Your daily guide to the Games: Kookaburras fight for gold, Boomers set for showdown with team USA in semi-final

Australia will fight for another gold medal on Thursday, when the Kookaburras go head-to-head with Belgium in the men’s hockey final.

Meanwhile, the Matildas are back in action after their thrilling semi-final, taking on the might of the USA for bronze.

The Boomers are also back on court against team USA as their bid to win Australia’s first men’s medal in Olympics basketball continues.

And Australia’s beach volleyball stars, Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, take on Latvia in the women’s semi-final.

The Tokyo Olympics are broadcast in Australia on free-to-air TV on Channel Seven, as well as streaming platform 7Plus.

The ABC will be live blogging events every day of the Olympics.

Here are the events to watch on Thursday, August 5.

Hockey: Kookaburras in the men’s gold medal match

Australia’s men’s hockey team will fight for gold on Thursday night, taking on Belgium in the decider at 8:00pm AEST.

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Tim Brand of Team Australia celebrates with teammates Lachlan Thomas Sharp and Blake Govers after scoring their team’s first goal during the Men’s Semifinal match between Australia and Germany on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Oi Hockey Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.(

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images


The Kookaburras secured their place in the final after defeating Germany 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Goals to Tim Brand and a penalty corner goal to Blake Govers set up the win, finished off by Lachlan Sharp who scored late after the Germans had withdrawn their goalkeeper in a bid to push forward with an extra field player.

Both the Kookaburras and the Belgium side remain unbeaten so far at the Tokyo Olympics.

Football: Matildas take on USA for bronze in women’s football

After falling agonisingly short against Sweden in their semi-final, the Matildas have a chance to medal when they play the USA for bronze at 6:00pm AEST.

Alex Morgan dribbles towards Sam Kerr.
The Matildas will take on team USA for a bronze medal in women’s football at the Tokyo Olympics.(

Getty: Atsushi Tomura


It’s an opportunity for redemption for the Australian side, who had a Sam Kerr goal disallowed in the semi-final, eventually going down 1-0 to the unbeaten Swedes.

The Matildas have already taken on team USA in the group stage of the competition and played out a very defensive 0-0 draw.

Basketball: Boomers semi-final against team USA

The Australian Boomers are set for their biggest challenge yet when they take on the USA in the men’s basketball semi-final at 2:15pm AEST.

Australia's Matisse Thybulle shoots a lay-up against Argentina.
Matisse Thybulle has been important at both ends of the floor for the Boomers.(

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images


The Boomers stormed into medal contention with a thumping 97-59 win over Argentina on Tuesday night, while the USA left it late to knock off Spain 95-81.

Patty Mills has led Australia beautifully as it tries to secure an Olympic medal in men’s basketball for the first time.

But America’s team of stars, including Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Devon Booker, stands in the way.

France go up against Slovenia in the other semi-final.

Beach volleyball: Australia face Latvia in semi-final

Australian pair Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy will line-up in the sand against Latvia in the women’s beach volleyball semi-final at 11:00am AEST.

Two women wearing green bikinis smiling
Australians Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy react after defeating Canada in the quarter-finals.(

Getty Images: Sean M. Haffey


The Aussie pair couldn’t have performed better heading into the semi, disposing of Canada — the world’s number one ranked team — in three sets on Tuesday.

Before facing Australia, the Canadians hadn’t dropped a set all tournament.

Artacho del Solar and Clancy are the first Australians to reach an Olympic semi-final since the Athens Olympics in 2004, when Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst famously won gold.

Marathon swimming: Men’s 10km

Kai Edwards is Australia’s sole competitor in the men’s 10km marathon swimming event. 

The race gets underway at 7:30am AEST.

The race consists of seven laps, with 14 intermediate points.

The 22-year-old from the Gold Coast finished 14th in the 10km event at the 2019 world championships in Gwangju, South Korea.

Athletics: Men’s 1,500m semi-finals

Stewart McSweyn and Ollie Hoare will return to the track on Thursday for the men’s 1,500m semi-finals starting at 9:00pm AEST.

A blonde man wearing a yellow singlet runs on a track ahead of a group of men
Australia’s Stewart McSweyn leads the pack in his 1,500m heat at the Tokyo Olympics.(

Getty Images: Martin Rickett


McSweyn is tipped to be among the medal chances in the event and finished third in his heat with a time of 3:36.39.

Hoare impressed in his heat, also finishing third, with a faster time of 3:36.09.

The man to beat is still Kenya’s Timothy Cheruiyot, who conserved energy to finish second in his heat with a time of 3:36.01.

What else is happening?

A man wearing black pants and a black shirt on a skateboard
Australian skateboarder Keegan Palmer will compete in the men’s park event.(

Getty Images: Alexandre Schneider


The men’s park skateboarding is scheduled to begin at 10:00am.

Australians Keegan Palmer and Kieran Woolley are both named to compete in the heats on Thursday, with the final at 1:30pm.

They’ll be trying to follow a brilliant performance from Australia’s Poppy Olsen, who finished fifth in the women’s park final.

Australians Eleanor Patterson and Nicola McDermott will compete in the qualifying rounds of the women’s high jump from 10:10am.

Two Australians, Declan Tingay and Kyle Swan, will be in action in the men’s 20km race walk final starting at 5:30pm.

The men’s 400m final will be run on the track at 10:00pm while the women’s pole vault final will begin at 8:00pm (all times AEST).

Tokyo drifting

By Cody Atkinson and Sean Lawson

Imagine a contact sport that has no contact. A martial art where the blows will have no hope of contact.

Most casual observers know karate as one of the world’s biggest forms of martial arts, or maybe even from The Karate Kid.

But after decades of struggles, karate will make its first (brief) foray into the Olympics in Tokyo, appearing in two forms.

The kumite – fighting – is a fairly conventional combat event. Points are scored based on landing full-blooded precision strikes. Competitors are expected to hit fast and accurately.

The kata competition, on the other hand, is something entirely new to Olympic combat sports – a subjectively judged solo combat event.

In karate training, kata are foundational. They are defined sequences of a few dozen moves or “forms”, practised to master body mechanics.

The event version is a performance, demonstrating one’s mastery of the forms against imaginary opponents.

It is evaluated by judges on grounds such as speed, strength, accuracy, focus and breath control.

Kata illustrates the non-competitive martial arts traditions on which karate is built, even as it enters the highest-profile competitive arena imaginable.

While the aim is to demonstrate the competitors’ very real combat prowess, as a solo event, it pushes the limits of “combat sport”.

The two frontrunners for the women’s kata, scheduled today with the finals tonight, are the last two world champions.

Spain’s Sandra Sánchez Jaime defeated the previous two-time world champion, Japan’s Kiyou Shimizu in 2018, and they’re a strong chance to meet in the gold medal bout here.


Sánchez, who has spent time working and teaching karate in Brisbane, aptly demonstrates another facet of karate – the lifelong quest for improvement.

She did not make the Spanish national team until age 33, but has since dominated European championships.

Her compatriot, 37-year-old Damián Quintero, is ranked number one in the WKF male kata rankings, meaning the home nation may be facing some strong Spanish opposition for the gold.

Whoever the champions may be, they might hold their crowns for a fair time, as karate has already been removed from the program for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Alternative medal tally

Kata is one of numerous events at the Olympics where experienced veteran athletes can dominate.

China leads the way in older gold medallists, but also figuring highly is New Zealand, whose veteran rowers and paddlers have netted four of the six Kiwi gold medals so far.

Australia hasn’t had a gold medal from this older cohort yet in Tokyo, but 62-year-old Andrew Hoy’s silver and bronze make him the oldest medallist at these games.

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