McKeon enters Friday’s 100m freestyle final as a hot favourite to win her fourth medal of the Games, while Australia’s golden girl Ariarne Titmus has a shot at another Olympic title against American rival Katie Ledecky.
Already with gold from the 4x100m freestyle relay and bronzes in the 100m butterfly and 4x200m freestyle relay, McKeon was the quickest into the 100m free final.
Her long-time teammate Cate Campbell was third quickest – she also could join countrywoman Titmus as a dual gold medallist with victory.
Titmus, the 200m and 400m freestyle champion, will again meet Ledecky, this time in the 800m final.
However, in the 800m freestyle, Titmus and others are at long odds to upset Olympic champion and world record holder Ledecky.
The American was fastest into the final in 8:15.67 with her 15-year-old teammate Katie Grimes (8:17.05) next best.
Titmus finished second in her heat and was sixth-quickest into the final in 8:18.99 with compatriot Kiah Melverton (8:20.45) seventh.
Matthew Temple also competes in the pool, with a swim in the 100m butterfly semi-finals, while Cameron McEvoy begins his rush for gold in the 50m freestyle heats.
On Thursday night, the Hockeyroos have made their best start to an Olympics, scraping a 1-0 win over New Zealand to make it four straight victories.
Some 16 years of shooting has culminated in split-second heartbreak for Laetisha Scanlan, who fell one target short of a medal in her quest to make it consecutive Olympic trap titles for Australia.
Reigning men’s Olympic water polo champions Serbia defeated Australia in a regulation 14-8 win.
On Thursday, Jess Fox made history in winning the first C1 Olympic gold medal on offer.
After winning three Olympic medals and none of them gold, the four-time world champion in the C1 charged through the whitewater course to end her roller-coaster ride and stand atop the Olympic podium.
“Relief, pure joy, it’s all the emotions today,” Fox said when asked to describe the moment after the event.
Meanwhile, Australia’s defence to its women’s rugby sevens Olympic title started strongly, crushing hosts Japan 48-0 then beating a plucky China 26-10 on day one of their competition in humid Tokyo on Thursday.
In other action on Friday, as Australia seeks to add to its eight golds, two silvers and 10 bronze medals, Lucien Delfour is a big chance in the men’s K1 canoe.
He qualified third-fastest for Friday’s semi-finals, with the medal race to follow.
The track and field program starts on Friday and 11 Australians are in action.
Matthew Denny is aiming for a big start in the discus and is an outside medal hope.
The only athletics medal event on Friday will be in the men’s 10,000m, where Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei is the short-priced favourite to complete the first leg of a prospective 10,000m-5000m double.
Ash Barty and John Peers face Russian pair Andrey Rublev and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the tournament’s No.4 seeds, in the mixed doubles semi-finals.
The pair reached the final four of the Olympic mixed doubles on Thursday, thriving in the deciding match tie-break to beat the Stefano Tsitsipas-powered Greece 6-4 4-6 10-6.
The men’s and women’s eights will try to add to the rich Australian rowing medal haul in Tokyo on the last day of the Games regatta.
The Matildas face Great Britain in a blockbuster women’s soccer quarter-final, as the Opals play China in the preliminary rounds of the basketball.
The women’s rugby sevens team is coming off two wins when it plays the United States, ahead of the quarter-finals, while the unbeaten Kookaburras face Spain in men’s hockey and the Stingers take on Spain in women’s water polo.
BMX racers Saya Sakakibara and Lauren Reynolds are through to the semi-finals, with the medals also to be decided on Friday.
Jessica Pickering is the Australian entry in the women’s trampoline.
This article was first published in the New Daily. Read the full article here
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