LIVE Tokyo Day 3: Titmus wins gold in 400m freestyle thriller, Stingers beat Dutch

Australia are on the medals table at the 2020 Tokyo Games after a strong first day of finals in the pool. The swimming team will be keen to build on the haul, with two of our stars in Emma McKeon and Ariarne Titmus appearing in finals today.

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After a strong Day 2 in team events for Australia, there'll be some weary athletes in recovery sessions today. The Hockeyroos and Stingers will both be looking for their second wins of the campaign, while the softballers back up in a must-win clash with Mexico.


Day 1 | Day 2 |

Read on for rolling coverage of Australia's efforts at the Olympics:

Titmus wins gold in 400m thriller

Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus won the gold medal in an epic women's 400m freestyle final at the Tokyo Olympics, finishing ahead of American world record holder Katie Ledecky.

Ledecky came into the race as the main obstacle between Titmus and a gold medal after setting the quickest time in the heats.

Tasmanian-born Titmus set the second fastest 400m of all time last month at the Australian Olympic swimming trials, giving the 20-year-old ample confidence heading into today's final.

The American held the lead for the initial 300m but Titmus was watching her all the way, literally lurking at her heels.

The young Australian ominously surged closer and was just 0.16 seconds behind Ledecky with 100m remaining.

Titmus then reeled in her rival in a perfectly-executed race plan to win by half a body-length in a time of three minutes 56.69 seconds.

Ledecky touched home in 3:57.36 and China's Li Bingjie was well back in third position in 4:01.08.

Titmus and Ledecky will also square off in a much-hyped 200m freestyle battle, though the American is favoured to win their duel over 800m.

Both cruised through the 200m heats, with Ledecky logging Monday night's fastest time of one minute 55.28 seconds.

Australia's Titmus (1:55.88) was fourth-quickest and rarely approached top gear while compatriot Madi Wilson (1:55.87) was third fastest into Tuesday's semi-finals.

Titmus' triumph was the second medal earned by Australia on the day, with fellow swimmer Emma McKeon earning bronze in the 100m butterfly, one day after setting a world record as part of Australia's women's 4x100m freestyle relay and claiming the country's first gold of the Tokyo Games.

In the 1500m heat, Australia's Maddy Gough and Kiah Melverton advanced into the final in seventh and eighth spots respectively.

Stingers rally to beat Dutch powerhouse

Australia's women's water polo team have stormed from four goals down to beat the Netherlands and remain undefeated in Tokyo.

Trailing 8-4 just before halftime, the Stingers kept their composure to run down the powerhouse side in a 10-4 second half.

The win follows an 8-5 defeat of Canada and all but guarantees Australia a quarter-final berth ahead of their remaining pool games against South Africa and Spain.

Abby Andrews starred with three crucially-timed goals and some fierce defensive work against the physical Dutch, while veterans Bronwen Knox (two) and Rowie Webster (three) both scored late in the final quarter to seal the win.

Hannah Buckling also scored three goals while Zoe Arancini (two goals) was again on target with her cheeky long-range lob, and goalkeeper Gabriella Palm made a clutch close-range save to see off the Netherland's last push.

The Dutch had benefited from a string of Australian exclusions for penalties in the first half to build their lead.

But they couldn't exploit them in the back end of the contest, four times being turned away by some desperate defence when Australia were a player down.

"That's a huge learning curve for me that match, and it's awesome (in) my second Olympic game to come away with a win, and a win like that, where we were down by so many goals," Matilda Kearns, who slammed home a late goal, said.

"Just seeing the older girls step up and play with composure ... it makes me so excited to see what this team can do for the rest of the Games."

The Stingers have finished first, fourth, third (twice), and sixth since women's water polo was introduced, with the United States emerging as the clear super power after Australia pipped them for gold in Sydney.

But Australia beat the United States - ending a 69-game winning streak - in their most recent competitive hit-out in January 2020 before COVID-19 took hold.

That victory came after the Stingers had opted to become "amateur professional athletes", according to Webster, and drop their outside work commitments in the lead-up to the Games.


Nicolson through to boxing quarters

Australian featherweight Skye Nicolson has advanced to the quarter-finals of the Tokyo Olympics, recording a hard-fought and emotive victory over South Korean Im Aeji.

Nicolson is just two wins away from reaching the gold-medal bout, while the first, third and fourth seeds have notably already been eliminated from the tournament.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games champion next faces Brit Karriss Artingstall in Wednesday night's quarter-final.

Nicolson was all smiles after her split-decision triumph on Monday night, having lifted when it mattered most to ensure every judge deemed her the winner of the deciding final round.

Four of five judges gave Nicolson the overall win.

The 25-year-old celebrated at the Kokugikan Arena then turned to the camera, wishing her father happy birthday before blowing a kiss.

The Queenslander is following in the footsteps of her late older brother Jamie, who boxed for Australia at the 1992 Olympics.

Skye's brothers Jamie and Gavin tragically died in a car accident while en route to boxing training in 1994, a year before she was born.

"It's so special I can have this connection to Jamie," Skye Nicolson said earlier this year.

"And for sport to have that power to build such an ongoing connection between us."

Nicolson and Im clashed in the round of 16 having both benefited from an opening bye.

Nicolson landed a jab to the face late in the second round then connected with a few lefts in the final round to trump the South Korean, who was warned over a punch to the back of the head early in the fight.

Earlier on Monday, Australian flyweight Alex Winwood's first Olympics ended with a split-decision loss to Zambia's Patrick Chinyemba.

Dissenting Thai judge Karn Naklam deemed Winwood the winner after three tight rounds.

But the remaining four judges gave the victory to Chinyemba, whose fancy footwork and reach helped secure a spot in the round of 16.

Chinyemba was adjudicated a 29-28 winner on three scorecards, while that was the same margin that Naklam settled on.

Winwood rallied after being outgunned in the opening round, winning the second round in the eyes of all but one judge.

But the 24-year-old West Australian failed to land enough blows to achieve the same result in the deciding round.


Aussie men go down again at the beach

Chris McHugh and Damien Schumann's Tokyo Olympics fate is no longer in their hands after the Australian beach volleyballers endured another tough afternoon on the sand.

McHugh and Schumann went down to Russian pair Konstantin Semenov and Ilya Leshukov 21-14 21-16 at Shiokaze Park on Monday for their second straight loss.

They will now need to beat Spain on Wednesday and hope other results go their way to be any chance of progressing as one of the two best third-ranked teams.

It was fitting the match ended with Semenov producing a monster block, the 210cm Russian a dominant figure at the net that the Australians struggled to subdue.

McHugh produced plenty of power in the first set with a number of defining spikes, but every time the Australians mounted a charge they produced an error, coming up with 18 for the match.

A tense first set was neck-and-neck and locked at 12-all before the Russians won nine of the next 11 points - a run which including a service fault and net touch for the Aussies.

The Russians opened an early lead in the second as Semenov mixed guile with strength at the net.

Australia's depleted confidence levels were on show when they let a relatively soft Semevov serve drop in without making an attempt at the ball to give Russia a 14-8 lead.


Watkins misses canoe slalom Oly medal

Australian paddler Dan Watkins has been unable to replicate his sizzling semi-final form, falling short of an Olympic C1 canoe slalom medal.

The 25-year-old put himself in the medal mix by qualifying for the final in second spot but a mid-race error saw him lose valuable time and he faded to finish ninth.

His final time of 108.18 included a two-second time penalty.

Watkins's time from his semi-final - 101.28 - would have been enough for a silver medal if it was in the deciding race.

Competing in his third Olympics, Slovenian veteran Ben Savsek was flawless through the Tokyo course, crossing the line in in 98.25 seconds.

Czech Lukas Rohan won the silver medal, 3.71 seconds off the pace, while Germany's Sideris Tasiadis was third.

Gold medal favourite Slovak Matej Benus finished sixth.

Watkins, who only switched from the two-bladed kayak paddle to canoe competition a few years ago, was on pace until the 15th gate when he came unstuck.

"One mistake but one really big mistake, which was a little bit annoying," Watkins told Seven Network.

"I was pretty good through the top but after I got back from that mistake my arms were burning - I wasted 10 seconds basically paddling away from the finish line.

"I still got it together and had a good finish so I've got to be happy with that."


Doubles delight for Australia, Osaka dominates

Naomi Osaka didn't flinch as she edged closer to a medal at her home Olympics while Ash Barty and Samantha Stosur stayed alive in a mixed day for Australia's tennis hopes.

Barty was dumped out of the singles in a shock Sunday first-round upset but rebounded with partner Storm Sanders to progress to the quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-4 defeat of China's Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan.

In her fifth Olympics, Samantha Stosur also reached the third round with partner Ellen Perez in a tough 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 win against Romanians Monica Niculescu and Raluca Olaru.

At opposite ends of the draw, the Australian pairs would not meet until the final if they continue their winning ways.

John Millman and Alja Tomlanjovic both lost tight second-round singles matches, Millman fighting back after Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina had served for the match in the second set to eventually lose 6-4 6-7 (7-4) 6-3 in almost three hours.

Tomljanic was up a set and a break before fourth seed Elina Svitolina produced some clutch tennis in a 4-6 6-3 6-4 win.

And Max Purcell couldn't continue his charmed run, ousted 6-3 6-0 by Germany's Dominik Koepfer.

Earlier in the day Japanese star Osaka cruised in a 6-3 6-2 win over 49th-ranked Swiss Viktorija Golubic - a Wimbledon quarter-finalist - to reach the last 16 at the Ariake Tennis Park.

It's Osaka's first event since she withdrew from the French Open in May, revealing that she has dealt with depression. She then sat out Wimbledon.

Osaka was asked in March to handle the cauldron honours but said she "didn't feel pressure" about the assignment.

"I felt more excitement," Osaka said.

"It was like a sense of duty, like something I wanted to accomplish.

"It's something that you see as a kid on TV. You gather around the TV with your family at the Olympics and you watch the whole ceremony.

"I know my grandparents were probably crying and my mum of course."

Two more wins and Osaka will be in line for more honours in her Olympic debut - a medal.

"Definitely it would mean a lot for me but I know it's a process," Osaka said.

"The flag is next to my name no matter what tournament I play but I feel like the scale of this is much bigger.

"It's something I've been waiting for for eight years (since she turned pro in 2013)."


Aussie men win freestyle relay bronze

A flying anchor leg from Kyle Chalmers has lifted the Australian team to the bronze medal in the men's 4x100m freestyle relay at the Tokyo Olympics.

The lineup of of Matt Temple, Zac Incerti, Alexander Graham and Chalmers finished behind the United States and Italy in Monday's final.

The medal lifts Australia's overall Tokyo tally to two golds, one silver and three bronze - all won by swimmers.

The men's relayers couldn't repeat the heroics of their countrywomen, who set a world record in winning gold on Sunday - their third consecutive Olympic title.

But reigning Olympic 100m champion Chalmers produced a stunning last leg to drag Australia from fifth at the turn onto the podium.

Australia's men found the pace of the world-record holding Americans too hot to handle, with US star Caleb Dressel swimming a standout opening leg.

Dressel is the main rival to Chalmers in the individual 100m freestyle - those opening heats are contested on Tuesday evening.

The Americans led from start to finish in the relay final, winning in three minutes 08.97 seconds, with Australia 1.25 seconds behind in third.


All Blacks 7s clash looms for Australia

A horror first half has cost Australia in a 29-19 men's rugby sevens loss to Argentina that leaves their campaign for an Olympic medal teetering.

Tim Walsh's side were unable to gather any of the first three kick-offs from Argentina, allowing the underdogs a weight of possession they took full advantage of.

Another sloppy piece of play when they finally had the ball led to a fourth Argentina try in the first seven minutes and a 24-0 lead at the break.

A double to Josh Turner and another to Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi gave Australia - eighth at the sport's Olympic debut in Rio - hope of a miracle comeback.

But needing a try on the final play of the game they again lost the aerial contest from the kick-off, allowing Lautaro Bazan Velez to run unopposed for the match-sealing try.

Australia only just snuck into the Olympics, a last-minute try the difference in a tense 19-12 defeat of Samoa the Oceania playoff.

The Aussies were fourth in the World Series before it was halted due to COVID-19 last year and entered Tokyo with quiet confidence of challenging for a medal.

That quest has hit an early roadblock though.

Australia play South Korea later on Monday before they clash with New Zealand on Tuesday morning, likely needing to win both games to finish in the top two and progress to the quarter-finals.

The two best third-placed finishes across the three pools will also progress.

The All Blacks were pushed briefly by the Koreans, leading 7-5 late in the first half before running away with the game 50-5.

Hosts Japan gave defending Fiji a scare in the tournament opener, but the defending Olympic champions scored the last two tries to escape with a 24-19 victory.


Hockeyroos humming with 6-0 win over China

An Emily Chalker double has helped to keep the Hockeyroos humming in Tokyo, the rejuvenated gold medal prospects beating China 6-0 for a second-straight win.

It was a statement victory to follow their opening 3-1 win over Spain on Sunday after the program had been turned upside down by an external review in response to claims of body-shaming, bullying and other issues.

Katrina Powell, a key member of Hockeyroos teams that won Olympic gold in 1996 and 2000, was brought in as the new coach less than four months out from the Games, charged with turning things around.

And Powell has her side firing; their relentless, attacking brand on show as Chalker scored two second-quarter goals before Brooke Peris slapped a loose ball out of the air and into the net just seconds into the second half.

Rosie Malone set up the second goal with a steal and pinpoint backstick pass and was then rewarded with one of her own when Amy Lawton's slick build-up play put the ball on a platter.

Stephanie Kershaw then cleaned up the scraps after skilfully finding her way past two Chinese defenders into the circle before Grace Stewart blazed a shot that somehow squeezed through the Chinese goalkeeper's pads and trickled over the line.

The smothering defence of Malone in the forward line had earlier set the tone as China struggled to find a way through the Australians.

The No.2-ranked side next face Japan, who lost 4-3 to China, on Wednesday.


McKeon storms home to take bronze

Australian swimmer Emma McKeon has won the bronze medal in the 100m butterfly at the Tokyo Olympics.

McKeon collected her second medal of the Tokyo Games, taking Australia's tally to one gold, one silver and two bronze - all at the pool.

The 26-year-old was also part of Australia's women's 4x100m freestyle relay team which claimed gold on Sunday.

McKeon now has six Olympic medals, after winning four at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In Monday's 100m 'fly final, McKeon produced a strong last lap to emerge as a medallist behind Canadian winner Margaret Macneil (55.59 seconds) and China's Zhang Yufei.

The Australian's butterfly bronze comes on a gruelling program in Tokyo which could reap seven medals for the Wollongong-born allrounder.

She's a genuine gold chance in both the individual 50m and 100m freestyles, with more medal opportunities in three more relays.

Coached by the renowned Michael Bohl, McKeon was Australia's most successful athlete at the 2016 Rio Olympics, with a freestyle relay gold, two other relay silvers and a bronze in the 200m freestyle.


Aussie shooters fall short of skeet final

Australian skeet shooters Paul Adams and Laura Coles have failed to progress to the Tokyo Olympics finals.

Adams and Coles finished 21st and 25th respectively in their qualification event, which was staged across Sunday and Monday.

Adams logged a total score of 119/125, falling three targets short of joining six fourth-placed rivals in a shootout that determined who joined Eric Delaunay, Tammaro Cassandro and Eetu Kalioinen in the final.

Adams was one of five male competitors to start with two faultless rounds, hitting all 50 targets to be on track for the six-shooter final.

But the theatre nurse from Brisbane, who last year didn't pick up his gun for almost nine months, slipped down the leaderboard and out of medal contention.

Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Coles, taking part in her first Olympics, started with a round of 24 then lost pace with the leaders.

"My nerves got the better of me," Coles said after loging a score of 112/125.

"It would have been nice to have more international competition in the lead up to this event. I haven't shot at a World Cup since 2019.

"It also wasn't easy with the pandemic, as I had to spend some time away from home.

"There is a lot that I can learn from this."

Shooting continues on Tuesday with pistol and rifle team events, introduced as part of the International Olympic Committee's push for gender equity.

Australia are yet to win a medal at the Asaka range but James Willett will be a leading contender in the men's trap competition that begins on Wednesday, when he shoots alongside compatriot Tom Grice.

Willett, who is coached by Atlanta Olympics gold medallist Russell Mark, has been training at an Olympic-standard trap shooting range on his family farm in the Riverina.

Penny Smith and Laetisha Scanlan, both selected on Australia's Olympic team ahead of Rio 2016 trap champion Catherine Skinner, also start their qualification event on Wednesday.


All Blacks, Fiji make winning starts to sevens

New Zealand have hit the ground running in Tokyo, powering past Korea in a dominant win to begin their Olympic campaign in style.

One of the big disappointments in Rio, the All Blacks Sevens have come to Tokyo with a point to prove. And they certainly made a statement on Monday morning, hammering a hapless Korea team 50-5.

But it wasn't as easy for Fiji earlier in the day.

The defending gold were given a fright in the opening match in Tokyo, but the Pacific Islanders were able to recover and get their Olympic campaign off to a winning start.

Fiji had trailed Japan 19-12 following tries either side of halftime from the hosts, but the champions from Rio landed back-to-back five-pointers of their own to escape with a 24-19 win.

Norwegian takes triathlon gold after start debacle

Norway's Kristian Blummenfelt has overcome early chaos which forced a race restart to claim the Olympic men's triathlon gold medal.

Blummenfelt broke away late in the closing 10km run leg to win from Briton Alex Yee with Kiwi Hayden Wilde taking the bronze, while Jake Birtwhistle was Australia's best performer in 16th.

In embarrassing scenes at the start line, a camera boat blocked the entry of almost half of the 51 competitors into the water at Tokyo's Odaiba Marine Park. The boat then almost reversed over some swimmers, while support craft frantically tried to get the message of a false start to those in the water to steer them back to the pontoon.

The race was safely restarted about 10 minutes later.

With a little over two kilometres to go, the three medallists cleared away before world No. 2 Blummenfelt made his winning break to secure his country's first medal in the sport, winning by 11 seconds with a time of one hour 45 minutes and four seconds.

The 27-year-old Norwegian collapsed shortly after crossing the finish line and had to be helped into a wheelchair to leave the area.

One of the race favourites, Britain's Jonny Brownlee, was bidding for his third successive Olympic medal having won bronze in London and silver in Rio, but had to settle for fifth while French world champion Vincent Luis finished 13th in the sweltering conditions.

Queensland's Matt Hauser was 24th while Aaron Royle, from NSW was two places back in 26th.


Gilmore out of Oly surfing, Sally advances

Australia is still a chance of winning two Olympic surfing medals with Sally Fitzgibbons and Owen Wright revelling in the wild and windswept conditions at the Tokyo Games to book quarter-final berths on Monday.

But seven-time world champion Steph Gilmore was a shock third round elimination at the hands of unheralded South African Bianca Buitendag, while Julian Wilson was denied in a nail-biter against world tour leader Brazilian Gabriel Medina.

Fitzgibbons kept the flag flying in the women's event by ousting France's last medal hope Pauline Ado 10.83 to 9.03, and will now meet Japan's Amuro Tsuzuki on her home break in the last eight.

Wright had to wait until the last heat of the day but let rip against another French surfer Jeremy Flores, laying down two early scores of 7.17 and 6.67.

While Flores shocked with an unlikely tube at the wind-swept Tsurigasaki beach to earn a 6.17, the Australian hit back with a heat-high 7.83 with the final score 15.0 to 12.90.

Wright will now meet Peruvian Lucca Mesinas, who surfs on the world qualifying series, in the quarter-finals.

Gilmore looked in fine touch early but the 33-year-old was left to rue her decision to cede priority to Buitendag, who used the wave to post a 7.10 - the biggest score of the match-up.

"I looked at that wave and I was like, it doesn't look that good, so I let her have it and she turned it into a seven, so that was the most frustrating thing to me - like, man, I should have just taken that wave," Gilmore said.

Buitendag, who hasn't competed full-time on the world tour since 2016, left Gilmore needing 7.76 to regain the lead and while she had 14 minutes up her sleeve, she couldn't find the winning waves with the final margin 13.93 to 10.0.

"That's just the nature of surfing, sometimes the waves are there, sometimes the waves are not," Gilmore said.

Wilson's showdown with two-time world champion Medina was decided in the final minute with the Australian veteran going down 14.33 to 13.00.

In a high quality heat Wilson looked like he'd done enough with a big aerial on his final wave with 25 seconds left on the clock.

He thought so, fist pumping after landing the manoeuvre.

But the judges only awarded him a 6.83; well short of the 8.15 needed to go past Medina.

A frustrated Wilson felt the his last wave of the heat was best of the heat.

"I thought it was significantly better than anything else I did, but it only turned out marginally (better) so I don't know how that worked," Wilson said.

"It was a set wave, doubled up, a critical section - me watching (Medina) and Italo (Ferreira) getting massive scores for those all year."

The Australian camp lodged an official protest, believing that Medina had surfed outside of the competition area but it was quickly dismissed.

Wilson has already announced his plans to take an indefinite break from the world tour post Games, wanting to spend more time with his young family.


McKeon eyes more swim gold

Swimmer Emma McKeon could become Australia's first dual gold medallist of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.

Already with a 4x100-metre freestyle relay gold, McKeon is a genuine shot in the 100m butterfly final (11:30am AEST).

While China's Yufei Zhang was quickest into the medal race, McKeon wasn't far behind - and that swim came in a session when she also picked up relay gold.

McKeon is a contender for seven medals in Tokyo, which would be the most of any Australian at a single Olympics.

Australia enter Monday's competition with one gold, one silver and one bronze - all swimming.

But McKeon and fellow swimmer Ariarne Titmus are set to add to that collection on day three at the pool.

The 20-year-old Titmus, in the 400m freestyle final (12:20pm AEST), takes on American megastar Katie Ledecky, the world's best-ever female swimmer.

Australia's men's 4x100m freestyle relay team are eyeing a medal (1:05pm AEST) but appear off the gold pace set by Italy and the United States.

Elsewhere in the Olympic city, world No.1 tennis star Ash Barty, who suffered a stunning opening-round singles loss on Sunday, must regroup for the doubles.

Barty and Storm Sanders play China's Yifan Xu and Zhaoxuan Yang in a second-round fixture (around 4:30pm AEST).

The Hockeyroos also play China (1:15pm AEST) after starting their campaign with a win over Spain.

Likewise, the Stingers will aim to build on a first-up win against Canada when they take on the Netherlands in women's water polo (7:20pm AEST).

Australia's softballers face their moment of truth: they must beat Mexico (9pm AEST) to reach the bronze medal game. while in women's skateboarding Australia's world No.6 Hayley Wilson is an outside medal chance (10:19am AEST).

Paul Adams is well-placed in the skeet, with two more preliminary rounds on Monday (11am AEST) before the top six contest the medals, while Laura Coles is further back in the women's field (10am AEST).

Dan McConnell will contest the cross-country mountain bike event at his fourth Olympics (4pm AEST), the day before his wife Bec starts the women's race as a medal contender.

Jake Birtwhistle is the main Australian medal hope in the men's triathlon (7:30am AEST), with Aaron Royle and Matt Hauser likely to work for him.

Jian Fang Lay takes on Poland's Qian Li (11am AEST), while David Powell plays Slovakian Yang Wang (12pm AEST) in the second round of the table tennis singles draws.

Daniel Watkins is in the semi-finals of the canoe slalom, with the medals to be decided on Monday, and Australian surfers Stephanie Gilmore (8am AEST), Sally Fitzgibbons (12:12pm AEST), Julian Wilson (2:36pm AEST) and Owen Wright (5pm AEST) are scheduled for round-three heats.

The Australian men's Rugby 7s team kicks off their campaign this morning with a first up Pool A clash with Argentina (11am AEST), before facing the Republic of Korea later in the day (7pm AEST).