The Hockeyroos are heading to Tokyo 2020 after dominating Russia in their do-or-die qualifier, a swimming world record for mighty Minna Atherton and Ash Barty edging closer to securing the year-ending world number 1 ranking headlines a big weekend in Olympic sport.
Hockey – Hockeyroos book ticket to Tokyo with dominant wins
The Hockeyroos have booked their ticket to Tokyo with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Russia in Perth in their second Olympic Qualification matchup.
The result locked up a 9-2 aggregate victory after winning Friday’s matchup 4-2, ensuring the Hockeyroos will appear at their 11th straight Olympic Games.
Mariah Williams scored a double, with Grace Stewart, Sophie Taylor and Emily Chalker also notching goals.
After narrowly missing out on qualification to New Zealand at September’s Oceania Championships, the Hockeyroos made no mistake in this do-or-die qualification matchup.
Find out more HERE.
Swimming – World record as Aussies ‘Roar’ in Budapest and Melbourne
Aussie swimmers were in action from Melbourne to Budapest, including a scorching short course World Record swim by Minna Atherton in the 100m backstroke at the International Swim League (ISL) meet.
Round two of the ISL competition in Budapest saw a suite of Aussies in red hot form, headlined by Atherton’s incredible 54.89 in the 100m backstroke final for London Roar, becoming the first woman to ever swim under 55 seconds.
Atherton’s London Roar teammates Cate Campbell and Emma McKeon had a dead-heat to jointly win the 100m freestyle in 51.02, with Kyle Chalmers cementing the Aussie 100m dominance, winning the men’s in 45.77.
Atherton also took the 50m and 200m backstroke crowns, while McKeon added to her tally with the 100m butterfly. The 200m freestyle events were dominated by Australians, McKeon and Madi Wilson topping the women’s event while Alexander Graham and Clyde Lewis finished top two in the men’s.
Elijah Winnington won the men’s 400m freestyle in 3.38.30, with fellow Australian Jack McLoughlin in third.
At the Australian Short Course Championships in Melbourne, Kiah Melverton dominated the freestyle events, claiming titles in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m. Koti Ngawati took out the 100m and 50m freestyle.
Jenna Strauch claimed the breaststroke double winning the 100m and 200m, while David Morgan claimed the 100m and 200m butterfly double.
Find out more and get full results HERE.
Tennis – Barty closer to securing year-end World Number 1 ranking
Ash Barty kicked off her WTA Finals campaign with a three-set win over Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic in Shenzen, China.
The world No.1 came through 5-7 6-1 6-2 in one hour and 57 minutes to go top of the Red Group alongside Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, who beat Petra Kvitova 7-6(1) 4-6 6-4. Barty all but secured the year-end World No.1 ranking with a steely comeback victory in her opening match.
Unless disaster strikes and she can’t walk on court again this week, and Karolina Pliskova takes the title, Barty’s gritty win sealed the 23-year-old’s place in tennis history.
The French Open champion will be the first Australian woman to finish a season in top spot since rankings were introduced in 1973.
Find out more HERE.
Alex de Minaur fell just short in Basel, going down to Roger Federer in the Swiss Indoor final. Federer clinched a record-extending 10th Swiss Indoors championship in his hometown, with a 6-2 6-2 victory over de Minaur.
The Australian's run to the final has boosted his ranking, hitting a career high number 18 in the world. Find out more HERE.
Football – Kerr wins NWSL Player of the Year
Sam Kerr’s sensational season continues with the Westfield Matildas captain named the Most Valuable Player in the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League.
The three-time NWSL Golden Boot holder becomes the first two-time winner of the MVP award after also earning the honour in the 2017 season.\
Kerr fired her Chicago Red Stars to second in the NWSL ladder in 2019, scoring a record-setting 18 goals, breaking the previous tally of 17 she set while with Sky Blue in 2017.
Find out more HERE.
BMX Racing – Buchanan back on top in Indonesia
BMX racer Caroline Buchanan has claimed her first victory in her return from injury, winning the Banyuwangi International BMX title in Indonesia.
Buchanan won the title ahead of New Zealand’s London 2012 Olympic silver medallist Sarah Walker and Germany’s Nadja Pries.
Surfing – Aussie charge in Portugal ends in quarters
The penultimate event of the surfing calendar finished in Portugal on Saturday, with American Caroline Marks and Brazil’s Italo Ferreira taking the titles.
Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, Nikki van Dijk and Jack Freestone were the best placed Australians, all making it to the quarter-final stage.
With only the season-ending Hawaii Pro in Maui to come, Fitzgibbons (4th) and Gilmore (5th) are firmly in the top ten, while Owen Wright is the best placed Australian male in 7th, with Julian Wilson 11th and Ryan Callinan 12th.
Equestrian – Two Australian podiums in pinnacle Les 5 etoiles de Pau event
Chris Burton on mare Quality Purdey and Shane Rose on Virgil finished second and third at the elite Les 5 etoiles de Pau, one of only six 5-star equestrian competitions in the world.
The three day event combining showjumping, eventing and dressage disciplines with the world’s best riders, with the Australians rounding out the podium behind eventual winner Tom McEwen of Great Britain.
Find out more HERE.
Canoe Slalom – Paddlers test out Tokyo venue
Noemie Fox and Lucien Delfour tested out the Tokyo 2020 Canoe Slalom venue at the Ready Steady Tokyo event.
Fox made the final of the C1 event, finishing 6th, with Delfour finishing in 5th in his K1 final.
It is the first time for Australia’s canoe slalom paddlers to have the chance to test the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre, and the Australian team is making the most of the opportunity, training in the host city for two weeks.