‘How good’s this?’ Australian track and field athletes revel in successful Olympics

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With the Australian flag draped around her shoulders like a superhero cape, Kelsey-Lee Barber bounded towards the small contingent of journalists waiting for her deep inside the Olympic Stadium on Friday night. “How good’s this?” she exclaimed.

Barber was referring to her bronze medal in the women’s javelin, won just minutes beforehand. But her rhetorical question had wider resonance too. Tokyo 2020 has been a bumper competition for Australia’s track and field athletes – with a big day to come on Saturday.

Australia is internationally renowned for its prowess in many sports. Several notable exceptions aside, track and field events are not among them. While athletics accounts for 21 of the 150-odd gold medals won by Australia in Olympic history, second only to swimming, just four of these have come in the past three decades. Australia dominates in the pool and has traditionally been strong in rowing, sailing and cycling – on the track and in the field, Australian athletes have had less success.

It was a notable moment then, when, midway through proceedings on Friday, five Australian women were in action in athletics finals at the same time. In the javelin, Barber, Kathryn Mitchell and Mackenzie Little had all made the final eight. As they were deep in competition, the women’s 1500m final, featuring Australians Linden Hall and Jessica Hull, was run and won (Hall finished sixth, Hull 11th). “To have that many amazing athletes in the stadium – it was absolutely unreal,” said Little afterwards.

“I am so proud of the Aussie girls – the way we represented our country tonight out on the field and on the track, it’s incredible,” added Barber. “And I hope that we’ve inspired some other young girls to throw or be on track. This is a beautiful sport – and we’ve done ourselves proud.”

Barber’s bronze medal continues a positive Tokyo 2020 athletics meet for Australia. Rohan Browning became the first Australian to win a 100m heat since 1956. Just 23 and now only one one-hundredth of a second away from breaking the 10 second barrier, Browning has a bright future. Peter Bol then inspired the nation with his performances in the 800m, the first Australian to reach a final in the event since 1968. In the men’s high-jump final, Brandon Starc finished fifth.

On Thursday, Ashley Moloney became the first Australian to stand on the podium in the decathlon in Olympic history. His success was all the more special after compatriot and friend Cedric Dubler sacrificed his own race in the final event, the 1500m, to pace Moloney and scream encouragement to ensure the Australian finished close enough to a rival not to lose the bronze medal. “I could hear his voice bouncing in my cranium like a bat out of hell,” Moloney laughed afterwards.

Cedric Dubler (right) congratulates teammate Ashley Moloney after he took bronze in the decathlon. Photograph: Martin Rickett/AAP

Post-Tokyo, Australia’s athletes will regroup and then plan for the years ahead. Some will head straight to Europe for Diamond League meets, while others will endure their 14-day stint in hotel quarantine in Australia before returning to training.

They face a busy calendar. Some will contest the World Athletics Indoor Championships in Serbia next March; more will then head to Oregon in the United States for the World Athletics Championships in July 2022. Barely a week later, the Commonwealth Games will begin in Birmingham, England. From there, the two-year countdown to Paris 2024 will be underway.

“The Aussie team has really brought it to this Olympics,” said Barber. “This has got to be some of our best results across both the track and field and our race walks. Wow. Let’s just keep going – we have a young team, so that with the results we’ve seen from them, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a couple more medals in Paris.”

But first an exciting Saturday looms for Australia at the Olympic Stadium. In the women’s high jump final, Australian pair Nicola McDermott and Eleanor Patterson are both strong medal prospects; McDermott is one of just four women in the final to have cleared the two metre mark this season. In the men’s 1500m, Australian duo Oliver Hoare and Stewart McSewyn are both ranked in the top 10 in the world. McSewyn is one of only three runners in the final to have broken the 3 minutes and 30 second barrier this season.

A medal for any of the four in the final night of athletics would conclude Australia’s week at the Olympic Stadium on a high. But even if they don’t find a spot on the podium, Tokyo 2020 has been an upbeat meet for Australia’s track and field athletes. “How good’s this?” Barber had asked on Friday. Pretty good indeed.

Olympics track and field results: Updated 2021 medal winners for every event at Tokyo Games

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It has been said so many times and in so many ways, but the greatest athletes in the world have converged on Tokyo for the 2021 Olympic Games in search of those illustrious bronze, silver and gold medals.

And no other sport offers more opportunities for individual medalists than track and field. It features 48 medal events — 11 more than second-place swimming — and 189 medals over the final 10 days of competition in Tokyo.

Several athletes are worth watching over the course of the track and field schedule — especially Allyson Felix. She will compete in the women’s 400-meter dash and perhaps the 4x400 women’s and mixed relays; one medal would tie her with Carl Lewis as the most decorated United States track and field athlete in Olympic history, while another would give her that distinction by herself. A third medal would tie her as the most decorated track and field athlete of all time.

Other notable U.S. athletes in these games: Noah Lyles, who finished third in the men’s 200 meters in his Olympic debut; Sydney McLaughlin, who set a world record in winning the women’s 400 hurdles over 2016 Rio gold medalist and U.S. teammate Dalilah Muhammad; and Gwen Berry, who failed to medal in the hammer throw.

Follow along as Sporting News provides live updates to the medal count and individual medalists from the track and field events at Tokyo:

MORE: Watch the 2021 Olympics live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)

Olympic track and field results 2021

Events listed in order medal events will take place

Men’s events

Event Gold Silver Bronze 10,000m Selemon Barega (Ethiopia) Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) Jacob Kiplimo (Uganda) Discus Daniel Stahl (Sweden) Simon Pettersson (Sweden) Lukas Weisshaidinger (Austria) High jump Mutaz Essa Barshim (Qatar)* Gianmarco Tamberi (Italy)* Maksim Nedasekau (Belarus) 100m Lamont Jacobs (Italy) Fred Kerley (United States) Andre De Grasse (Canada) Long jump Miltiadis Tentoglou (Greece) Juan Miguel Echevarría (Cuba) Maykel Massó (Cuba) 3,000m steeplechase Soufiane El Bakkali (Morocco) Lamecha Girma (Ethiopia) Benjamin Kigen (Kenya) 400m hurdles Karsten Warholm (Norway)** Rai Benjamin (United States) Alison dos Santos (Brazil) Pole vault Armand Duplantis (Sweden) Christopher Nilsen (United States) Thiago Braz (Brazil) Hammer throw Wojciech Nowicki (Poland) Eivind Henriksen (Norway) Pawel Fajdek (Poland) 800m Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir (Kenya) Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich (Kenya) Patryk Dobek (Poland) 200m Andre de Grasse (Canada) Kenneth Bednarek (United States) Noah Lyles (United States) Triple jump Pedro Pichardo (Portugal) Zhu Yaming (China) Hugues Fabrice Zango (Burkina Faso) Shot put Ryan Crouser (United States)*** Joe Kovacs (United States) Tom Walsh (New Zealand) 110m hurdles Hansle Parchment (Jamaica) Grant Holloway (United States) Ronald Levy (Jamaica) 20km race walk Massimo Stano (Italy) Koki Ikeda (Japan) Toshikazu Yamanishi (Japan) 400m Steven Gardiner (Bahamas) Anthony Jose Zambrano (Colombia) Kirani James (Grenada) 50km race walk Dawid Tomala (Poland) Jonathan Hilbert (Germany) Evan Dunfee (Canada) 5,000m Joshua Cheptegei (Uganda) Mohammed Ahmed (Canada) Paul Chelimo (United States) 4x100 relay Italy Great Britain Canada Javelin — — — 1,500m — — — 4x400 relay — — — Marathon — — — Decathlon Damian Warner (Canada) Kevin Mayer (France) Ashley Moloney (Australia)

*Barshim and Tamberi shared gold in the men’s high jump, both with jumps of 2.37 meters.

**World record

***Olympic record

Women’s events

Event Gold Silver Bronze 100m Elain Thompson-Herah (Jamaica)*** Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) Shericka Jackson (Jamaica) Shot put Lijiao Gong (China) Raven Saunders (United States) Valerie Adams (New Zealand) Triple jump Yulimar Rojas (Venezuela)** Patricia Mamona (Portugal) Ana Peleteiro (Spain) 100m hurdles Jasmine Camacho-Quinn (Puerto Rico) Keni Harrison (United States) Megan Tapper (Jamaica) Discus Valarie Allman (USA) Kristin Pudenz (Germany) Yaime Perez (Cuba) 5,000m Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) Hellen Obiri (Kenya) Gudaf Tsegay (Ethiopia) Long jump Malaika Mihambo (Germany) Brittney Reese (United States) Ese Brume (Nigeria) Hammer throw Anita Wlodarczyk (Poland) Zheng Wang (China) Malwina Kopron (Poland) 800m Athing Mu (United States) Keely Hodgkinson (Great Britain) Raevyn Rogers (United States) 200m Elaine Thompson-Herah (Jamaica) Christine Mboma (Namibia) Gabrielle Thomas (United States) 400m hurdles Sydney McLaughlin (United States)** Dalilah Muhammad (United States) Femke Bol (Netherlands) 3,000m steeplechase Peruth Chemutai (Uganda) Courtney Frerichs (United States) Hyvin Kiyeng (Kenya) Pole vault Katie Nageotte (United States) Anzhelika Sidorova (ROC) Holly Bradshaw (Great Britain) 20km race walk Antonella Palmisano (Italy) Sandra Lorena Arenas (Colombia) Hong Liu (China) Javelin Liu Shiying (China) Maria Andrejczyk (Poland) Kelsey-Lee Barber (Australia) 400m Shaunae Miller-Uiba (Bahamas) Marileidy Paulino (Dominican Republic) Allyson Felix (United States) 1,500m Faith Chepngetich Kipyegon (Kenya)*** Laura Muir (Great Britain) Sifan Hassan (Netherlands) 4x100 relay Jamaica United States Great Britain Marathon — — — High jump — — — 10,000m — — — 4x400 relay — — — Heptathlon Nafissatou Thiam (Belgium) Anouk Vetter (Netherlands) Emma Oosterwegel (Netherlands)

**World record

***Olympic record

Mixed events

Event Gold Silver Bronze 4x400 relay Poland*** Dominican Republic United States

***Olympic record

Overall track and field medal leaders

Results based on total medals, then number of gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively.

Pos. Country Gold Silver Bronze Total 1 United States 5 12 6 23 T-2 Jamaica 4 1 3 8 Poland 4 1 3 8 4 Kenya 2 2 2 6 5 Canada 2 1 3 6 6 Italy 5 0 0 5 7 China 2 2 1 5 8 Netherlands 1 1 3 5 9 Great Britain 0 3 2 5 10 Uganda 2 1 1 4 11 Sweden 2 1 0 3 12 Germany 1 2 0 3 13 Ethiopia 1 1 1 3 14 Cuba 0 1 2 3 15 Bahamas 2 0 0 2 T-16 Norway 1 1 0 2 Portugal 1 1 0 2 T-18 Colombia 0 2 0 2 Dominican Republic 0 2 0 2 20 Japan 0 1 1 2 T-21 Australia 0 0 2 2 Brazil 0 0 2 2 New Zealand 0 0 2 2 T-24 Belgium 1 0 0 1 Greece 1 0 0 1 Morocco 1 0 0 1 Puerto Rico 1 0 0 1 Qatar 1 0 0 1 Venezuela 1 0 0 1 T-30 France 0 1 0 1 Namibia 0 1 0 1 Russia Olympic Committee 0 1 0 1 T-33 Austria 0 0 1 1 Belarus 0 0 1 1 Burkina Faso 0 0 1 1 Spain 0 0 1 1 Grenada 0 0 1 1 Nigeria 0 0 1 1


How to watch Olympic track and field

TV channels: NBC (U.S.) | USA Network (U.S.) | NBC Sports Network | CNBC | CBC (Canada)

NBC (U.S.) | USA Network (U.S.) | NBC Sports Network | CNBC | CBC (Canada) Live streams: NBCSports.com | NBCOlympics.com | Peacock | fuboTV (7-day free trial)

Generally speaking, each day of TV coverage will feature early-morning and evening sessions. Coverage of each session will range from events and stages. NBC and USA will be the primary networks providing coverage in the United States, though CNBC and NBC Sports will also carry coverage. CBC provides coverage in Canada.

Below is the full schedule of events, based on NBC’s general and track-specific broadcast schedules:

Thursday, July 29

Evening Men’s 3000m steeplechase, Round 1 Men’s high jump qualifying Men’s discus throw qualifying Women’s 800m, Round 1 Men’s 400m hurdles, Round 1 Women’s 100m, Round 1

Friday, July 30

Morning Evening Women’s 5000, Round 1 Women’s 400m hurdles, Round 1 Women’s triple jump qualifying Women’s discus throw qualifying Mixed 4×400 relay Round 1 Men’s pole vault qualifying Men’s 10,000m final Men’s 800m, Round 1 — Women’s 100m hurdles, Round 1 — Men’s 100m, prelims

Saturday, July 31

Morning Evening Men’s long jump qualifying Women’s hammer throw qualifying Women’s 100m, semifinals Women’s 3000m steeplechase, Round 1 Men’s 100m, Round 1 Women’s long jump qualifying Men’s discus throw, final Women’s shot put, final Women’s 800m, semifinals Men’s 400m, round 1 Mixed 4×400 relay, final — Women’s 100m, final —

Sunday, Aug. 1

Morning Evening Men’s high jump, final Men’s hammer throw, qualification Men’s 100m, semifinal Women’s 1500m, Round 1 Women’s 100m hurdles, semifinal Men’s long jump, final Women’s triple jump, final Women’s 200m, Round 1 Men’s 800m, semifinal Women’s 100m hurdles, final Men’s 400m hurdles, semifinal — Men’s 100m, final* —

Monday, Aug. 2

Morning Evening Women’s pole vault qualifying Men’s triple jump qualifying Women’s 200m, semifinal Men’s 1500m, Round 1 Women’s discus throw, final Women’s javelin throw qualifying Men’s 400m, semifinal Women’s 400m, Round 1 Women’s 400m hurdles, semifinal Women’s long jump, final Men’s 3000m steeplechase, final Men’s 200m, Round 1 Women’s 5000m, final Men’s 400m hurdles, final

Tuesday, Aug. 3

Morning Evening Men’s 100m hurdles, Round 1 Men’s decathlon, 100m Men’s shot put qualifying Men’s javelin throw qualifying Men’s pole vault, final Women’s heptathlon, 100m hurdles Men’s 5000m, Round 1 Men’s decathlon, long jump Women’s hammer throw, final Women’s heptathlon, high jump Men’s 200m, semifinal Men’s 110m hurdles, semifinals Women’s 800m, final Women’s 400m hurdles, final Women’s 200m, final Men’s decathlon, shot put

Wednesday, Aug. 4

Morning Evening Men’s decathlon, high jump Women’s high jump qualifying Women’s 1500m, semifinal Women’s heptathlon, long jump Women’s heptathlon, shot put Men’s decathlon, discus throw Women’s 400m, semifinal Women’s 4×100 relay, Round 1 Women’s 3000m steeplechase, final Men’s triple jump, final Men’s hammer throw, final Men’s shot put, final Women’s heptathlon, 200m Men’s 4×100 relay, Round 1 Men’s 800m, final Men’s 110m hurdles, final Men’s decathlon, 400m Women’s heptathlon, javelin throw Men’s 200m, final Men’s decathlon, pole vault

Thursday, Aug. 5

Morning Evening Men’s 20km race walk Men’s 50k race walk Men’s decathlon, javelin throw — Women’s pole vault, final — Women’s 4×400 relay, round 1 — Men’s 1500m, semifinal — Men’s 400m, final — Women’s heptathlon, 800 — Men’s decathlon, 1500m —

Friday, Aug. 6

Morning Evening Women’s 20km race walk Women’s marathon Men’s 4x400m relay, Round 1 — Women’s javelin throw, final — Men’s 5000m, final — Women’s 400m, final — Women’s 1500m, final — Women’s 4x100m relay, final — Men’s 4x100m relay, final —

Saturday, Aug. 7

Olympics Day 14 highlights U.S. women’s basketball will play for gold; Allyson Felix makes history

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She couldn’t keep up with Kipyegon on the final lap Friday and was eventually passed by Muir, too. Hassan had pulled off a remarkable feat just to get to the final; in Monday’s preliminary heats, she stumbled to the track near the start of the final lap after failing to hurdle a runner who had fallen in front of her. But she got to her feet and still outran the field to win the heat, then followed by holding off Muir to win the semifinal.