Tokyo Day 13: History made with kayak, skateboarding gold; Boomers crumble in semifinal

Day 13 of the Tokyo Games is one of reckoning as a number of Australian teams head into finals mode.

Both the Boomers and Matildas will take on Team USA for a chance to break their medal ducks, while the Kookaburras will meet Belgium in the men's hockey final. As athletics and diving continue, Thursday also marks the start of the modern pentathlon.

Find the full Olympics schedule here

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12


Read on for rolling coverage of Australia's efforts at the Olympics:

Bronze medal for Ash Moloney in decathlon

Ash Moloney has won Australia's first athletics medal of the Tokyo Games, hanging tough through a gruelling second day to finish third in the decathlon.

The 21-year-old Moloney was in the medal positions through all 10 events and gritted it out in the concluding 1500m to clinch the bronze medal.

Canada's Damian Warner won the gold.

Until Thursday, no Australian had ever finished higher than sixth in an Olympic decathlon.

-- AAP

Kookaburras lose Tokyo gold-medal shootout

The Kookaburras' quest for their first Olympic gold medal since 2004 has ended with a gutting penalty-shootout loss to fellow superpower Belgium in a pulsating Tokyo final.

Tom Wickham, a late addition to Australia's Tokyo Olympic men's hockey squad in July, delivered a 47th-minute equaliser in regular time.

The rivals remain locked at 1-1 but Belgium won the ensuing shootout 3-2, with their triumph sealed in dramatic fashion after a video review granted Jake Whetton another shot but the Kookaburra was unable to score.

-- AAP

Two Aussies through to 1500m final

National record holder Stewart McSweyn will race for a medal in the Olympic men's 1500m final on Saturday - and he will have fellow Australian Ollie Hoare for company.

McSweyn went to the front with two laps to go in the second semi on Thursday night, but he looked in all sorts of trouble 150 metres from the line after being caught by the chasing pack.

The 26-year-old from King Island found a second wind in the final straight to claim the fifth and final automatic qualifying position.

McSweyn clocked three minutes 32.54 seconds in a super-quick semi won by Kenyan Abel Kipsang in an Olympic record time of 3:31.65.

The US-based Hoare has nowhere near the public profile of McSweyn in Australia, but he was every bit as impressive.

The 24-year-old was fourth in the opening semi in 3:34.35.

Not since the great John Landy and Merv Lincoln back at the 1956 Melbourne Games has Australia had two contenders in an Olympic men's 1500m final.

It was another great showing by the Australian middle-distance contingent in Tokyo, coming 24 hours after Peter Bol finished a gutsy fourth in the 800m final.

Australia will also have two entrants in the women's 1500m final on Friday after Jessica Hull and Linden Hall advanced through the semis.

-- AAP

Matildas lose to U.S. in bronze medal match

The Matildas have fallen short of securing a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, losing to the United States 4-3 in the women's soccer bronze medal match.

Megan Rapinoe's magnificent Olimpico -- a goal scored directly from a corner kick -- gave the US the advantage in the eighth minute, with Sam Kerr equalising in the 17th.

A defensive lapse saw Rapinoe volley the world champions back in front four minutes later, while Carli Lloyd scored a brace either side of half-time to make it 4-1.

Caitlin Foord scored in the 54th while Emily Gielnik rocketed home a cracking long-range strike in the 90th - but the Matildas went home empty-handed.

-- AAP

Cyclist McCulloch falls in keirin semifinal

Kaarle McCulloch has failed to make the women's keirin final, continuing Australian cycling's frustrating Tokyo Olympic campaign.

After progressing through the round-one repechage on Wednesday, McCulloch finished second in Thursday's quarter-final heat at the Izu Velodrome.

Sam Welsford is also out of medal contention with one event left in the men's omnium.

-- AAP

Boomers crumble in Team USA semifinal loss

The Boomers will play for Olympic bronze after letting a 15-point lead slip in a 97-78 semi-final blowout loss to the United States at Tokyo.

Chasing a maiden Games basketball medal, Australia were flying when Jock Landale's dunk made it 41-26 with five minutes to play in the first half.

But the wheels fell off in a 48-14 run that included 20 straight US points, leaving Australia to face the loser of France and Slovenia for third.

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Diver Wu takes bronze in Olympic 10m final

It has proven a case of fourth time plucky for Australian diver Melissa Wu, who has secured a bronze medal in the women's 10-metre platform final at the Tokyo Olympics.

Wu, just the third diver to represent Australia at four Olympics, was aged 16 when she collected a silver medal in the synchronised 10m final at Beijing 2008.

A podium finish in the individual event had proven frustratingly elusive for the 29-year-old, who finished sixth in 2008, fourth at London 2012 then fifth in 2016.

But the veteran exhibited plenty of composure and consistency throughout Thursday's final, which was dominated in incredible fashion by 14-year-old gold medallist Quan Hongchan.

Wu's second of five dives in the final, an armstand back double somersault with one and a half twists, was awarded a score of 76.8 that lifted her into third spot on the leaderboard.

Wu remained in that position for the rest of the nerve-jangling contest, finishing with a total of 371.4 points to hold off spirited challenges from Mexican Gabriela Agundez Garcia (358.5) and American Delaney Schnell (340.4).

Quan (466.2) and Chen Yuxi (425.4) took out gold and silver for China respectively, with the former's triumph remarkable for several reasons.

Quan declared prior to the Games that her goal was to earn money to help pay for her unwell mother's medical bills.

Quan, competing at her first international event and the only member of China's all-conquering diving contingent yet to be crowned world champion, earned perfect 10s from all seven judges for her second and fourth dives.

All but one judge gave Quan a perfect 10 for her last dive.

Wu qualified for her fourth Olympic final in fifth place, having been in danger of missing the cut after starting the semi-final with a score of 61.5.

The Sydneysider nailed her corresponding opening dive, a forward three-and-a-half somersaults in the pike position, when it mattered most.

Wu started with a score of 75 in the final then signed off with her best score of this Olympics, 81.6 for a back two-and-a-half somersaults with one and a half twists in the pike position.

Wu has previously admitted she may not have qualified for the Games if they went ahead in 2020 as scheduled, having suffered shoulder and rib injuries.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has created logistical nightmares for Australia's divers this year.

World Cup selection trials were abruptly halted in Brisbane because of a lockdown, while Diving Australia opted against sending a team to the World Cup in May.

The World Cup absence meant Australia only sent seven divers to the Tokyo Olympics, and were not represented in synchronised events.

-- AAP

Decathlete Moloney closing in on medal

Australian Ash Moloney is just two events away from winning a historic first Olympic decathlon medal for Australia.

After clearing a solid 5.00m in the pole vault on Thursday afternoon, Moloney remained in second spot, narrowly trimming the gap between himself and pacesetter Damian Warner from Canada to 221 points.

The 21-year-old Australian made an excellent start to day two with a personal best of 14.08 seconds in the 110m hurdles and then followed up with a 44.38m throw in the discus.

With two events to go, Moloney has 7269 points, with Warner leading on 7490 and fellow Canadian Pierce LePage still in the bronze-medal position with 7175.

The remaining events -- the javelin and 1500m -- take place later on Thursday.

No Australian has ever finished in the top five in an Olympic decathlon.

-- AAP

Palmer wins Olympic skateboarding gold

Teenager Keegan Palmer has won gold in the men's park to become the first Australian to win an Olympic medal in skateboarding.

Palmer, who was born in the US and raised in Australia, produced an epic 95.83 with his last ride in the final to completely obliterate the opposition and secure Australia's 16th gold medal of the Tokyo Games.

So dominant was the 18-year-old that the second highest of his three rides in the final -- a 94.04 -- would have also been good enough to win gold.

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Aussie golfer Green runs hot at the Games

Hannah Green and Minjee Lee are praying to the weather gods after storming into medal contention as world No.1 Nelly Korda seized control of the Olympic women's golf championship in Tokyo.

Green ignited Australia's charge with a sparkling six-under-par 65 on Thursday to surge into a tie for seventh at the Kasumigaseki Country Club.

Lee had to settle for a 68 to be equal 20th after missing a series of short putts on the second, third, fifth and 10th holes as the Australian pair both sought relief from more extreme heat by frequently donning ice vests during the second round.

At six under for the tournament, Green was only three strokes out of the silver medal position when she signed her scorecard, with Lee six back

"I felt like yesterday was just a matter of getting the rust off. It was pretty hot yesterday so it was hard to stay in the moment," Green said of her opening 71 - her first competitive round in five weeks.

"Today I gave myself a lot more opportunities and managed to roll a couple of really important putts in and it gave me some motivation and confidence with the putter.

"I hit the ball a lot better, hit a lot more greens and gave myself opportunities and did exactly what I wanted to.

"Hopefully I can do that for a couple more rounds."

Korda, though, left the 60-player field playing catch-up with a stunning round highlighted by a six-under stretch in five holes.

The American birdied the fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth holes, eagled the short par-4 sixth, then picked up three more shots on the back nine to power to 13 under for the championship.

With a four-shot buffer, Korda still had four holes to complete on Thursday but was three clear of the chasing pack.

With thunderstorms and heavy rain forecast for the weekend, officials have flagged with the players the prospect of reducing the event to 54 holes.

The tournament is already scheduled for a Saturday finish so the world's elite players can fly out on Sunday for next week's Scottish Open, which precedes the last major of the year, the Women's British Open.

"I really hope this weather stays away and that we can have a full 72-hole tournament," Green said.

"I'd like two more days to get back up there. I feel like now that I've had a good round I can see what's possible and there's no reason why I can't keep on climbing."

Lee felt she needed the full four rounds to have any hope of snatching gold.

"If we were playing two more rounds, I'd still be a chance," she said.

"They said it might miss us, fingers crossed, but I do need some low scores.

"I feel like I could build some momentum, definitely after today, and hopefully tomorrow I can post a better score."

-- AAP

Aussie kayakers win gold in K2 sprint

Australian paddlers Tom Green and Jean van der Westhuyzen have won gold in the Olympic K2 1000 metres canoe sprint.

The 22-year-olds had never competed internationally together before and stunned the Tokyo Games final field, including German world champions Max Hoff and Jacob Schopf.

It's Australia's first gold in the event, topping the Rio bronze won by triple medallist Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame.

Full story

Decathlete Moloney still in second spot

Australian Ash Moloney remains in the silver-medal position after seven of 10 events in the Olympic men's decathlon.

Moloney, 21, made an excellent start to day two with a personal best of 14.08 seconds in the 110m hurdles and then followed up with a solid 44.38m throw in the discus.

With three events to go, Moloney has 6359 points, leaving him 251 adrift of pacesetter Damian Warner from Canada.

Another Canadian, Pierce LePage is in third spot with 6265, while Australia Cedric Dubler is back in 18th spot.

The remaining three events - the pole vault, javelin and 1500m - take place later on Thursday.

No Australian has ever finished in the top five in an Olympic decathlon.

-- AAP

McDermott, Patterson into high jump final

Australian medal contenders Nicola McDermott and Eleanor Patterson have both soared into the Olympic women's high jump final in Tokyo with a minimum of fuss.

National record holder McDermott sailed over at the first attempt at all four of her heights in the preliminary round on Thursday, including the automatic qualifying mark of 1.95m.

Patterson, the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion, was only marginally less impressive, missing once at 1.95m before joining the group of 14 women who advanced to Saturday's final.

McDermott is ranked third in the world this year courtesy of her Australian record jump of 2.01m at the Stockholm Diamond League meet, while Patterson also sits inside the top 10.

-- AAP

Artacho Del Solar and Clancy to play for gold

Australia's Mariafe Artacho Del Solar and Teliqua Clancy are guaranteed an Olympic medal after beating Latvia 23-21, 21-13 in the semifinal.

They'll meet Americans April Ross and Alix Klineman in the gold medal match, which is scheduled to be played tomorrow at 12.30pm AEST.

It'll be the nation's second Olympic medal in beach volleyball after Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst's Sydney 2000 gold.

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Modern pentathlete Ed Fernon's wild ride out of retirement

The start of the modern pentathlon will mark Australian Ed Fernon's return to the Olympics after initially retiring from the sport in 2015.

Thursday will see both the men's and women's individual events begin with the fencing ranking round, with the remaining disciplines to culminate in Saturday's laser run.

Check out Lucie Bertoldo's yarn on Ed's journey here.

The Australian Boomers are through to the semifinals in familiar territory, just one win away for guaranteeing that elusive medal at the Tokyo Games.

But standing in front of them is none other than Team USA, who have won six of the past seven gold medals in men's basketball.

The semifinal clash is scheduled to start at 2.15pm AEST.

The Matildas will then have their shot at a bronze medal as they take on USWNT at Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, 6.00pm AEST.

After beating Germany 3-1 in Tuesday's semi, the Kookaburras will go for gold against Belgium at Oi Hockey Stadium, 8pm AEST.

Should the Australians claim victory, it'll be their second gold medal - adding to the 2004 triumph.

Mariafe Artacho Del Solar and Taliqua Clancy will head into their beach volleyball semi-final against Latvian pair Tina Graudina at 11am AEST. The winner is guaranteed an Olympic medal, while the loser will continue on Friday for bronze.

In the pool, diver Melissa Wu will contest the 10m platform semi-final after qualifying in fourth place. The top 12 will progress to the afternoon final which starts at 4pm AEST.

Just 81 points from the lead in the decathlon, Australian Ash Moloney is continue his medal charge with the last five events taking place on Thursday. Cedric Dubler is also sitting in 15th place.

Also in athletics, national record holder Nicola McDermott and 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Eleanor Patterson will head into the high-jump qualifying round at 10.10am AEST. Stewart McSweyn and Oliver Hoare will also race in the 1500m semi finals from 9pm AEST.