Relive the Games with our Campaign Tokyo Olympic Highlights

Posted on September 5, 2021 by

During the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, 105 NSWIS-supported athletes wore the green and gold as they competed against the best in the world.

We’ve selected some of our highlights from each day of the Games.


Friday 23rd July

NSWIS scholarship holder Cate Campbell, in her fourth Olympic Games, was given the honour of carrying the Australian flag at the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony alongside men’s basketballer Patty Mills.

Saturday 24th July

The Australian Men’s Hockey Team and Women’s Water Polo Team both begin their campaigns with victories. The Kookaburras defeat Japan 5-3, with NSWIS graduates Tim Brand, Tom Craig and Blake Govers scoring goals, while the Aussie Stingers claimed a group A victory over Canada.

Sunday 25th July

After qualifying fastest for the final, the Australian women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team win GOLD in a historic third-consecutive Olympic Games, breaking the world record in the process. Featuring NSWIS athletes Bronte and Cate Campbell, the former swam the first leg for the Aussies to provide an early lead, before Wollongong’s Emma McKeon provided a significant lead for Campbell (Cate) to finish off a record-breaking swim.

Monday 26th July

The Australian Women’s Hockey Team made it two wins from two matches with a resounding 6-0 victory over China, with NSWIS graduate Emily Chalker notching a brace.

Tuesday 27th July

NSWIS-supported athlete Owen Wright wins the first-ever Olympic surfing medal, claiming in bronze in the men’s competition by defeating the world #1 Gabriel Medina.

Just hours later, after qualifying fastest and as the gold-medal favourite, Jessica Fox picked up two penalties in her final K1 run to go agonisingly close to a gold but taking home a well-deserved bronze medal.

Wednesday 28th July

In the space of one historic hour, NSWIS graduates helped Australia to winning three Olympic rowing medals at the Sea Forest Waterway.

Alexander Purnell, Jack Hargreaves and Spencer Turrin made up three-quarters of the Australian men’s four that powered to a GOLD medal, etching themselves into history as a modern-day oar-some foursome. Next up was the men’s quad sculls featuring NSWIS graduate Cameron Girdlestone, with the crew showing tremendous grit to push through for a bronze medal.

Finally, Rowena Meredith and Harriet Hudson were part of the women’s quad sculls who needed to go through the repechage to qualify for the A Final. With little expectations, the crew produced the race of a lifetime, pressuring their opponents into a mistake and taking an unexpected but glorious bronze medal.

Thursday 29th July

Paddling back from her K1 disappointment just days earlier, Jessica Fox, buoyed with the back of an entire nation behind her, raced her way to a long-awaited GOLD in the first-ever Olympic women’s C1 event, providing for an emotional fourth career medal at the Games.

Friday 30th July

In one of the most highly-anticipated races of the Games, Emma McKeon and NSWIS’ Cate Campbell raced to the podium in the women’s 100m freestyle final. McKeon took the gold with an Olympic record, while Campbell was elated with an individual bronze in her fourth Olympic Games.

Saturday 31st July

NSWIS scholarship holder Rohan Browning well and truly announced himself to the whole of Australia, running 10.01s in the men’s 100m heats to win his heat, safely qualify for the semi-finals and officially become the second-fastest ever Australian over the distance.

Sunday 1st August

Cate Campbell produced one of the swims of her long and illustrious career to anchor the women’s 4x100m medley relay team to GOLD. As Emma McKeon finished off her butterfly leg, Campbell made a fantastic changeover to be neck and neck with her United States opponent. Using every bit of her experience, the NSWIS swimmer produced an incredible last 15 minutes to just out-touch the Americans and ensure Australia would top the podium.

Monday 2nd August

Shane Rose rides as part of the Australian Eventing Team towards a silver medal, alongside the eight-time Olympian Andrew Hoy and Kevin McNab.

Tuesday 3rd August

The Kookaburras took on Germany on the men’s hockey semi-finals, looking to guarantee a medal with progression through to the final. In a tight contest, the Aussies took a slender lead into the final quarter and were able to extend it in the final minutes to secure a 3-1 win, securing the Kookaburras’ first appearance in the Olympic final since 2004.

Wednesday 4th August

Poppy Olsen competed in the first-ever women’s skate park competition, producing some stunning runs to qualify for the final, going on to finish fifth, and alongside her skating opponents from across the globe, winning the world over with their comradery.

In the evening’s athletics events, Jessica Hull broke the Australian 1500m record to qualify for the women’s final alongside her Aussie compatriot Linden Hall.

Thursday 5th August

Melissa Wu, competing in her fourth Olympic Games, was all class in the women’s 10m platform final, going on to claim an emotional bronze medal. It was Wu’s first-ever individual Olympic medal, and came 13 years after her first Olympic medal in the synchronised event.


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In the evening, a nation tuned in to the men’s hockey final and willed the Aussies home in a tight contest against Belgium. With penalties needed to split the teams, Australians felt the athlete’s heartbreak

Friday 6th August

In her Olympic debut, NSWIS scholarship holder Mackenzie Little takes her place in the women’s javelin final alongside two other Australians, throwing beyond her years to finish in sixth place.

Saturday 7th August

NSWIS scholarship holder Nicola McDermott won a historic silver medal in the women’s high jump event, breaking her own national record and becoming just the second Australian woman to have won an Olympic high jump medal.

Two NSWIS athletes took part in the final with Eleanor Patterson jumping superbly to finish in fifth position, before McDermott cleared 2.02m to break her previous record of 2.01m and win a historic medal for Australia.

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