Australia Here are some of the big moments to watch out for during the Tokyo Olympics

10:20  24 july  2021
10:20  24 july  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

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The Tokyo Olympics are here and they've been a longer-than-usual time coming. But if you're not a hardcore Games watcher, the 14-day barrage of sport can feel like a lot to handle.

Of course, no-one can predict all the highlights ahead of time (who could have divined a Steven Bradbury win before he crossed the line in 2002?), but there are some reliable standards in the Olympic canon, and the Aussie team.

Here are our picks for surefire excitement across the Games. All Olympics coverage will be on Channel 7, and times are in AEST.

Ariarne Titmus and the women's 400m freestyle

Ok, let's start with the obvious.

The swimming finals are regularly some of the most watched events at any Olympics.

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This year's Australian team will put forward a strong offering and one of our best medal hopes is Ariarne Titmus.

Her rivalry with American champion Katie Ledecky will likely come to a head more than once over the course of the Games, but one to watch will be the women's 400 metres freestyle final, at 12:20pm AEST on Monday July 26.

The swimming finals are spread across the first week of the Games, with a full list of events here.

100m sprint finals

Another classic of the Games, the 100m sprint final is quick to watch and easy to understand.

The men's and women's events will be held at the same time on consecutive nights, as the final events of their respective days.

It means the women's 100m final will be at 10:50pm on Saturday July 31, and the men's 100m final will be at 10:50pm on Sunday August 1.

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Basketball finals (and Aussie group games)

Australia's Opals and Boomers will be going up against the world's best on the Tokyo court.

It comes just a few days after the Boomers pulled an upset win against Team USA, bolstering medal hopes for the team.

The Boomers' first game is against Nigeria, at 6:20pm on Sunday July 25, while the Opals start against Belgium at 6:20pm on Tuesday July 27.

The men's gold medal final will take place at 12:30pm on Saturday August 7, with a bronze medal game to follow at 9:00pm.

The women's bronze medal final will take place between those two games at 5:00pm, with the top two teams battling it out for silver and gold at 12:30pm the following day, Sunday August 8.

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She recently made world headlines for becoming the first woman in history to perform a Yurchenko double pike in competition.

Biles is sure to stun spectators during her Olympics campaign.

Of her events, the women's all-around final at 8:50pm on Thursday July 29 will be the most comprehensive and spectacular showcase of her skills.

Watch the Matildas clash with Team USA

The Matildas have already begun their Olympics campaign in style, taking down New Zealand 2-1 in the opening game of the Olympics.

They're set to play Sweden at 6:30pm on Saturday July 24, but the real test will come when they're pitted against the US on Tuesday July 27 at 6:00pm.

The women's gold medal match will be held at midday on Friday August 6.

The Olyroos also claimed a win in their opening game, and will go on to face Spain at 8:30pm on Sunday July 25.

The men's gold medal match will be held at 9:30pm on Saturday August 7.

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She's the top-ranked player in the draw for the women's singles, but the playing time for her first match is yet to be decided.

We'll update this article once it's released, but in the meantime you can see her play in the women's doubles with fellow Aussie Storm Sanders on Saturday afternoon.

The exact timing will depend on matches before her.

If she does make it to the medal finals, they will be held on the evening of Saturday July 31.

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The final stages of the competition could pit them against New Zealand in a rematch of the 2016 final.

The women's competition begins on Thursday July 29, with Australia's first match against Japan at 11:30am AEST.

The gold medal final will be held between the two top teams at 7:00pm on Saturday July 31.

How to finish your Olympics binge? With an actual marathon

One of the last events of the games, the Tokyo Olympics marathon will actually take place in Sapporo, on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

The men's marathon will be keenly watched due to the presence of defending champion Eliud Kipchoge, who's widely regarded as one of the best marathon runners ever.

Since he took home the gold in Rio,  he has set a world record time of 2:01:39, and — in an event not eligible for world record consideration — broken the previously unattainable two-hour barrier with a time of 1:59:40.

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