Friday 23 July 2021 10:30 am

10 Team GB medal hopes for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, including Dina Asher-Smith, Adam Peaty, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Sky Brown

Team GB head into the Tokyo 2020 Olympics somewhat in limbo. Having won a record 67 medals, including 27 golds, at Rio 2016, it seems they might be more difficult to come by over the next few weeks.

Stars of past Games Mo Farah, Nicola Adams and Alistair Brownlee, who won four golds between them in Rio, are not competing. Team GB’s cycling line-up, one of its strong suits in recent times, lacks its usual pedigree and features 16 Olympic debutants.

However, there are medal hopefuls for fans back home to be excited about, and City A.M. has selected 10 who have a strong chance of getting on the podium at Tokyo 2020.

Dina Asher-Smith – 100m and 200m

The golden girl of British athletics. The 25-year-old exploded into the public consciousness with superb performances over both 100m and 200m at the World Championships in Doha in 2019, winning silver and gold respectively.

She looked to be peaking at the right time going into 2020, but a year’s delay has not caused her too much trouble going by recent performances. Will expect to have at least one medal around her neck when she arrives back at Heathrow.

Adam Peaty – breaststroke

Should build on his extraordinarily impressive breakout Games in 2016. Expect Adam Peaty to lead the Team GB medal charge.

The eight-time world champion claimed gold on his Olympics debut in Rio five years ago in the 100m breaststroke, breaking his own world record in the process. He then added silver as part of the men’s 4x100m medley quartet.

Adam Peaty will defend his 100m breaststroke title at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Adam Peaty will defend his 100m breaststroke title at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (Getty Images)

He has gone from strength to strength since Rio and claimed four golds in May’s European Championships.

Peaty, who says he feels like he grows 10 per cent at the Olympics, holds the top 20 times in the history of men’s breaststroke.

Seonaid McIntosh – shooting

The Edinburgh-born shooter is going into the games as the current 50m prone rifle world champion.

Seonaid McIntosh won Britain's first ever World Cup gold medal
Seonaid McIntosh won Britain’s first ever World Cup gold medal (Getty Images)

She heads to the Asaka shooting range on the back of three World Cup medals in 2019, including Britain’s first ever gold.

As the current world No1, McIntosh should be a strong medal hopeful for Team GB. Would not be a surprise to see her develop something of a cult following.

Max Whitlock – pommel horse

One of those who has survived the brutal, extended five-year cycle from the last Olympics and heads into these games with a real chance of replicating past performances.

Team GB gymnast Max Whitlock is the reigning Olympic champion on the pommel horse
Team GB gymnast Max Whitlock is the reigning Olympic champion on the pommel horse (Getty Images)

Will be looking to add to his five Olympics medals, including the two golds he won in Rio at the pommel horse and the floor exercise.

His last outing in a major final almost ended in calamity after nearly falling from the pommel horse at the start of his routine. On his day the clear favourite in the field.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson – heptathlon

Going into these Olympics in a strong position to compete for a medal and make up for past disappointments following a poor overall showing in Rio.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson will be looking to put past Olympic disappointments behind her in Japan
Katarina Johnson-Thompson will be looking to put past Olympic disappointments behind her in Japan (Getty Images)

Her high-profile split from long-term coach Mike Holmes following the 2016 Games led to her moving to Montpellier to be coached by Bertrand Valcin.

It spurred her on to win the heptathlon at the World Championships in Doha two years later and she continues to lead a strong looking field.

Liam Heath – canoeing

One of Team GB’s many success stories in Rio and comes into this Olympics as a real gold medallist hopeful.

Liam Heath won gold for Team GB in the men's kayak in Rio five years ago
Liam Heath won gold for Team GB in the men’s kayak in Rio five years ago (Getty Images)

Heath became Team GB’s most successful ever canoeist in 2016 after winning gold in the K1 200m event and silver in the K2 200m event. He also won bronze in the K2 200m event at London 2012.

Held the grand slam of canoeing titles (Olympics, Worlds and European) in 2017 and has only been beaten once at the K1 200m since then.

Jade Jones – taekwondo

Jade Jones is the best in the world at what she does.

The Welsh taekwondo superstar is a double Olympic gold medallist at the women’s 57kg category and also the 2019 world champion.

Jade Jones is bidding to become the first Olympian to win three taekwondo gold medals
Jade Jones is bidding to become the first Olympian to win three taekwondo gold medals (Getty Images for British Olympic Association)

She is within touching distance of immortality, as gold here would make her the first triple taekwondo champion in Olympics history.

Sky Brown – skateboarding (new event)

Skateboarding is set to be front and centre of the spotlight this year as it makes its inaugural Olympic appearance at Tokyo 2020.

Skateboarding prodigy Sky Brown, 13, came third at the World Championships and is a strong Team GB medal hope
Skateboarding prodigy Sky Brown, 13, came third at the World Championships and is a strong Team GB medal hope (Getty Images for British Airways)

One of the major attractions will be Team GB starlet Sky Brown, who only turns 13 this month.

Do not let her age fool you, however. Brown qualified third and came third in the World Championships in Sao Paolo in 2019.

Helen Glover and Polly Swann – rowing

The Helen Glover story is one of the best you will find in all of sport.

Having claimed gold in 2012 and 2016, the rowing superstar retired to start a family, but – like Steve Redgrave before her – she has come back for more.

Helen Glover (left) will try to complete a hat-trick of rowing golds alongside Polly Swann (right)
Helen Glover (left) will try to complete a hat-trick of rowing golds alongside Polly Swann (right) (Getty Images for British Olympic Association)

Glover and her new partner, Polly Swann, waltzed to European gold in April. Glover will be hoping her fairy-tale will have a happy ending.

Pat McCormack – boxing

Adams’ success in Rio papered over the cracks for British boxing in 2016; it was an otherwise relatively below par showing.

Welterweight star Pat McCormack heads to Tokyo hoping to better his round-of-16 exit last time out.

Team GB boxer Pat McCormack (right) won gold at the European Championships
Team GB boxer Pat McCormack (right) won gold at the European Championships two years ago. (Getty Images)

The Sunderland-born fighter won gold in Minsk at the 2019 European Championships and was denied gold at the World Championships that same year by a split decision.

He comes into the games on the back of gold medal success in Paris at the European Boxing Qualifiers last month.

Share
Tags: