10 sporting highlights of May
31 May 2017
AOC: The month of May saw Aussies podium in canoe sprint, water polo, cycling and rugby sevens in Europe and America; while the Australian Diving and Gymnastics Championships ensured crowds were entertained closer to home.
Here are the top 10 sporting highlights from the month May 2017.
1. The all Australian women’s WTA final
For the first time in 12 years, two Australian women faced off in the final of a WTA event. Australia’s top two ranked female players Sam Stosur and Daria Gavrilova fought through an epic three set final on the clay courts at Strasbourg, with Stosur eventually taking the victory 5-7 6-4 6-3.
Both athletes then jumped straight on a train to Paris for the 2017 French Open where Gavrilova went down 7-6(5) 1-6 6-4 to world No.60-ranked Belgian Elise Mertens in the first round, while Stosur advanced to round two with a 7-5 6-1 victory over Kristina Kucova.
2. Team of 10 selected for World Championships at National Diving Champs
The Australian Diving Open and World Championship selection trials where held at the Sydney Aquatic Centre in May. Rio bronze medalist Maddison Keeney and Olympic teammate Domonic Bedggood each won three national titles during the week-long event, booking their tickets to the World Championships in Budapest where Bedggood is down to compete in five events.
Three-time Olympian Melissa Wu also secured her spot on the Australian team for her fifth World Championships appearance in the individual, synchro and mixed synchro platform events.
3. Porte wins Tour de Romandie
In the final stage of the Tour de Romandie in Lausanne, Rio Olympian Richie Porte hauled in a 19-second deficit to beat leader Simon Yates in the 18.3km time trial to win the overall tour. Porte became the third Aussie to win the tour after Phil Anderson in 1989 and Cadel Evans in 2005 and 2011. Porte said his tour victory was a boost of confidence as the look towards this year’s Tour de France, kicking off on July 1st.
4. Aussie women’s 7s team win bronze in Canada
The Australian women’s sevens side won bronze at the Langford Sevens in Canada after a strong 26-12 victory over France in the third-place play off. The Aussies went into their final game with two wins and a draw from the pool stages, a 22-10 victory over USA in the quarter final and a 10-17 loss to Canada, the eventual silver medalists, in the semi-final.
They’re tied for second place with Canada on the overall Women’s Sevens World Series ladder heading into the final tournament in Clermont-Ferrand on June 24.
5. Athletes launched into Australian Gymnastics Championships
The Australian Gymnastics Championship kicked off in May with the men’s and women’s individual apparatus events held so far. Emily Little was a stand out performer at the Championships, taking out the Senior All-Around Artistic Gymnastics Title as well as gold on Vault and silver on Uneven Bars. Georgia-Rose Brown also had a strong competition, winning gold on Beam and Floor. While in the men's competition, Michael Mercieca won the All-Around crown as well as gold on Floor.
6. Women’s water polo team win World League Tournament
With the Australian men’s water polo team taking out the World League Tournament on the Gold Coast at the end of April, it was the women’s time to shine in May. The Aussie Stingers won gold at the World League Intercontinental Tournament in America with a solid 10-6 win in the final over the host nation. The victory secured the team a start at the World League Super Final in China next month.
7. Tyler Wright surfs to victory in Rio
Defending World champion Tyler Wright took out the Rio Pro competition in May, and in doing so claimed the leader’s yellow rash vest. She now shares the number one ranking with fellow Aussie Steph Gilmore as they head into the next round in Fiji.
8. Athletics team for London continues to grow
The Australian team for the 2017 IAAF World Champions continued to grow throughout May. By the middle of the month, over 50 athletes had achieved the qualifying standard for the London. With a number of athletes securing qualifiers at the Doha, Shanghai and Eugene Diamond League Events, the Aussie Worlds team is already looking very strong.
9. Bull lands silver at Canoe Sprint World Cup
In her first event of the European season, Rio Olympian Alyssa Bull won silver in the K1 1000 in Szeged, Hungary. She also joined Rio teammate Alice Burnett in the K2 500 where the duo had their best-ever international performance, placing fifth.
10. Lee celebrates birthday with runner-up finish.
Rio Olympian Minjee Lee celebrated her 21st Birthday on Saturday May 27th. The very next day she finished runner-up at the at the LPGA Tour's Volvik Championship and stormed into the top 10 in the Race to the CME Globe.