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As it happened: Burns fights her way to the top, Opals pummel Poland

There was Ian and Cathy and Susie … but not many people were talking about Lauren. That’s Lauren Burns, our latest gold medal winner after taking out the inaugural Olympic taekwondo tournament.

Burns, the daughter of 1960s pop star Ronnie Burns and a 12-time national champion, was unrelenting all day. She made her way to the final where she defeated Cuba’s Urbia Melendez Rodriguez to take the title and the gold medal.

“Every fight I had was hard but I just love it out there,” the 26-year-old from Melbourne said. “I just had it in my heart to go out there with everything I have.”

The crowd at the State Sports Centre included Prime Minister John Howard and former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger. But that mattered little for Burns, who only had eyes for mum Maggie. What a moment.

Opals demolish Poland at the basketball

Australia easily dealt with Poland in the quarter-finals of the women’s basketball to book a spot in the semi-finals against Brazil. It was easy work as well, with the final score 76-48.

An unstoppable Lauren Jackson poured in 17 of those, with Jenny Whittle (16 points, seven rebounds) huge as well. The Americans loom large but this was a show of class from the home nation as they gather steam and confidence going into the medal rounds.

Hockeyroos advance to gold medal match

The Hockeyroos were far too good for China and booked a spot in the gold medal match.

The Hockeyroos were far too good for China and booked a spot in the gold medal match.Credit:Steve Christo

Australia thrashed China 5-1 to book a spot in the gold medal game in the women’s hockey, with Argentina waiting in the wings to try and spoil the local fairytale.

The Netherlands and Spain will play for bronze but all eyes will be on the green and gold in tomorrow’s decider.

Silver for The Woodies at the tennis

They have 61 ATP Tour titles, 11 grand slams and a Davis Cup, and desperately wanted to add another Olympic gold in Sydney. Alas, it wasn’t to be for the champion pairing of Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge, who weren’t able to defend their Atlanta crown after a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) defeat at the hands of Sebastien Lareau and Daniel Nestor.

Freeman into the 200m semi finals

Cathy Freeman is back to earth but her feet are still scorching the track. The 400m champion has progressed to the semis of her lesser event, the 200m, to ensure she gets to stretch her legs once more in front of an adoring nation.

She was joined in the next round by fellow Australian pair Lauren Hewitt and Melinda Gainsford-Taylor, who went past a slowing Marion Jones in her heat.

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