Olympics 2021: Five unmissable events on Day 12 and when to watch

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Seen here, Opals and Peter Bol have given Aussie fans plenty to cheer about in Tokyo.
The Opals and Peter Bol will be flying the flag proudly for Australia on Day 12 of the Games in Tokyo. Pic: Getty

It could be another golden day for Australia in Tokyo, with three genuine gold medal contenders. Not surprisingly, two of them come in or on the water.

Australian Genevieve Gregson will also compete in the 3000m steeplechase final at 9pm AEST, and will need her absolute best to be a medal chance after finishing sixth in her heat in scorching temperatures on Sunday morning. She’ll welcome the cooler conditions of a night final.

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Here are five events to watch on Day 12 of the Tokyo Olympics (All times in AEST).

Women’s 10km, marathon swimming, 7.30am

Just when you thought our swimming success was all over for another Olympics, along comes the women’s 10km open water, and Australian Kareena Lee.

Lee missed qualifying for Rio after having to withdraw from the 2015 world championships after being hospitalised following the 10km race.

But her results in the past few years have been encouraging and she should be in medal contention here. She won silver in the 10km at the 2018 Pan Pacs, and finished seventh at the world championships in 2019. To prove how close that race was, that seventh place was just 3.3sec off the winner, despite the fact the race lasted almost two hours.

Lee also won a test event at the Tokyo Olympic venue a month before the Games, a swim that was reduced from 10km to 5km because the water temperature was averaging 30 degrees. Big medal hope early this morning.

Australia v USA, women’s basketball Q/F, 2.40pm

Talk about making it through by the skin of your teeth. The Opals had to beat Puerto Rico by 25 points or more on Monday night to advance to the quarters as one of two best third-placed teams from their group.

With less than 30 seconds to go the basket dropped to give them a 27-point win, having given up a decent start and trailing by two points at quarter-time.

This tournament hasn’t gone to script for the Opals, but maybe that was just the change in fortunes they needed to get jolted into gear. 

They now face an American team that hasn’t put a foot wrong so far in Tokyo. Make sure you’ve got a “meeting” planned for this afternoon, you don’t want to miss this.

Men’s two person dinghy – 470 final, 3.33pm

A typhoon threat one week, a lack of wind the next. This Olympics has had everything, but not even the lack of a zephyr can stop Aussies Mat Belcher and Will Ryan from their charge towards a gold medal. 

The pair took a 19-point lead over Spaniards Jordi Xammar and Nico Rodriguez in the 470 after the first eight races before the lack of wind forced a postponement of events. While the Spanish pair have been improving as the regatta has gone on, the Aussies are in a strong position to add another gold to our medal tally this afternoon. 

Pictured here, Aussie sailors Matt Belcher and Will Ryan are a strong chance to medal in the 470 event.
Sailors Matt Belcher and Will Ryan will be hoping to deliver more gold for Australia in the water in Tokyo. Pic: Getty

Men’s team pursuit finals, from 6.45pm

A shocking bit of luck all but ruined Australia’s chances of pushing for gold at the Izu Velodrome. Australian Alex Porter suffered a frightening accident in the heats when the handlebars on his bike snapped clean off in the middle of the race.

The Australian team was allowed to regather itself, and attend to Porter and his bike, and take the heat again, but it wasn’t enough for a top four finish and a chance at gold.

It was an unfortunate turn of events for the 2019 world champions and means the best they can take home is bronze, but they’ll be a good chance to do just that.

Men’s 800m final, 10.05pm

This is the one we’ve been waiting three days for, ever since Peter Bol crossed the line to win his 800m semi-final in brilliant style on Sunday night.

His time of 1min 44.11sec was the second fastest from the three heats, and puts him right in the running for gold. Kenyan Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich was the fastest qualifier, while Nijel Amos from Botswana is another threat. He was admitted to the final on appeal after being tripped in his semi-final.

Bol could become the third Australian man to win this Olympic title, following in the footsteps of Ralph Doubell at Mexico City 1968, and our first ever Olympian and only competitor at the first Games in Athens in 1896, Edwin Flack.

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