Your daily guide to the Games: Australia fights fights for gold in women’s beach volleyball, javelin throw and the 1,500m final

Australia will take on the USA for gold in the women’s beach volleyball on Friday, while we’ll also be represented in the women’s 1,500m final on the track.

Meanwhile, Mackenzie Little, Kathryn Mitchell and Kelsey-Lee Barber will all compete for gold in the women’s javelin throw, and Harry Garside will fight for a place in the men’s lightweight boxing decider.

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 Friday, August 6.

Beach volleyball: Australia in gold medal match v USA

Australian pair Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy will line up in the sand against USA in the women’s beach volleyball final at 12:30pm AEST.

Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar and Taliqua Clancy hold an Aussie flag after winning their women’s beach volleyball semi-final.(

Getty Images: Maja Hitij


The Aussie pair are now guaranteed a medal and couldn’t have performed better heading into the decider, disposing of Latvia in straight sets in Thursday’s semi.

Before facing Latvia, the Australians defeated Canada — who hadn’t dropped a set all tournament.

Del Solar and Clancy are the first Australians to reach an Olympic final since the Sydney Olympics in 2000, when Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst won gold.

Athletics: Australian women into both 1,500m and javelin throw finals

Australia will have two runners in the women’s 1,500m final at 10:50pm AEST.

A blonde woman wearing yellow raises her arms in the air
Australian runner Jessica Hull celebrates after reaching the 1,500m final at the Tokyo Olympics.(

Getty Images: Ryan Pierse


Jessica Hull and Linden Hall both qualified for the decider in Wednesday’s semi’s, with Hull running a national record time of 3:58.81 and Hall in a time of 4:01.37.

Meanwhile, Mackenzie Little, Kathryn Mitchell and Kelsey-Lee Barber will all compete for gold in the women’s javelin final at 9:50pm AEST.

Little recorded a personal best distance of 62.37m in her semi-final and Mitchell reached 61.85m.

Barber recorded a distance of 62.59m, which is a season best.

Boxing: Garside competes in lightweight boxing semi-final

Australian Harry Garside will fight for a place in the men’s lightweight boxing final at 3:47pm AEST.

Man in red singlet punches man in blue singlet in boxing match
Harry Garside (left) beats PNG’s John Ume in the round of 32.(

Getty Images: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile


He made it through to the semi-final after a split points decision in his quarter-final.

And because there’s no bronze medal bout and two bronzes are handed out in Olympic boxing, that means Garside is guaranteed to be leaving Tokyo with some new jewellery.

He’ll take on Cuba’s Andy Cruz.

Race walk: Australia in men’s 50km and women’s 20km finals

Australia’s Rhydian Cowley will compete in the men’s 50km race walk final from 6:30am AEST.

He has a personal best time of three hours, 52 minutes and 58 seconds.

Australian Jared Tallent holds the Olympic record time of 3:36.53 at the 2012 London Olympics.

A woman wearing yellow and green walking with a blue and red flag over her shoulders
Australia’s Jemima Montag won gold in the 20km race walk at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Jemima Montag, Rebecca Henderson and Katie Hayward will compete in the women’s 20km race walk final from 5:30pm AEST.

Montag is tipped to be Australia’s best chance at a medal. She is the 12th ranked race walker in the world and won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Football: Canada v Sweden in women’s football final

Canada will take on Sweden in the women’s gold medal match at 12:00pm AEST.

A group of women wearing blue hug each other
Sweden celebrates after defeating the Matildas at the Tokyo Olympics.(

Getty Images: Ayman Aref


Sweden secured their place in the final with a 1-0 win over the Matildas, while Canada caused an upset, defeating Team USA 1-0 in their semi-final.

Sweden has been prolific in front of goals this tournament, scoring 13 goals and only conceding three.

While Canada’s path to the final has been much tighter, scoring five goals and playing out two draws in the group stages.

What else is happening?

While there are no Aussies in the final, there’ll be plenty of action late on Friday with the men’s 5,000m decider scheduled for 10:00pm.

A group of men in tights run next to each other on a track
Uganda’s Josh Cheptegei (right) is among the favourites in the 5000m final at the Tokyo Olympics.(

Getty Images: David Ramos


The women’s 400m final will also be run at 10:35pm.

The men’s and women’s 4x100m relay finals will also be run on Friday night from 11:30pm.

And the track cycling also continues with the men’s sprint finals from 7:00pm and the women’s madison final at 6:15pm (all times AEST).

Tokyo drifting

Chloe Esposito’s gold medal was one of the biggest surprise successes for Australia in Rio, even down to the sport she won it in.

The modern pentathlon may be one of the most Olympic of sports, but it is also one of the more hidden, despite the sheer versatility athletes need to be competitive.

The ancient Olympics featured the pentathlon — which more closely resembles the heptathlon or decathlon but with wrestling or fighting thrown in.

Chloe Esposito
Chloe Esposito won gold in the modern pentathlon at the Rio Olympics in 2016.(

AP Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth


The first pentathlon was meant to demonstrate the ideal skills of an ancient warrior, which loosely follows the line of the modern version — depending on who you ask.

The official IOC version states that founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, invented the sport based both on the Greek version, but also on the tale of a 19th-century French soldier trapped behind enemy lines.

To escape, the soldier had to fight his way out with a sword before swimming across a moat.

Then, he grabbed the nearest available horse and jump over obstacles like the wind. When the horse was exhausted, he would flee on foot, firing shots from his rifle along the way.

The less romantic story has it as the invention of the Swedish organising committee for the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, hoping to introduce a sport that captured the Swedish military multi-sport tradition.

For much of its history, the modern pentathlon has been dominated by soldiers, and by men. The first seven individual gold medals were won by soldiers.

The modern pentathlon has also had its fair share of rule pushing and cheating including electronic cheating.

Coming into the 1976 Olympics, the only thing missing from team gold medalist Boris Onishchenko’s resume was individual Olympic gold.

In the fencing event, the British team noticed something fishy about the Soviet star’s performance, with phantom scores.

Upon closer inspection, it was found that Onishchenko had illegally modified his electronic epee trigger. He was swiftly ejected from the games.

Esposito will be unable to defend her crown on Saturday, having been forced to pull out due to having a child last year.

But the final combination run-shoot event is exciting, even if the origins of the event are shrouded in mystery.

The alternative medal tally

Given that the modern pentathlon is the ultimate multi-sport at the Olympics, it’s worth a look at the domains in which each country has won its medals.

Australia leads the way as a water specialist, winning 84 per cent of its medals in water-based events.

In contrast, the South Koreans have won every one of 19 medals in dry land events.

Georgia has won 71 per cent of its medals in sports involving combat, and Brazil has specialised in judge-scored performance events at Tokyo, with 38 per cent of its medals from there.

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