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They were a long time coming, but in n way has Tokyo 2020 failed to live up to the hype of an Olympic Games. Perhaps now more than ever, american dental association and plavix as many of us find ourselves in an extended lockdown, the Games provide a welcome distraction from the minutiae of everyday life. With a simple flick of the channel, we can find ourselves absorbed in the sport of canoe slalom or gymnastics, surfing and skateboarding, watching the world’s top athletes give nothing but their all as they look to be victorious and stand atop that medal podium.

The Games may have only just started, but already Australia’s athletes are proving that they are a force to be reckoned with. Our top athletes have taken to their events with steely-eyed focus and determination, and while not everyone walks away with a gold medal, the way they have conducted themselves is reason alone for celebration. It’s there in our Aussie athletes that we see just what it means to be compassionate, kind and loyal sportspeople. Of course, there are still the upsets that make sport the engaging theatre of triumph and loss that it is. With that in mind, here’s a round-up of the key Olympic moments for female athletes at Tokyo 2020.

Jess Fox takes bronze

The two-time Olympic medallist was hoping for gold at Tokyo 2020, but unfortunately Fox picked up four seconds worth of penalties in her final run, finishing with a time of 106.73. despite having the fastest run of the final – 102.73 – the inclusion of time penalties meant she finished just 1.23 seconds behind German gold medallist Ricarda Funk, who enjoyed a clean run. After hitting a two-second time penalty early in her run, Fox was still in contention for gold, but it was a second penalty that came for touching a gate that pushed Fox back to third place. Still, Fox has the women’s canoe slalom C1 heats and could find a gold medal there.

Sally Fitzgibbons suffers heartbreaking exit

They were scenes that saw all viewers choke up with emotion, as Sally Fitzgibbons broke down in tears after suffering defeat in the quarterfinals of the women’s surfing at Tokyo 2020. Tsuzuki and Fitzgibbons were medal contenders, trading two-section waves in the quarterfinals. But after a clean exit from the Japanese competitor, Tsuzuki prevailed with a score of 13.27 to Fitzgibbons’ 11.67. Fitzgibbons broke down in an interview, saying: “It hurts so bad. This one probably the toughest loss of my career. Yeah, I wanted to do it so bad for…For my teammates and my country and…It didn’t happen today. Man, I had the best time.”

Kaylee McKeown wins gold

20-year-old swimmer Kaylee McKeown has cemented herself as an Olympic gold medallist, taking the win in the women’s 100m backstroke. McKeown had a lot of pressure on her going into the event, given that she put the world on notice in June by setting a new 100m backstroke world record. While she was close to beating it at the Olympics, she didn’t quite get there. The medal is a special moment for McKeown and her family, after suffering the loss of their father to cancer almost a year to date. 

Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz wins Philippines’ first Olympic gold

They were emotional scenes when 30-year-old Hidilyn Diaz took gold in the women’s 55+ division, gaining two Olympic records in the process. In doing so, she came her country’s first ever gold medallist, seeing the Philippines secure its first gold medal in its 97-year history of participating in the Olympic Games. The star weightlifter said she was “thankful” for winning gold during the pandemic. “It’s a really big thing for me and all the Filipinos, because we didn’t have gold for 97, 96 years.”

Naomi Osaka’s shock exit

Osaka suffered a shock third-round loss at the Olympics, seeing her gold medal hopes crushed when she was defeated by Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 6-4. In just her second match since withdrawing from the French Open due to mental health issues, the Japanese star made numerous errors throughout her performance. Osaka spoke about the immense pressure on her, particularly as she’s the face of the Games. “I definitely feel like there was a lot of pressure for this,” she said. “I think it’s maybe because I haven’t played in the Olympics before and for the first year [it] was a bit much.”

Simone Biles withdraws for mental health reasons

Audiences around the world were shocked after Biles performed her vault at the team gymnastics competition, only to walk off the floor and announce she would be withdrawing from the team competition. It was only at a press conference that it was revealed the star athlete – and for many, the highlight of the Games – made the decision based on her mental health. It’s no secret that Biles has been put under enormous pressure, with the media calling her the greatest athlete of all time and already putting impossible standards of perfection on her performance. In a press conference, Biles admitted: “Today has been really stressful. We had a workout this morning. It went OK. And then just the five-and-a-half hour wait, I was just like, shaking. I could barely nap. I’ve just never felt like this going into a competition before. And I tried to go out here and have fun and warm up in the back when a little bit better. But then once I came out here, I was like, no, [the] mental is not there.”

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