Hockeyroos qualify for Tokyo 2020

Submitted by admin on Mon, 10/28/2019 - 08:36
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Hockeyroos qualify for Tokyo 2020
Article Introduction

The Hockeyroos will appear at an 11th straight Olympic Games after booking their place at Tokyo 2020 with a resounding 5-0 win in the second and final qualifier against Russia on Saturday night.


The result gave the Hockeyroos a 9-2 victory on aggregate to ensure they will join the Kookaburras in representing Australia at next year’s Games.
After a 4-2 win in the opening game on Friday, the overall result was decided inside the opening half of tonight’s second match as all of the goals came in the first 30 minutes.
Mariah Williams scored a brace while Grace Stewart, Sophie Taylor and Emily Chalker also got on the score sheet.
“I feel really happy for the girls,” Head Coach Paul Gaudoin said after the win. 
“They worked really hard and it has been a massive year. We didn’t quite get there (against New Zealand) in Rockhampton but now we can focus our preparations on Tokyo.
“From here we’ve got to make sure we’re as prepared as we can be leading up to the Olympics.
“It was pleasing that we managed to finish off with some quality goals in the first half but our ball handling needs to get better as well as our fitness.”
After a string of early Hockeyroos penalty corners, Lily Brazel, in her 50th appearance, won yet another in the 9th minute. 
The set play was well worked, Russian keeper Viktoriia Aleksandrina managing to save Renee Taylor’s drag flick but it fell to Stewart who was positioned perfectly to knock the ball home.
A great combination between Amy Lawton and Mariah Williams almost saw the latter score moments later but Aleksandrina came up with a fine save.
But Williams would not be denied in the 22nd minute when some good lead up work along the base line found the forward and she picked her spot and scored.
Three minutes later it was 3-0 when Chalker trapped and rolled the ball to Taylor from a penalty corner. Taylor took a touch to put herself inside the circle and struck a shot low and hard shot into the bottom right corner which gave Aleksandrina no chance.
The second quarter avalanche continued as Kalindi Commerford held the ball up well inside the circle before turning the ball across the goal and Chalker was unmarked at the far post to make it 4-0.
There was even time for a fifth before the main interval, an attack down the right ending with Williams whose speculative shot alluded Russian defenders and the oncoming Commerford to sneak over the line.
Russia provided more stubborn resistance in the second half as the Hockeyroos were restricted to fewer opportunities, while goalkeeper Ashlee Wells, who replaced Rachel Lynch at half time, was called upon to make a sharp save in the final quarter to keep the visitors scoreless.
Pleasingly for Gaudoin, the clean sheet was another positive on a night the Hockeyroos overcame a challenging hurdle to now allows them to start looking ahead to Tokyo 2020.
With Olympic qualification achieved, the Hockeyroos players will now return to play with their respective Sultana Bran Hockey One teams for the league’s final round next weekend.
Hockey Australia


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Thorpe Unleashed to inspire kids in Tasmania

Submitted by admin on Fri, 10/25/2019 - 11:05
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Ian Thorpe Olympics Unleashed - Getty Images
Article Introduction

Last week, five-time Olympic Champion and nine-time Olympic medallist, Ian Thorpe traveled to Hobart to Unleash his message of inspiration, goal-setting and dreaming big to the students of Taroona High School.


Originally launched in Queensland over 12 months ago, Olympics Unleashed – Presented by Optus, has expanded its reach to NSW and ACT, bringing over 90,000 students from 635 schools, face-to-face with Olympic heroes.

Last week, it was Hobart’s turn to have a sneak peek at what Olympics Unleashed is all about, with the hope that the program would be rolled out nationally in the near future. 

Taroona High School’s 230 Year 9 students were treated to the opportunity of a lifetime, hearing from one of Australia’s most decorated Olympians, Ian Thorpe.

Thorpe said that participating in Olympics Unleashed was a meaningful opportunity to inspire students to live their lives to the fullest – whether they want to be the next Ian Thorpe or make waves on a completely different path.

“Being part of the Olympics Unleashed program, I have the opportunity to meet so many great kids and hear their stories,” Thorpe said.

“It’s not just about uncovering the next Olympian – although that would be nice, it’s about inspiring the next generation through our Olympic journey, which I find really enjoyable.

“It’s really important to not only inspire kids in sport, but in whatever they may want to achieve, so they can get the most out of their lives,” he continued.

The messages athletes like Thorpe communicate are universal and ones that can be applied to all areas of life.

“The main message I wanted to communicate to the kids was around goal setting, pursuing your passion and following your dreams,” Thorpe said.

Thorpe hopes that his inspiration will have a flow-on effect, with students going on to inspire others.

“It’s so important for each generation to inspire the next and by having our Olympians, some of whom aren’t much older than these kids, in schools talking about their experiences. Through Olympics Unleashed, we are doing just that.”

Olympics Unleashed is free for schools, and takes Olympians and athletes aspiring for Tokyo 2020 and beyond into schools to unlock students’ passion and help inspire goal setting, overcoming challenges and developing resilience.

You can find more information and register your school at

Olympics Unleashed is only possible through the great support of State Governments and presenting partner Optus.

Liana Buratti

No holds barred for Hockeyroos in last chance quest for Tokyo 2020

Submitted by admin on Thu, 10/24/2019 - 12:32
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Hockeyroos Tokyo 2020 Qualifiers
Article Introduction

The Hockeyroos will not be leaving anything to chance as they attempt to secure their place at next year’s Tokyo Olympics when they take on Russia in a do-or-die two-match Qualifying Series in Perth beginning tomorrow (Friday 25 October 2019).


The winner on aggregate across the two matches, to be played on 25/26 October at the Perth Hockey Stadium, will book their spot at Tokyo 2020.

Currently ranked second in the world, the Hockeyroos find themselves in this ‘last chance’ qualifier after being narrowly edged out by New Zealand in last month’s Oceania Cup which saw the Black Sticks Women qualify automatically.

Hockeyroos Head Coach Paul Gaudoin says the players’ focus at training since they reassembled to prepare for the qualifiers has been spot on and he is confident they will be able to handle the occasion considering what is on the line. 

“If we control what we can do, do it well and stick to the game plan, I believe we’ll be able to come away with some success,” said Gaudoin.

“One of the things we have spoken about is the ability to play in high-pressure matches.”

“We took some learning from those qualifiers against New Zealand and now we have another opportunity to play in high-pressure games.”

“It highlights that you can’t take qualifying for the Olympics for granted, particularly in the women’s game. 

Up against a Russian team 19th on the world rankings, the Hockeyroos enter the qualifiers as favourites, however, their opponents are largely an unknown quantity and Gaudoin knows they will pose a difficult challenge. The last time the Hockeyroos faced Russia was at a six nations tournament in 2002.

“Russia have had some promising results against some very good teams of late, so they have obviously got some quality about them and they are a little bit more unknown so that makes it dangerous,” said Gaudoin.

“But at the same time, we’re confident. We’ve established ourselves over the last couple of years into a pretty good position globally and I back our girls to get the job done.”

“We have had a look at some of Russia’s matches but certainly the focus has been back on our play and what we do so that has certainly been the focus for us.”

The Hockeyroos have suffered one setback in the lead up with dynamic forward Rosie Malone ruled out after injuring her hamstring at training. 

Malone’s spot in the team has been filled by WA local Georgia Wilson, who herself has returned from injury and is set to make her first Hockeyroos appearance since the Ready Steady Tokyo Test Event in August.

If Lily Brazel plays in both matches as expected, she will make her 50th Hockeyroos appearance in the second match on Saturday and be hoping to celebrate it with qualification for Tokyo.

With the Perth Thundersticks hosting a doubleheader against NSW Pride prior to the Hockeyroos’ second match on Saturday 25 October, the two qualifiers at the Perth Hockey Stadium are FREE entry to the public.

Both matches of the qualifying series will be broadcast LIVE and exclusive on Kayo.

FIH 2019 Olympic Qualifying Series
Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University, WA

Friday 25 October 2019
Hockeyroos v Russia (3:00pm AWST, 6:00pm AEDT)

Saturday 26 October 2019
Hockeyroos v Russia (7:00pm AWST, 10:00pm AEDT)

Hockeyroos v Russia – overall record
Played 6; Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 2

Hockey Australia

Shepparton kids coached by Aussie Olympians

Submitted by admin on Wed, 10/23/2019 - 13:58
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Article Introduction

Last week, over 300 Shepparton students took part in a once in a lifetime opportunity - being coached and inspired by Aussie Olympians through the A.S.P.I.R.E Leadership Program.


The program is funded by Sport and Recreation Victoria and delivered by the Victorian Olympic Council. It aims to connect regional communities and local school students with Olympians, to increase participation in sport and promote a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
The grade five and six students from across 15 schools in the Greater Shepparton region had the opportunity to interact with 11 of Australia’s inspiring Olympic heroes, one of them being Rio 2016 swimmer, Kotuku Ngawati.

Ngawati said the program is one she wishes she had access to as a child, which is why she jumped on board.

“The A.S.P.I.R.E. Leadership Program is a wonderful opportunity for regional communities such as schools and local sporting clubs to come together,” she said.

“Being able to inspire the next generation is so rewarding because throughout my primary school days I never had this opportunity and I would have loved it. Being able to give back is what drew me to the program.”

Using their personal experiences, Olympians shared messages referring to the values in sport and how these can be transferred to everyday life. 

Students not only had the opportunity to interact with Olympians, but also hear insights from their Games experiences; with local club representatives, coaches and elite athletes on hand to also share their stories and the positive impact sport has had in their life.

The Shepparton program was the seventh in this series, which saw schools take part in sporting clinics with local clubs such as; 

•    Shepparton Little Athletics Club
•    Shepparton Junior Soccer Association 
•    Shepparton Badminton Association
•    Goulburn Valley Hockey Association 
•    Shepparton Table Tennis Association

Being a regional town, access to Olympic role models is limited, which is why these programs have been implemented - with the ultimate goal of inspiring students to pursue their own dreams and adopt a healthy lifestyle.

“Having 11 Olympians in Shepparton is very rare and for them to be able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of their particular sport to grade 5 and 6 students is very exciting,” Ngawati said.

“To see the enjoyment the students get whilst learning and trying a different sport, is such a highlight.

“The sports on offer are potentially ones that the students may have never tried or heard of before, so introducing them to it through this program creates a pathway for future development,” she continued.

“It was a great eye-opener to students, that showed them that sport is fun and such a fantastic opportunity for them to discover their passion.

“If we can inspire at least one student, it’s a step in the right direction to live a healthy and active lifestyle through sport.”

Olympians in attendance included:

•    Andrew Smith                      Hockey – 2008 Beijing bronze medallist 
•    Greta Small                           Alpine Skiing – 2014 Sochi, 2018 PyeongChang
•    Koti Ngawati                         Swimming – 2016 Rio
•    Melissa Tapper                     Table Tennis – 2016 Rio
•    Monica Brennan                  Athletics – 2016 Rio
•    Peter Blackburn                   Badminton – 2004 Athens, 2000 Sydney 
•    Robin Middleton                  Badminton – 2016 Rio 
•    Russell Lavale                       Table Tennis – 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens
•    Sean Wroe                             Athletics – 2008 Beijing  
•    Selin Kuralay                         Football – 2004 Athens 
•    Stuart Carruthers                 Hockey – 1996 Atlanta bronze medallist 

If you want to learn more about the AOC's community programs, head to

Liana Buratti

The IOC takes a look back at the emblems of the Olympic Games

Submitted by admin on Wed, 10/23/2019 - 10:19
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Article Introduction

To mark the unveiling of the Paris 2024 Games Emblem, took a look back at some of the most well-known emblems from Olympic Games editions in the modern era, stretching back over a century. 


There was no emblem for the Paris 1900 Games per se – in fact there was not even an Olympic symbol (the flag with the five interlacing rings would not be created by Pierre de Coubertin until 1913) – but rather a number of famous posters, including one depicting a woman holding the three weapons of fencing, together with the words “international fencing competitions”, which were held as part of the 1900 World’s Fair in the French capital.


In 1924, on the other hand, the Games did have an emblem. It featured the words “VIII Olympiad Paris 1924” and, underneath, “French Olympic Committee” (in French), and depicted the coat of arms of the city of Paris, but without the motto “fluctuat nec murgitur” (“it is tossed by the waves but does not sink”). The image was that of a sailing ship, complete with oars, travelling up the Seine. The blazon, or formal description of the coat of arms, reads: “Gules, on waves of the sea in base a ship in full sail Argent, a chief Azure semé-de-lis Or”. This was the second time that the French capital had hosted the Games, and the symbol was chosen for its historical significance – a coat of arms that dates back to the 14th century.

The emblem for the Tokyo 1964 Games was created by renowned Japanese graphic designer Yusaku Kakemura. Legend has it that he came up with the emblem in just a few hours. It used the red circle of the Japanese flag, representing the sun, or more specifically the Shinto religion sun deity Amaterasu. Underneath the red circle were the Olympic rings and the words “Tokyo 1964” in gold letters.

Rooted in pop art innovation, the Mexico City 1968 emblem also took inspiration from pre-Columbian Mexican art. The starting point of the design was the five Olympic rings, which were incorporated into the figure 68. The emblem clearly identified the country, year and sporting event, and was grounded in both Mexican culture and modernity.

Sixteen years later, slightly further north, Los Angeles, California, played host to the Olympic Games for the second time. The emblem of the Games of the XXIII Olympiad Los Angeles 1984 featured the stars of the American flag in the national colours of red, white and blue. The stars were cut through with horizontal streaks, evoking movement, speed and dynamism, with the straight lines conjuring images of 100m sprinters running at full speed.

Back in Europe, the famous three-stroke emblem of the Barcelona 1992 Games depicted an athlete running or jumping. The yellow and red lines were the colours of Spain, while the blue that formed the figure’s head was a nod to Barcelona’s proximity to the Mediterranean Sea. The “Barcelona ‘92” typography was in bold Times New Roman – Roman-ness, Latin-ness and seriousness.  

A similar idea lay behind the emblem of the Sydney 2000 Games: a brush-drawn athlete in motion with legs formed by a boomerang. The white flash above the figure evoked the peaks of the iconic Sydney Opera House. The colours of blue, yellow and red were references to the sun, rocks, sea and unique landscapes of Australia, and its indigenous people.

At first sight, the emblem of the Rio 2016 Games, with its shades of blue, green and orange-yellow (the colours of the Brazilian flag), represented three figures joining hands to form a circle. But on closer inspection, one can make out the three letters R, I and O.

The emblem design was inspired by the city’s famous Sugarloaf Mountain backdrop.  According to the design agency that created it, the emblem depicted Sugarloaf Mountain and the city of Rio in movement, with three people embracing the city and the ideal of the Olympic spirit. It evoked themes of sporting prowess and challenges, as well as control and exuberant energy, while its overall shape also resembled that of a heart. In short, every time you look at it, you see something different.

Finally, let’s head back to Tokyo for the Games that will be taking place next year, with the emblem created by Japanese designer Asao Tokoro: a “harmonised chequered” circle. Chequered patterns and motifs have been popular throughout history all over the world. In Japan, the chequered pattern became formally known as “ichimatsu moyō” during the Edo period (1603-1867).

The emblem design, in the traditional Japanese colour of indigo, expresses the refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan. Composed of three varieties of rectangular shapes, the design incorporates a message of “Unity in Diversity” and expresses a desire for the Olympic and Paralympic Games to become a platform to promote diversity and bring people from all over the world together.

Tokyo Unleashed Podcast: Tyson Bull

Submitted by admin on Tue, 10/22/2019 - 15:18
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Tyson Bull - Tokyo Unleashed
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This week on Tokyo Unleashed, David Culbert talks to artistic gymnast Tyson Bull, after recently securing a Tokyo 2020 quota spot for Australia at the Gymnastics World Championships.


Melbourne-born Bull reflected on his third Gymnastics World Championships appearance, where he finished 7th in the Men’s Horizontal Bar and secured an Olympic quota spot for Tokyo 2020, in his first World Championships final.

The 26-year-old also shared how he balanced studying and finishing his degree abroad through the "game-changing" University of Illinois and his ambition to get himself onto the Olympic podium at Tokyo.

You can find more Tokyo Unleashed Podcasts below:

Paris 2024 unveils new Olympic and Paralymic Games emblem

Submitted by admin on Tue, 10/22/2019 - 10:54
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Paris 2024 Emblem -
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The Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 has unveiled its new emblem.


It was revealed following an innovative launch ceremony, which saw over 700 runners - led by Olympic and Paralympic medallists including Renaud Lavillenie, Nantenin Keita and Sarah Ourahmoune - run different routes around the centre of Paris and Saint-Seine-Denis, forming the outline of the new Paris 2024 emblem.

The emblem was then revealed in full on a giant screen at the Grand Prix Cinema in Paris, at precisely 20:24.

The new design brings together three iconic symbols connected to sport, the Games and France – the gold medal, the Olympic and Paralympic flames, and Marianne.

International Olympic Committee Coordination Commission Chair for the Olympic Games Paris 2024, Pierre-Olivier Beckers-Vieujant, said: “I congratulate Paris 2024 on the launch of their new emblem. It perfectly reflects their vision and desire to put people at the heart of the Olympic Games Paris 2024. The combination of the gold medal, the Olympic flame and Marianne brings together the values, history and French touch that will make these Olympic Games truly special. I believe that this innovative design will be quickly recognised around the world and be a wonderful calling card for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.” 

The emblem embraces the shape and colour of the most beautiful medal of all to express one of the core values of sport: striving for excellence. That same commitment also informs every step that Paris 2024 is taking in organising the Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024, so that it can fulfil the pledges it has made to stage a different, grounded, sustainable and inclusive Games.


The Olympic and Paralympic flames always conjure up special memories. The flame invites us to dream, to engage and to come up with new ways of staging the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It reflects the unique energy of the Games, which bring people together and drive solutions forward. The Games will help improve the lives of the inhabitants of the Seine-Saint-Denis area by bequeathing useful infrastructure to them: eco-neighbourhoods, through the conversion of the athlete and media villages into housing, and the creation of local sports facilities, such as the Olympic Aquatics Centre.

Finally, Marianne. With its feminine traits, the Paris 2024 emblem pays tribute to a woman who is a French national symbol known around the world. She embodies the revolutionary spirit that infuses the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games. She encapsulates the desire to bring the competitions out of the stadium and into the heart of the city. A familiar figure who is everywhere in the everyday lives of French people, she is also a reminder that these Games will be Games for everyone, Games that will belong to the people. Her face is also a homage to female athletes and a nod to history, as it was in 1900 at the Olympic Games in Paris that women were first allowed to compete.

For the first time, the emblem will be the same for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, only differentiated by the Olympic rings or Paralympic agitos, which will appear underneath. The logo also pays tribute to Paris as the host city of the Games, as its pure, understated lines and its original typeface take their inspiration from Art Deco, the first complete artistic movement, which reached its height at the 1924 Games in Paris. It expresses just how proud the country is to be welcoming the world to its capital city in 2024.

Boxer Hore inspires kids of regional Weipa

Submitted by admin on Mon, 10/21/2019 - 15:25
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Olympic boxer Brad Hore travelled to the regional mining town of Weipa, to inspire kids with his story of resilience for Olympics Unleashed – presented by Optus.


If anyone knows about picking yourself back up when you’ve been knocked down, it’s Brad Hore. When he took up boxing as a young kid, he lost every single one of his first ten fights, but that didn’t deter him, at 17-years-old Hore became one Australia’s 52 Indigenous Olympians.

Hore has always been candid with his battles both in and out of the ring and is a strong advocate for mental health which he shared with the 120 students of Western Cape College.

“Being able to share my story with these kids is so rewarding,” Hore said.

“So many athletes have such great stories but not everyone knows or hears of the hard times. Letting these kids know that being an athlete isn’t always ‘happy days’ is so important in helping them to relate,” he continued. 

“Everyone has good days and bad days but it’s about being mentally strong and not being afraid to reach out and ask for help.”

By sharing his story of resilience, Hore hopes that they won’t see failure as an end, but as part of their growth.

“When I started boxing as a 10-year-old, I lost my first ten fights and I explained to the kids that it’s okay to lose - it’s not all about winning everything. I wanted them to know that their failures did not define them, it’s their ability to get back up and keep trying that shapes who they are,” he said.

“It’s the same in any area of life, whether it be getting a bad grade or not winning in competition, the most important thing is to do your best and not give up.”

Hore also explained his struggle with depression and how he was able to pick himself back up with the support of those around him.

“I touched on my depression through sport and explained that it's not normal to feel sad every day. The students asked some really great questions like what you need to do to overcome the sadness you feel when people knock you back and or don’t believe in you,” he said.

“I told them that I had my little group of support which is my family, my coaches and a couple of friends who all believed in me, so I had to believe in myself to get where I wanted to and the people who told me I couldn't do it – they were my motivation.

“I wanted to encourage these kids to believe in themselves and not let anyone stop them from dreaming big. If they want to be an Olympian or a doctor, what’s stopping them?” he said.

“I actually had two young girls come and talk to me, who both just love football. They said they wanted to play professionally, and I said, what is stopping you? 

“The girls said, “Oh just boys telling us that we shouldn't be playing” I told them women's sport these days is just as big as men’s sport and the girls were really excited to hear that if they wanted a future as a professional sportswoman, there was nothing to stop them.”

Hore said that doing these presentations is just as rewarding for him, as it is for the students.

“Being able to give back is the best part about Olympics Unleashed – especially being able to talk to all different kinds of kids. 

“There were a lot of Indigenous students in Weipa and one of the highlights for me was being able to talk to them, along with two deaf students who I was able to show videos to and engage with, which they really enjoyed,” he said.

“I feel so proud to be able to do what I’m doing and if just one kid gets something positive out of it, then I’ve done my job.”

Olympics Unleashed is free for schools, and takes Olympians and athletes aspiring for Tokyo 2020 into schools to unlock students’ passion and help inspire goal setting, overcoming challenges and developing resilience.

You can find more information and register your school at

Olympics Unleashed is only possible through the great support of State Governments and presenting partner Optus.

Liana Buratti

Marathon milestone helped by Aussie Olympians

Submitted by admin on Mon, 10/21/2019 - 13:16
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Article Introduction

History was made and limitations were shattered last week when Eliud Kipchoge became the first human to run a sub two-hour marathon in Vienna. His incredible feat has been rightly compared to the first sub-four minute mile by Roger Bannister in 1954. 


As Kipchoge ran his way into the record books, four Australians played a significant role as pacemakers: Rio 2016's Pat Tiernan and, Brett Robinson along with Stewart McSweyn and Jack Rayner.

“The pacemakers did a great job, they are among the best runners of all time,” Kipchoge said after he ran the jaw-dropping time of 1:59.40.2 hours. “I thank them and appreciate them for accepting to do the job.”

Melbourne distance running guru, Nic Bideau, who manages all four Australian athletes and personally coaches McSweyn, Robinson and Rayner, was involved with the project from the very start and outlined some of the detailed planning.

“There were five pacing teams of seven runners, all with a captain who took the position immediately in front of Kipchoge and controlled the group,” Bideau said.


The pacing teams ran an efficient V-shape following a green laser projected onto the ground ahead of Kipchoge. It was a distinctive formation with Kipchoge in all white shoes and kit and the pacesetters dressed in black and running in pink shoes.

“Brett Robinson was one of the captains and he controlled the group that paced Kipchoge from 8km to 13.5km and again from 28km to 33.5km,” noted Bideau.

“Jack Rayner was on the start line with Kipchoge and had the position on the front and on the right of the reverse V formation of seven runners around Kipchoge and he drove the pace for the first 4km and had the same role for the final 5.5km to the finish. Pat Tiernan and Stewy McSweyn also had turns in that position during the race for a 5.5km section. 

“McSweyn was then part of Robinson’s team from 28km to 33.5km and Tiernan was leading the group that went from 23km to 28km.”

The pace was spot on, only varying between 2:48 and 2:52 for the required 2:50 for the 42.195km journey.

The Australian’s realised their opportunity to be part of history. 

"It was a real privilege to help the greatest marathon runner of all-time achieve something that will long be remembered as a part of history," Jack Rayner said, who has run a marathon qualifier for Tokyo.


While Rio Olympian Brett Robinson was impressed with the planning and logistics.

“The whole event was so professionally set up everyone really got into it. It was a great experience cooperating with so many athletes that you normally compete against to help one of our sport's champions record an amazing achievement."

“They all loved the experience being part of an historical event and really enjoyed working for Kipchoge who is such a humble champion,” Bideau added.

The planning for the race had started in April after Kipchoge had won his fourth London Marathon. 

“Representatives told me that Kipchoge had decided rather than another race he wanted his next great challenge to be to run a sub two-hour marathon again - he had tried in Monza a couple of years ago,” Bideau said.

“They asked if I would be able to provide some of my runners to help pace. After discussions with the London Marathon elite field organiser, Spencer Barden, we agreed that McSweyn, Robinson, Tiernan and Rayner would be among 41 athletes brought into pace the event.”


The planning was meticulous. In August, Robinson, Rayner and Bideau had gone to Vienna along with many of the pacemakers and others involved in the event to work out the strategies and practice the pacing for the actual event. Tiernan and McSweyn were excused from the weekend to allow them to concentrate on their Doha World Championships preparations.

They spent close to $20 million on infrastructure and re-surfacing parts of the road to improve the surface. The course was flat and 90% in a straight line and during the race, a team of cyclists passed drinks to Kipchoge.

Nic Bideau noted the strong team feeling in what is largely an individual sport.

“It was a great event to be at and one of the key things that struck me was the way everyone was so united toward the goal. There was a great vibe of positivity around the event so when the day approached everyone was confident it would work out.

“It was a great team effort but there was no doubting the shining light was Kipchoge who was simply phenomenal on the day and looked like he could probably have run under 1.59!"

David Tarbotton

WEEKEND WRAP: A haul of cycling gold and International Swimming League domination

Submitted by admin on Mon, 10/21/2019 - 10:35
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Sally Fitzgibbons
Article Introduction

It was on both the track and the water that Australia's Tokyo 2020 hopefuls shone over the weekend, with the Aus Cycling Team picking up a swag of medals along with plenty of time atop the ISL podium for the Aussie Dolphins.



The Australian Cycling Team wrapped up the Oceania Champs in Invercargill on the weekend with five gold medals highlighting the team's results along with one silver and two bronze.

The golden finishes came through Amy Cure and Alexandra Manly along with Sam Welsford and Kelland O'Brien in the Women's and Men's Madison, Amy Cure in the Points Race, Steph Morton in the Sprint, and Conor Leahy in the Individual Pursuit.

Maeve Plouffe claimed silver in the Individual Pursuit and bronze in the Points Race, while it was bronze for Kaarle McCulloch in the Sprint.


Australia’s swimmers kicked off the Dallas leg of the International Swimming League (ISL), competing for London Roar and the New York Breakers.

Rio 2016 quadruple medallist, Emma McKeon took the early lead for London Roar, finishing first in the Women’s 100m Butterfly and second in the 200m Freestyle, with Aussie teammate but ISL rival - Olympic gold and silver medallist Maddy Wilson finishing in second for the New York Breakers.

Minna Atherton also topped the podium in both the Women’s 50m and 200m Backstroke, while teammate Holly Barratt came third in the 50m Backstroke.

Dual Olympian Bronte Campbell kicked off the women’s team in the 4x100m Freestyle relay, while sister and dual-Olympic Champion, Cate Campbell anchored the Roar to a first-place finish.

The Campbell sisters continued to dominate, with Cate taking out another first place in the Women’s 50m free, while Bronte was close behind in third.

Aussie Dolphin, Roar teammate and Olympic Champion, Kyle Chalmers claimed the top spot in the Men’s 100m Freestyle with dual Olympian Cam McEvoy placing seventh. Chalmers also anchored the Roar to first place in the Men’s 4x100m Medley Relay and placed second in the Men’s 50m Freestyle and the 4x100m Freestyle Relay.

Matthew Wilson took out the Men’s 200m Breaststroke and finished first in the 50m Breast, while Jess Hansen came fourth in the Women’s 50m Breaststroke and Rio 2016 silver medallist Taylor McKeown finished sixth in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke.


It was a triple-threat for Australia's female surfers at the Portugal Pro, with Steph Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Nikki Van Dijk all making it through to the quarterfinals along with teammate, Jack Freestone for the men. With competition on standby, the Aussies will contest the quarterfinals once Peniche weather permits. You can track their progress HERE.

Soli Bailey, Wade Carmichael, Keely Andrew, Macy Callaghan and Bronte Macaulay all made it as far as the Round of 16, while Adrian Buchan, Julian Wilson and Owen Wright were knocked out in the Round of 32.


Five-time Olympian, Jian Fang Lay flew the flag for Australia at the International Table Tennis Federation Women’s Table Tennis World Cup. Lay competed in Group C coming up against Germany’s Petrissa Solja and was defeated 4-3 before proceeding to Taipei’s Szu-Yu Chen, going down 4-1.