Aussies look strong in Tokyo 2020 debut sports
4 June 2019
TOKYO 2020: The Australian onslaught on Tokyo 2020 debut sports is well and truly underway. With skateboarding, BMX, surfing and basketball 3x3 all due to make their first Olympic appearance next year, the Aussie contingent vying for a place in the Olympics' newest sports is promising.
Last week, Hayley Wilson made history becoming Australia’s first ever female skateboarder to compete in an Olympic Qualification event at the London SLS World Tour. She went on to win silver at the event with the highest scoring trick of 8.1 for the women, when she landed a big spin frontside board slide.
Now, the teen sensation has backed it up with another podium finish, also winning silver at the X Games in Shanghai.
The 17-year-old scored 83.00 behind five-time X Games gold medallist, Leticia Bufoni with 84.33 and ahead of USA’s Alexis Sablone with 81.66.
Notably, Aussie teammate Shane O’Neill also nabbed some valuable Olympic Qualification points in London, claiming bronze in the men’s division when he scored a near-perfect 9.3 on his best run.
At the UCI BMX Park World Cup in Montpellier, Logan Martin started strong, coming first in the semi-finals. He battled a bout of food poisoning the morning of the finals but still managed to finish with bronze in the final.
Martin still sits atop the leaderboard as first overall.
Aussie surfers were also kicking goals at the Margaret River Pro with Julian Wilson and Sally Fitzgibbon making it to the semifinals.
Seven-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore bowed out in the quarterfinals to the eventual winner Lakey Peterson, who pulled some massive scores of 9.80 and 9.03, but Gilmore's fifth-place finish was enough to retain her place at the top of the Women's Championship Tour Leaderboard. Ryan Callinan also progressed to the quarters before being knocked out.
Jack Robinson, Owen Wright, Nikki Van Dijk, Bronte Macaulay and Keely Andrew all made it as far as the Round of 16 before being eliminated.
Another sport making it's debut at Tokyo 2020 will be 3x3 basketball and the Aussies already boast back-to-back Asian Cup titles for the men and a golden sweep of the competition with the women, who also took out gold last week.
If Australia's results so far are any indication, these new sports are ones to spike the interest of the Australian public as Tokyo 2020 draws closer.