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Sport Aussie 800m star's history-making Tokyo blitz

11:02  31 july  2021
11:02  31 july  2021 Source:   wwos.nine.com.au

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  Who are the youngest and oldest athletes at Tokyo, and who has been to the most Olympics? Who are the youngest and oldest athletes, and who has been to the most Olympics? Here are some of the records the competitors are setting before they step up at Tokyo.The Games are already the most expensive, costing $US15.8 billion ($21.4 billion).

Five of the seven Australians who this morning made their first appearance of the Tokyo Olympics have advanced, in a pleasing session headlined by Peter Bol breaking the men's national 800m record.

Bol has progressed to the semi-final after clocking 1:44.13 to post the second-quickest time of the heats and steal the Australian record off training buddy and close mate Joseph Deng, who had set the benchmark in 2018.

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In a first for Australia's men in Olympic history, all three 800m runners have qualified for the semi-final.

How to watch the Tokyo Olympics in Australia

  How to watch the Tokyo Olympics in Australia Australians won't have to stay up late to watch most events as we share similar time zones to Japan. Here's how you can watch the Tokyo Olympics.The Games are due to run until Sunday, August 8, as long as case numbers remain under control.

Jeff Riseley, 34 and competing in his fourth Olympics, registered 1:45.41 to progress to the semi-final stage for the first time, while Charlie Hunter ran a 1:45.91 to snare a semi-final spot in his debut Olympic campaign.

Peter Bol jumping in the air: New Australian men's 800m record-holder Peter Bol competing in his heat at the Tokyo Games. © Getty New Australian men's 800m record-holder Peter Bol competing in his heat at the Tokyo Games.

In the men's pole vault, Australian Kurtis Marshchall - the athlete caught up in a COVID-19 scare that forced Australia's whole athletics team briefly into isolation yesterday - broke through to the final in his second Olympic Games after he was one of 11 competitors in the qualifiers who recorded a jump of 5.75m.

And Olympic debutant Liz Clay marched through to the semi-final of the women's 100m hurdles after stopping the clock at 12.87 in the heats.

Aussies touched out of silver in thrilling relay

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But as Deng, Riseley, Hunter, Marshchall and Clay all progressed in the morning session, Australia's Dani Stevens and Sarah Carli did not manage to join them.

Stevens, 33 and competing in her fourth Olympic Games, could only muster a discus throw of 58.77m, well short of her 69.64m personal best.

a baseball player holding a racket: Australian discus veteran Dani Stevens competing in the qualifiers at the Tokyo Olympics. © Getty Australian discus veteran Dani Stevens competing in the qualifiers at the Tokyo Olympics.

Meanwhile, Carli fell short of the women's 400m hurdles semi-final in a run of 56.93. It must be noted, however, that the Olympic debutant had emergency surgery in February following a life-threatening accident during a gym session, which severely injured her neck and could have led to disastrous complications involving her brain and nervous system.


Gallery: Athletes who dropped out of the Olympics due to COVID-19 (StarsInsider)

a close up of a flag: It seems never-ending: athletes keep dropping out of Tokyo 2020 after testing positive for COVID-19. As of this writing, more than 20 athletes from various sports and countries have seen their Olympic dream come to an end much earlier than expected.Sam Kendricks is currently the number one pole vaulter in the world and was expected to have a good shot at a medal this year. No doubt he thought his time at the Olympics to last a little longer. Sadly, he is yet another athlete to be withdrawn after testing positive for covid. He is the sixth member of Team USA to lose his spot due to the virus. His diagnosis wreaked havoc in the athletes’ village as many other athletes may have come in close contact with Kendricks. Australians are on tenterhooks as the entire Australian track and field team have had to isolate and are undergoing testing procedures. Click through the following gallery and get to know which other athletes will no longer participate in the Tokyo Olympics.

Bol, Australia's new men's 800m record-holder, will aim to continue his shining Tokyo Games campaign when he competes in the semi-final tomorrow, in a race set to begin at 9.25pm (AEST).

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Bol's blistering run has added to a fascinating history behind Australia's men's 800m record.

Ralph Doubell, one of just three Australian men to have won Olympic gold on the track, along with Edwin Flack and Herb Elliott, set a new 800m record during the 1968 Mexico City Games, running 1:44.30.

a woman with a racket: Australia's Liz Clay in action during the heats of the women's 100m hurdles at the Tokyo Games. © Getty Australia's Liz Clay in action during the heats of the women's 100m hurdles at the Tokyo Games.

The Victorian held that record until Deng pinched it from him in a time of 1:44.21 in Monaco in July 2018, less than three months before the 50th anniversary of Doubell's incredible run.

Doubell had planned to release an autobiography celebrating the 50th anniversary of the run, and while author Michael Sharp's book was still published, the final chapter had to be rewritten following Deng's Monaco magic.

Bol and Deng are supreme Australian 800m runners of Sudanese heritage.

Deng made his Olympic debut in Rio in 2016 but was ruled out of the Tokyo Games due to injury.

Millions of Australians are now watching on feverishly as Bol and many of his athletics teammates lift their eyes to the road ahead in Tokyo.

Peter Bol et al. around a track: Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich of Kenya and Peter Bol of Australia competing in their heat of the men's 800m at the Tokyo Olympics. © Getty Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich of Kenya and Peter Bol of Australia competing in their heat of the men's 800m at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Peter Bol may have finished fourth in Tokyo, but he won legions of fans and has an eye on more Olympics .
The Olympic Games is full of people that come and go. They get one shot at it, but Peter Bol is not one of those. He belongs in this league, writes Tracey Holmes.When you're an athlete and your initials are PB you've got to think it's some sort of a sign that you're going to make it.

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