championships a few days earlier.

"Towards the back end of last year, I had a solid training block which really consolidated my work and I was really moving forward and was really excited for this year.

"I started the international season this year at the French and Polish Nationals which I really enjoyed," she said. "I was on the podium again in Poland and I had the fastest laser-run of the competition. It was really exciting to know that I was now at that level.”

Since those competitions, Carrier has battled injuries and recovery treatment, but is adamant that she's competing right where she wants to. 

"I had a couple of (injury) niggles but nothing huge. But following on from that comp the niggles grew and we sat back and said ‘somethings not quite right here.' It turned out to be bone stress in my femur (thigh bone). It wasn’t a break and we caught it at a good time, so that with rest and care it wouldn’t become too serious."

Carrier and her coaching team have been very cautious to give the injury the best possible chance to heal. Her running and normal fencing training had to be stopped and she focussed her training on events with low impact such as swimming and shooting. She was given the all-clear to resume full training a few weeks back and she found her running fitness had been maintained, with her extra swimming sessions. She is now set for the Olympic qualifier.

Her good mate and inspirational companion Ed Fernon has been a steady source of encouragement and welcomed competitive energy. The pair do swimming and shooting training together. 

"It’s nice to have someone else for the coaches to pick on!” Carrier said with a laugh. “We compete against each other to a point. It’s quite funny, we push each other hard. He’s a really great guy and a really great athlete and his improvement since returning to the sport has been amazing.”