USC athlete to launch Tokyo Olympics action

Kaia Parnaby on campus

A USC student looks set to play a central role in the first sporting action of the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday 21 July as host nation Japan takes on Australia in softball.

Two days ahead of the official Opening Ceremony on Friday, USC Master of Teaching (Secondary) student Kaia Parnaby will pitch for Australia in the opening round of the softball competition in the impressive Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium.

Kaia, 31, is well-known across Japan as she plays professionally in the Japanese Women’s Softball League. During her seventh season for the SGH Galaxy Stars last year, she achieved her 500th strikeout.

Kaia Parnaby

The left-handed pitcher is one of six athletes affiliated with USC who will compete at the Olympic Games.

There are two strong medal contenders in the pool, with world record holder Kaylee McKeown (a USC Spartans Swimming Club member) to compete in the 100m and 200m backstroke events and possibly the 200m individual medley, while Rio Olympics silver medallist Leah Neale (USC Sport & Exercise Science graduate and former Spartans club member) is part of Australia’s 4x200m freestyle team.

Primary Education graduate Kareena Lee and current Computer Science student William (Bill) Thorley will compete in the 10km open water marathon swimming events on 4 August and 5 August respectively. Thorley will be representing Hong Kong.

And track cyclist Maeve Plouff, a member of the USC-based Pro Racing Sunshine Coast team, will don the green and gold in the team pursuit event and possibly the Madison (relay).

Profiles of these athletes are featured on the USC website and the schedule of their events is below (with times listed as AEST).

Wednesday 21 July

Kaia Parnaby in Australian team, Softball Opening Round against Japan at 10am. Link here.

Thursday 22 July

Kaia Parnaby in Australian team, Softball Opening Round against Italy at 4pm. Link here.

Saturday 24 July

Kaia Parnaby in Australian team, Softball Opening Round against Canada at 11am. Link here.

Sunday 25 July

Kaylee McKeown in 100m Backstroke heats from 8.02pm. Link here.

Kaia Parnaby in Australian team, Softball Opening Round against USA at 11am. Link here.

Monday 26 July

Kaylee McKeown in 100m Backstroke semi-finals from 12.53pm. Link here.

Kaylee McKeown in 200m Individual Medley heats from 8.56pm. Link here.

Kaia Parnaby in Australian team, Softball Opening Round against Mexico at 9pm. Link here.

Tuesday 27 July

MAYBE: Kaylee McKeown in 100m Backstroke final at 11.51am. Link here.

MAYBE: Kaylee McKeown in 200m Individual Medley semi-finals from 12.58pm. Link here.

MAYBE: Kaia Parnaby in Australian team, Softball Bronze Medal Game at 2pm, Softball Gold Medal Game at 9pm. Link here.

Wednesday 28 July

Kaylee McKeown in 200m Individual Medley final 12.45pm. Link here.

Leah Neale in 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay heats from 9:34pm. Link here.

Thursday 29 July 

Kaylee McKeown in 200m Backstroke heats from 9.08pm. Link here.

Leah Neale in 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay heats from 1:31pm. Link here.

Friday 30 July

MAYBE: Kaylee McKeown in 200m Backstroke semi-finals from 12.35pm. Link here.

Saturday 31 July

MAYBE: Kaylee McKeown in 200m Backstroke final 11.37pm. Link here.

Monday 2 August

MAYBE: Maeve Plouff in Women’s Team Pursuit Qualifying race at 4.54pm. Link here.

Tuesday 3 August

Maeve Plouff in Women’s Team Pursuit First Round heats from 3.30pm. Link here.

MAYBE: Maeve Plouff in Women’s Team Pursuit finals from 5.05pm. Link here.

Wednesday 4 August

Kareena Lee in Women’s 10km Marathon Swimming at 6.30pm. Link here.

POSSIBLE: Maeve Plouff in Women’s Madison final at 5.15pm. Link here.

Thursday 5 August 

William (Bill) Thorley, competing for Hong Kong in Men’s Marathon Swimming at 7.30pm. Link here

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