'Take a bow': Aussie high jumper's stunning silver medal display

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Nicola McDermott drapes the Australian flag over her shoulders after winning silver in the Tokyo Olympics high jump.
Nicola McDermott won Australia's first Olympic high jump medal sine 1964, setting a new Australian record in the process. (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images) goes clear

Australian high jumper Nicola McDermott has won the silver medal and shattered the Australian record in the process at the Tokyo Olympics.

In a captivating performance, McDermott became the first Australian woman to clear the 2m mark at the Olympics, before improving on that soon after, clearing 2.02m on her first attempt.

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She came agonisingly close to a third new Australian record, but just barely clipped the bar set at 2.04m - meaning Russia Olympic Committee's Mariya Lasitskene won gold.

The 28-year-old Lasitskene won gold with 2.04m on what was a belated Olympic debut after the Russian track and field federation was banned from the 2016 Rio Games for systematic doping.

The bronze on Saturday night went to Ukraine's Yaroslava Mahuchikh with 2.00m.

Coincidentally, the last time an Australian woman won high jump silver was also at a Tokyo Olympics, with Michele Brown also finishing second in 1964.

It was all about McDermott on Saturday night though, who had become the first Australian woman ever to clear the 2m mark at the Australian Olympic trials in April.

She had already improved the national record to 2.01m at the Stockholm Diamond League meet last month, and between her and Eleanor Patterson - who was fifth in the Olympic final in 1.96m - both in career-best form, it could well be raised even further in the near future.

Fans were thrilled by McDermott's impressive performance.

Patterson won the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal as a teenager but was almost lost to the sport after failing to even qualify for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

But she has been rejuvenated after moving to Sydney and linking up with coach Alex Stewart, who also mentors Australia's leading male high jumper Brandon Starc.

McDermott's silver was the third medal won by the Australian track and field team in Tokyo.

Decathlete Ash Moloney and javelin thrower Kelsey-Lee Barber both won bronzes.

Aussie mum in tears after gutsy Olympic marathon

Australian mother-of-two Sinead Diver delivered an emotional message to her loved ones after a gutsy 10th placed finish in the women's marathon at the Olympic Games.

The Aussie was making her Games debut at the age of 44 and stormed home in the marathon to clinch a special piece of history.

Diver finished strongly on a hot and humid morning in Sapporo to claim 10th spot in two hours 31 minutes and 14 seconds, becoming just the second Australian woman to finish in the top 10 in an Olympic marathon.

The only better Olympic performances by an Australian female marathoner came from Lisa Ondieki, who won the silver medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games and was seventh in 1988.

"I'm speechless, I'm so happy," said Diver.

"I didn't expect to come top 10.

"That was something I really wanted before the race, so I'm absolutely stoked that I fought for that spot at the end.

"I had to sprint to get past the girl in front of me."

Australia's Sinead Diver finished 10th in the women's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)
Australia's Sinead Diver finished 10th in the women's marathon at the Tokyo Olympics. (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Diver, who was born and raised in Ireland before moving to Australia aged 25, choked back tears when asked about her two children and husband watching back home in Australia.

“I’ve been away from them for quite a few weeks now. I really miss them,” she said.

“I hope they’re proud of their mum. I’m sure they’re screaming at the TV now."

With AAP

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