Olympics 2021: 5 unmissable Day 2 events and when to watch

·4-min read
Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell, pictured here at the 2016 Olympics.
Emma McKeon and Cate Campbell spearhead Australia's 4x100m relay team. (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

Start practising shouting the phrase “It’s gold for Australia!” at your TV because the swimming pool could be set to deliver us a golden start to Day 2 in Tokyo.

This Olympics, swimming finals will be held in the morning session so they can be beamed to the US in primetime (money talks, eh?) while the heats will be held at night.

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But it means we can get our medal tally ticking over before we’ve even sat down for lunch.

Here are five events to look out for on Day 2 of the Tokyo Games:

Men’s 400m Freestyle final, 11.52am AEST

Cancel your late morning Zoom appointment because you need to be in front of a TV for this one.

The men’s 400m free has been dominated by the bitter rivalry between Mack Horton and Sun Yang for the past five years, but with Sun banned for doping and Horton failing to qualify, another Aussie is ready to step into the spotlight.

Elijah Winnington (a headline writer’s dream) dominated the Australian Olympic trials with a time of 3:42.65min, easily the fastest of the year and the ninth-fastest of all time. 

The 21-year-old from the Gold Coast could add his name to the honour roll of an event Australia has enjoyed plenty of success in over the past two decades, having been won by Horton in 2016 and Ian Thorpe in 2000 and 2004.

A huge chance for gold this morning, don’t miss it.

Women’s 4x100m Freestyle Relay final, 12.45pm AEST

This is an event Australia has owned for almost a decade and this could top off a golden morning session for Australia in the pool. 

This is one event Australian Olympic officials would be banking on to produce gold.

Three of our four swimmers – Emma McKeon, Cate Campbell and Madison Wilson – have clocked the 12 fastest 100m freestyle times this year, while the fourth, Meg Harris, isn’t that far behind. 

It’s a huge domination and with gold at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, and the 2015 and 2019 world championships, this one is ours to lose.

Clancy/Artacho Del Solar (Aus) v Lidy/Leila (Cub), Women’s Beach Volleyball, 1pm AEST

Beach volleyball has held a special place in the Australian Olympic psyche since Kerri Pottharst and Natalie Cook won the first gold on the sand of Bondi in 2000, and we’re in with a real gold medal chance again in Tokyo with Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar.

The pair is ranked fifth in the world, having won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and bronze at the 2019 world championships despite Artacho del Solar battling a knee injury. 

Both competed in Rio with different partners, but this is a combination to watch in Tokyo and they begin their campaign this afternoon.

Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar, pictured here at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho del Solar at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. (Photo credit should read WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

Women’s Road Race, Cycling, 2pm AEST

It will be hard to stop the Dutch from taking a clean sweep of the medals here but there are two Australians in particular to watch out for. 

The challenging hilly course is tailor made for Amanda Spratt in her third Olympics, while Grace Brown might have the power to put up a challenge.

Spratt won silver at the 2018 road world championships, while Brown took the honours at the Brugge-De Panne, and finished third at both the Tour of Flanders and the mountain time trial at the Giro Donne this year. 

They face a mighty challenge against the Dutch quartet of Anna van der Breggen, Annemiek van Vleuten, Marianne Vos and Demi Vollering, though.

India v Australia, Men’s Hockey, 7.30pm AEST

This is a genuine blockbuster between two of the heavyweights of men’s hockey. The Kookaburras had won a medal at every Olympics going back to Barcelona 1992 until Rio five years ago, when they finished sixth. 

But they will be right back in contention for just their second Olympic gold this time around.

The Aussies are the No.1 ranked team in the world going into Tokyo while the Indians are ranked fifth and are one of our biggest threats to gold. This should be a cracker.

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