Tuesday 24 August 2021 10:00 am

Tokyo 2020: 10 Paralympics GB medal hopes including Dame Sarah Storey, Jonnie Peacock, Hannah Cockroft, Sir Lee Pearson and Jaco van Gass

ParalympicsGB enjoyed a stellar Rio 2016 Games, finishing second overall in the medal table with an astounding 147 medals, 64 of those gold.

Despite the Tokyo 2020 Games having been pushed back by a year, Britain still boasts a strong squad with plenty of medal prospects.

The exclusion of six-time medallist Stephen Miller on the grounds that he was no longer deemed a podium prospect is testament to that.

Plenty of athletes are returning for more, hoping to add to their medal hauls. But there are also some exciting debutants ready to announce themselves.

Here, City A.M. takes you through 10 of ParalympicsGB’s best medal hopes out in Tokyo.

Dame Sarah Storey – Cycling

Dame Sarah Storey is readying herself for her eighth Games, having made her Paralympic debut in Barcelona in 1992.

After winning five Paralympic golds in swimming, Storey switched to cycling following an ear infection and has since won nine more on the track.

The 43-year-old is aiming to become the most successful ever British Paralympian.

Successful defences of her C5 individual pursuit, C5 time trial and C4-5 road race titles will take her to an astounding 17 golds, one ahead of former swimmer Mike Kenny.

Jonnie Peacock – Sprinting

There is nothing like a 100m star in the eyes of the public, and the golden boy of the Paralympic summers of 2012 and 2016 proved exactly that.

Jonnie Peacock returns to the T64 event in Tokyo for the first time since winning gold at the World Championships in 2017.

Being a late addition to this squad, Peacock is one of those who has benefitted from the Covid-19-induced postponement.

Form going into the event could be a worry, but the 28-year-old has the potential to blow away the rest of the field and claim a hat-trick of Paralympic golds.

ParalympicsGB sprinter Jonnie Peacock will be looking for further success at Tokyo 2020
ParalympicsGB sprinter Jonnie Peacock will be looking for further success at Tokyo 2020 (Getty Images)

Amy Conroy – Wheelchair Basketball

Amid some incredibly inspiring stories at these Paralympic Games, Amy Conroy’s really stands out.

Motivated to try her hand at wheelchair basketball after a brutal bout of chemotherapy left her needing to have a leg amputated aged just 14, Conroy has grown to be a star of the sport.

A key member of the women’s wheelchair basketball side, the 28-year-old was influential as they narrowly missed out on a medal in Rio five years ago.

A narrow defeat by the Netherlands at the 2018 World Championships came between them and gold, but Conroy and her team-mates will be hoping to go one better in Japan.

Hannah Cockroft – Wheelchair Racing

Another Paralympian who already boasts an incredible medal haul, Hannah Cockroft will be looking to add to the five golds she won across London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Unlike some other stalwarts on the ParalympicsGB team, she is heading into these Games in some of her best ever form.

She beat her own world records in the 100m, 200m, 400m and the 800m events at the World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Switzerland earlier this year. Expect gold.

Paralympics GB wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft has already set new 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m records this year
Paralympics GB wheelchair racer Hannah Cockroft has already set new 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m records this year (Getty Images)

Amy Truesdale – Taekwondo

Amy Truesdale is one of the leading para-taekwondo stars in the world. She rose to prominence in the sport off the back of her first of two World Championship titles in 2014.

The sport is making its Paralympic debut this year and Truesdale, 32, can be expected to compete for one of the three medals.

She won her last title in 2017, but looks a strong contender in the +58kg category.

Will Bayley – Table Tennis

Returning from a freak injury to his knee sustained while training for Strictly Come Dancing, Will Bayley carries high hopes of defending the class seven title.

He is the current world No1 and comes into Tokyo 2020 in good form, leading the 13-strong ParalympicsGB table tennis team.

Bayley believes he is in the form of his life and can add to his Rio gold and 2014 World Championship.

Charlotte Henshaw – Canoeing

Charlotte Henshaw, much like Storey, has enjoyed success in another sport, having won swimming bronze at Rio 2016.

Since switching sports Henshaw has taken the canoeing world by storm.

The 34-year-old is the current KL2 world champion and is a major threat to reigning gold medallist and compatriot Emma Wiggs’s hopes of retaining her title.

Sir Lee Pearson – Dressage

Sir Lee Pearson’s numbers are staggering: he boasts 11 gold medals over five Paralympic Games.

The 47-year-old first competed for ParalympicsGB at Sydney in 2000, where he won three golds.

Despite this being his fifth Games, Tokyo 2020 marks the first time Pearson will have competed on a homebred horse, nine-year-old gelding Breezer.

Sir Lee Pearson has won 11 Paralympic gold medals in dressage across five Games
Sir Lee Pearson has won 11 Paralympic gold medals in dressage across five Games (Getty Images)

Maisie Summers-Newton – Swimming

Maisie Summers-Newton is one of the many athletes competing for ParalympicsGB who were inspired by London 2012.

That inspiration has led her to becoming a World and European champion, as well as a world record holder, by the age of 19.

In 2019, she took her idol Ellie Simmonds’ world title in the 200m individual medley. She will be hoping to do the same in Tokyo as Simmonds goes after a third Paralympic title in the race.

Also has a shot in the SB6 100m breaststroke.

Jaco van Gass – Cycling

Having narrowly missed out on selection for Rio, Jaco van Gass heads into Tokyo 2020 as one of the best in the world at what he does.

Van Gass’s story off the track is one of great perseverance. The former soldier lost an arm in Afghanistan in 2009 after being hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and has credited sport with aiding his recovery.

He was part of a record-breaking team of wounded ex-servicemen who reached the North Pole, as well as winning gold at the Invictus Games in 2014 and 2016.

One who might be impacted by the delayed schedule, his return to the road this year saw him finish seventh in the time trial and 11th in the road race. Will be looking to better both of those in Tokyo.