Mollie joins Barty party after a successful Olympics for Ipswich

Ipswich is celebrating two gold and three bronze medals alongside a number of high placings in swimming, tennis, weightlifting and boxing at the Tokyo Olympics, after the Games’ close saw Australia finish with 46 gongs.

Seventeen-year-old Mollie O’Callaghan led the charge, winning gold as a heat swimmer in both the 4×100 metre freestyle and medley relays. Mollie and Ipswich teammate Leah Neale also picked up bronze medals for their roles in the women’s 4×200 metre relay, while Wimbledon champion Ash Barty placed third in the mixed doubles tennis.

Local weightlifter Erika Yamasaki ranked 12th in the 59kg class, and boxer Paulo Aokuso progressed to the round of 16 in the men’s light heavy (75-81kg) preliminaries at his first Olympic Games.

Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said it was fantastic to see local sportspeople succeeding.

“Congratulations to our international sports stars, who trained through challenging circumstances for a successful Olympic Games,” Mayor Harding said.

“First we had the Barty Party, now there are another five local legends to add to the list.

“Ash, Mollie O’Callaghan, Leah Neale, Erika Yamasaki, and Paulo have given their all and have reminded us what can be achieved through the power of sport.”

Ms O’Callaghan, a student at St Peters Lutheran College Springfield, was the youngest Australian swimmer competing at the Tokyo Olympics.

Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chair Councillor Andrew Fechner congratulated Ipswich’s elite athletes.

“Every Ipswich Olympian is a champion to our community,” Cr Fechner said.

“Being selected to compete at an Olympic level is an extraordinary achievement in itself, the rest is icing on the cake.”

Cr Fechner said the Olympics Live events in Tulmur Place underscored Council’s commitment to bring world-class sporting opportunities to the Ipswich community.

“At Tulmur Place we hosted events for the community to meet Olympic heroes Olivia Vivian, Deborah Acason and Robbie McEwen and beamed the Tokyo Olympics live from the big screen to help make the Games more accessible,” Cr Fechner said.

Surfing, BMX and skateboarding were included as Olympic sports for the first time in Tokyo and it has been announced that competitive breakdancing will be added to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

All eyes will now turn to the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics Games which will kick off on Tuesday, 24 August and will run until Sunday, 5 September.

More than 160 nations will compete with 4,400 athletes across 22 sports.

“The Paralympics is another great opportunity to watch elite athletes in action, and celebrate the power sport for inclusion,” Mayor Harding said.

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