WEEKEND WRAP: Football finals... | Australian Olympic Committee

WEEKEND WRAP: Football finals, halfpipe heroics and tennis, shooting and table tennis showdowns

Author imageAOC20 Jan 2020
Al Hassan Toure - FFA

Football finals, halfpipe heroics, tennis titles and table tennis and shooting selection showdowns highlight the weekend in Olympic sport.

Football: Olyroos one win away from Olympic return

The Australian men’s footballers are just one win away from their return to the Olympic arena for the first time since Beijing 2008, with a 1-0 extra-time quarter-final victory over Syria propelling them to the semi-finals at the AFC U-23 Asian Championships.

With the top three teams earning Tokyo 2020 quota spots, either a win in the semi-final or in the third-place playoff will see the Olyroos through to Tokyo. The 1-0 victory came from the boot of super sub Al Hassan Toure, netting the decisive goal in the 101st minute.

Australia will face South Korea in their semi-final on Wednesday night AEDT.

Find out more HERE

Table Tennis: Tickets to Tokyo

Table Tennis Australia held a national selection tournament in Melbourne, with the best players in Australia battling it out to secure two auto-nomination spots in line with Table Tennis Australia’s nomination criteria.

The round-robin tournament saw 10 athletes per gender each face off against their nine opponents over three days.

Michelle Bromley and Stephanie Sang emerged victorious in the women’s draw, with Bromley winning eight of her nine matchups. Sang finished tied on seven games won with Olympians Jian Fang Ley and Melissa Tapper, claiming the second spot on countback.

Pending official nomination and selection to the team, Tokyo 2020 will be the first Olympics for both Bromley and Sang.

Rio 2016 Olympians Chris Yan and Dave Powell finished as the top two men. Yan bounced back from losing his first two matches to win seven straight for a 7-2 record, edging ahead of Powell who also had a 7-2 record on countback.

Australia has already earned Tokyo 2020 quota spots for both the men’s and women’s team events (three athletes per gender), with two quota spots in the singles.

In line with Table Tennis Australia’s nomination criteria, the top two athletes per gender from the weekend will be nominated to compete in both the teams and singles event.

The third team spot will depend on potential upcoming qualification of a mixed pairs team later this year, with the full Table Tennis team for Tokyo expected to be nominated and officially selected in June.

Water Polo: Aussie wins against US

The men’s water polo team sealed a 2-1 series win against the US with a dominant 14-8 victory in game three, while the women’s team fell 2-1.

The Aussie Sharks scored five unanswered goals in a massive fourth quarter to seal the game and series win.

The Stingers, fresh off their game two victory – their first win over the US women’s team in 69 games – were unable to clinch the series, going down 10-7.

Find out more HERE.

Shooting: Willett, Smith, Coles and Adams leading race for Tokyo 2020 shotgun nomination

Australia’s trap and skeet shooters are locked in a tight tussle after two of four competitions to secure auto-nomination for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic team.

Under Shooting Australia’s nomination criteria, shooters’ best three scores from four selection events will be tallied, with the leading shooter per event securing auto nomination for Tokyo 2020.

The Shooting Australia selection panel will then determine the second athlete in events where Australia has two quota spots.

Trap shooter James Willett won Saturday’s National Championships, backing up his Continental Championship win earlier in the week to lead the nomination race on 248 points, ahead of Thomas Grice (242) and Mitchell Iles (236). Penny Smith leads the women’s trap rankings after a strong week, sitting on 239 points ahead of 

Rio Olympian Laetisha Scanlan (231) and reigning Olympic champion Catherine Skinner (223)

Laura Coles has kept top spot in the women’s skeet rankings with silver in the National Championships, while 19-year-old Aislin Jones won gold to close the selection points gap.

After two events, Coles leads on 234 points just three clear of Jones on 231.

Surgical theatre nurse Paul Adams extended his lead in the men’s skeet, adding the National Championships gold to his earlier Commonwealth Championships victory.

The two wins has Adams on 246 points ahead of Joshua Bell (238) and Luke Argiro (237). The next Olympic trap and skeet selection event starts on February 27 at the Melbourne Gun Club.

Find out more HERE

Tennis: Barty gets 2020 party started on home soil

World number 1 Ash Barty beat Dayana Yastremska in straight sets to win the Adelaide International -- her eighth tour-level title and first on Australian soil.

In her last hit out before the Australian Open, Barty dominated the final, beating world number 24 Yastremska 6-2, 7-5.

“It was nice to get the balling rolling this week … and I can’t wait to get started in Melbourne on Monday,” Barty said.


Home is where the heart is 💛💚 Thank you Adelaide!!

A post shared by Ash Barty (@ashbarty) on

Find out more HERE.

Snowboard: James continues incredible run with gold at LAAX

Scotty James continued his unbeaten run, winning the LAAX World Cup event in Switzerland, his third consecutive win of this season and ninth victory in a row after an unbeaten 2019 season.

James led the field with a huge 95.75 points in his first run, and held the lead for the rest of the event with a simple victory lap on his second and final run.

“It feels absolutely amazing,” James smiled after he completed a high-five victory lap down the sides of the pipe.

“I know coming into tonight it was going to be really tough, everyone was going to bring their A-game, but I was ready to go there.”

Find out more HERE

Rugby 7s: Malouf takes reins as captain and Cherry returns for Hamilton 7s

Nick Malouf has been named as captain for 2020 ahead of the men’s first seven’s event of the year in Hamilton this weekend.

Lewis Holland remains in the leadership group as vice-captain.


A huge congratulations to @nickmalouf on your official #Aussie7s captaincy for 2020!

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Rio 2016 champion Emilee Cherry will return to action after taking time off for the birth of her daughter, Alice.

Cherry returns to an Australian team sitting in second place on the series standing, trailing only New Zealand after three events.

Find out more HERE

Sailing: Aussies in action in Sail Melbourne

Australian Laser, Laser Radial and Finn athletes were on the water at Sail Melbourne International in Port Phillip, with five races completed so far in the first three of five days competition.

In the 70-strong Laser fleet, Tokyo 2020 Team member Matt Wearn is the highest ranked Australian Laser sailor sitting in second, with Luke Elliot fifth and Rio champion Tom Burton in seventh.

Mara Stransky is the highest-ranked Laser radial sailor, sitting 14th just ahead of compatriot Zoe Thomson in 17th.

Finn sailor Jake Lilley is sitting in first place with dominant performances, winning five fleet races so far. Racing continues today, find out more HERE

Beach Volleyball: New pairings announced for Asian Championships

2018 Commonwealth Games champions Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann have reunited for the Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Udon Thani, Thailand, next month, the first time the pair will play together since their Gold Coast gold in April 2018.

The Asian Championships are an important lead up to the Asian Continental Cup Qualification process for the Tokyo Olympics to be conducted over the coming months.

Volleyball Australia’s Selection Committee has also nominated the men’s combinations of Zac Schubert and Max Guehrer while Cole Durant will play alongside Paul Burnett.

In the women’s competition Australia will be represented by three teams – 2019 Manly Volleyfest champions Nikki Laird and Becchara Palmer, Phoebe Bell will team up with Britt Kendall, with Phoebe’s regular partner Jessyka Nguamo out through injury, and upcoming pair Jasmine Fleming and Stefanie Fejes.

Reigning Asian champions Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar did not stand for selection in view of their heavy World Tour competition program this year.

Find out more HERE

Cycling: Locals launch to Tour Down Under stage wins

Australian road cyclists have topped the podium in the first major event of 2020, as the Tour Down Under launches the road racing year in South Australia.

Chloe Hosking won the opening stage of the women’s event, with compatriot and newly crowned national champion Amanda Spratt winning stage two.

Spratt finished the women’s event as the top-ranked Australian, finishing third in the overall classification behind American winner Ruth Winder and German Liane Lippert.

Caleb Ewan had the perfect start to his 2020, winning the bunch sprint in Sunday’s opening stage in Adelaide.

After sitting in the back of the pack for the majority of the race, Ewan timed his sprint to perfection to win the Tour Down Under opener for the second year in a row.