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Your sport-by-sport guide to Team GB’s biggest medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics

Your sport by sport guide to Team GBs biggest medal hopes at


The Tokyo Olympics may have begun earlier this week but there is no doubt that Friday’s opening ceremony will properly kick off the summer festival of sport once and for all.

After a year’s delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, this is the moment that Team GB stars have waited five long and laborious years for. But where will the summer success, notably the medals, come from this year?

Covering every single sport and the main athletes you need to look out for, Sportsmail has produced a definitive guide to your favourite discipline – and has provided a prediction as to how many medals will be British this summer…  

Sportsmail gives you the sport-by-sport list of Team GB's medal hopes for the Tokyo Olympics

Sportsmail gives you the sport-by-sport list of Team GB’s medal hopes for the Tokyo Olympics

ATHLETICS: July 30 – August 8

DINA ASHER-SMITH is the headline act of a squad now shorn of all three Super Saturday stars after Mo Farah failed to qualify and Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford retired.

The sprint queen is the world champion over 200 metres but American Gabby Thomas will start that race as favourite, while in the 100m the Brit will have to beat Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

Dina Asher-Smith is the Team GB poster girl for athletics going into Tokyo this summer

Dina Asher-Smith is the Team GB poster girl for athletics going into Tokyo this summer

World heptathlon champion KATARINA JOHNSON-THOMPSON insists she is fully fit after recovering from a ruptured achilles but her form since returning has raised doubts about her medal credentials.

Other home hopes come via a talented crop of female middle-distance runners, notably JEMMA REEKIE and KEELY HODGKINSON (800m) and LAURA MUIR (1500m). But CINDY SEMBER (100m hurdles) and HOLLY BRADSHAW (pole vault) should also not be discounted.

Of the men, ANDREW POZZI (110m hurdles) and ELLIOT GILES (800m) are the best bet of individual medals, and Britain’s 4 x 100m team are looking to strike gold for the first time since Athens 2004.

One to watch: Dina Asher-Smith 

Rio 2016 medals: 6 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 6

Gold — Men’s 4 x 100m relay

Silver — Dina Asher-Smith (200m), Laura Muir (1500m), Jemma Reekie (800m), Women’s 4 x 100m relay Bronze — Andrew Pozzi (110m hurdles)

BOXING July 24 – August 8

For strength in depth, this Team GB boxing squad arguably beats even that of London 2012, when household names like Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams emerged.

All 11 fighters picked for Tokyo can claim to be in medal contention and you would back at least a couple for gold — LAUREN PRICE (middleweight) and PAT McCORMACK (welterweight).

Pat McCormack is one of 11 British boxers looking to be in medal contention this summer

Pat McCormack is one of 11 British boxers looking to be in medal contention this summer

Like Price and McCormack, GALAL YAFAI (flyweight) is the Commonwealth Games champion.

But all seven of the men have won at least one major medal since Rio 2016, including LUKE McCORMACK (lightweight) — the twin brother of Pat — and captain FRAZER CLARKE (super heavyweight).

CHEAVON CLARKE (heavyweight), BEN WHITTAKER (light heavyweight) and PETER McGRAIL (featherweight) are the other men in action, while CAROLINE DUBOIS (lightweight), KARRISS ARTINGSTALL (featherweight) and mum-of-three CHARLEY DAVISON (flyweight) complete a talented women’s line-up.

One to watch: Lauren Price

Rio 2016 medals: 3 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 6

Gold — Lauren Price (middleweight) Bronze — Karriss Artingstall (featherweight), Frazer Clarke (super heavyweight) Pat McCormack (welterweight), Peter McGrail (featherweight), Ben Whittaker (light heavyweight)

CYCLING July 24 – August 8

Road: July 24-28; Mountain bike: July 26-27; BMX racing: July 29-30; BMX freestyle: July 31-Aug 1; Track: Aug 2-8.

Do not expect the sort of domination we have become so accustomed to at the velodrome down the years.

At the most recent World Championships in February 2020, Britain won only three medals in Olympic events and none of them gold.

That said, Team GB’s track stars always peak for the Games and their new bikes and kit will undoubtedly improve their performance.

All eyes will be on couple Jason and Laura Kenny in the Olympic velodrome once again

All eyes will be on couple Jason and Laura Kenny in the Olympic velodrome once again

Once again, all eyes will be on golden couple JASON and LAURA KENNY, who you would bank on winning medals in the men’s team sprint and women’s team pursuit at the very least.

They also each have two individual events, with Jason needing one more win to become the first Briton to win seven gold medals and Laura two medals off becoming the outright most decorated British female.

The men’s team pursuit quartet, including three-time gold medallist ED CLANCY, will find it hard to win an event which has been theirs since 2008 as Denmark are now the dominant force. But this cycling squad have more medal shots than ever outside of the track, including CHARLOTTE WORTHINGTON in the new BMX freestyle. GERAINT THOMAS is the star attraction on the road.

One to watch: Laura Kenny

Rio 2016 medals: 12 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 3

Silver — Men’s team sprint, Women’s team pursuit Bronze — Charlotte Worthington (BMX freestyle)

DIVING July 25 – August 7

Thirteen years since he made his debut in Beijing as a 14-year-old, TOM DALEY could be about to enjoy his best Olympics to date.

The two-time 10m platform world champion claimed bronzes at London and Rio. Yet the form he showed in winning two golds at a recent World Cup in Tokyo — the second being in the synchro with new partner MATTY LEE — suggests he is diving as well as ever.

Tom Daley could enjoy his best ever Olympics campaign to date 14 years after his debut

Tom Daley could enjoy his best ever Olympics campaign to date 14 years after his debut

JACK LAUGHER won a gold and silver in Rio and may well repeat that success this time, now diving with DAN GOODFELLOW in the 3m springboard synchro.

Laugher’s girlfriend LOIS TOULSON and EDEN CHENG (10m synchro) have podium potential, and fans of Channel 4’s First Dates will be interested in ANDREA SPENDOLINI-SIRIEIX. She is the daughter of Fred Sirieix, the French maitre d’, and a rising star of the sport in the 10m platform.

One to watch: Jack Laugher

Rio 2016 medals: 3 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 5

Gold — Jack Laugher & Dan Goodfellow (3m springboard synchro); Silver — Tom Daley (10m platform), Laugher (3m springboard), Lois Toulson & Eden Cheng (10m platform synchro); Bronze — Tom Daley & Matty Lee (10m platform synchro)

EQUESTRIAN July 23 – August 7

Having dominated dressage over the last decade, CHARLOTTE DUJARDIN goes for glory again — but this time with a different horse. Valegro, who Dujardin won the individual title on at London 2012 and Rio 2016, has retired so she will instead ride Gio in Tokyo. The 34-year-old is joined by six-time Olympian CARL HESTER, 54, and debutant CHARLOTTE FRY in the team event.

Such is Britain’s excellence in equestrian sport right now, their record haul of five medals in London could be under threat.

Charlotte Dujardin is going for gold once again after dominating the dressage over 10 years

Charlotte Dujardin is going for gold once again after dominating the dressage over 10 years

In eventing, the team are so strong that they have not even picked reigning world champion Ros Canter and 2019 Badminton winner Piggy March. Instead, world No 1 OLIVER TOWNEND leads the charge, with LAURA COLLETT and TOM McEWEN both in medal contention.

The success the British riders have enjoyed in jumping at the last two Games should also continue, with BEN MAHER looking to emulate Nick Skelton’s famous win in Rio. HOLLY SMITH is the first woman in the jumping squad in 45 years, with London 2012 team winner SCOTT BRASH completing the trio.

One to watch: Charlotte Dujardin

Rio 2016 medals: 3 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 6

Gold — Laura Collett (individual eventing), Ben Maher (individual jumping) Silver — Scott Brash (individual jumping), Oliver Townend (individual eventing), Team eventing Bronze — Tom McEwen (individual eventing)

GYMNASTICS July 24 – August 3

Artistic: July 24-Aug 3; Trampoline: July 29-31

The Olympics offers a chance to showcase what is good about gymnastics following a year of shocking stories of abuse.

British hopes largely rest once again with MAX WHITLOCK, who won two golds in one memorable afternoon in Rio and is this time just looking to defend his pommel horse title.

Max Whitlock is Team GB's best chance of a gymnastics gold medal on the pommel horse

Max Whitlock is Team GB’s best chance of a gymnastics gold medal on the pommel horse

JOE FRASER has a chance in the parallel bars, which he won at the 2019 World Championships, yet the men’s team are likely to be just outside the medal places.

The chances of Britain’s female gymnasts standing on the podium are slim. Having controversially overlooked their two individual world medallists, Becky and Ellie Downie, Team GB need talented 16-year-old twins JESSICA and JENNIFER GADIROVA to produce something special.

One to watch: Max Whitlock

Rio 2016 medals: 7 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 1

Gold — Max Whitlock (pommel horse)

ROWING July 23-30

A lot has changed at British Rowing since they topped the medal table in Rio, but their 45-strong Tokyo squad — which includes 37 debutants — is packed with potential.

Among the eight returning Olympians is one nobody expected to be back in a boat. HELEN GLOVER took time out from the sport to start a family after winning her second gold medal in the pair in 2016. But despite having three children under the age of three, the 35-year-old could not resist the challenge of going for gold No 3 and has already shown form with new partner POLLY SWANN.

Helen Glover is looking to win gold after becoming a mother of three since Rio 2016

Helen Glover is looking to win gold after becoming a mother of three since Rio 2016

The men’s four and eight also appear to be coming good for Games time, winning the recent European Championships and World Cup, despite the departure of legendary coach Jurgen Grobler.

OLLIE COOK, MATT ROSSITER, RORY GIBBS and SHOLTO CARNEGIE are the quartet tasked with sustaining a winning run dating back to Sydney 2000, while MOE SBIHI is the sole survivor from the eight who won in Rio.

One to watch: Helen Glover

Rio 2016 medals: 5 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 2

Gold — Men’s four; Silver — Men’s eight

SAILING July 25 – August 4

Brittania usually rules the waves at an Olympics and they have multiple medal contenders.

HANNAH MILLS will become the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time if she claims a medal in the 470, which she won with Saskia Clark in Rio. With new crew EILIDH McINTYRE, they won the 2019 World Championships yet only finished fifth in the most recent worlds in March.

Hannah Mills will become the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time if she medals

Hannah Mills will become the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time if she medals

GILES SCOTT is Team GB’s other returning champion in a Finn class which has been dropped for Paris 2024 but his results, following his time with Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team, have been mixed.

Games debutant ANNA BURNET and four-time Olympian JOHN GIMSON travel to Tokyo with confidence having won last year’s Nacra 17 World Championships.

One to watch: Hannah Mills

Rio 2016 medals: 3 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 2

Gold: Anna Burnet & John Gimson (Nacra 17); Silver: Eilidh McIntyre & Hannah Mills (470)

SHOOTING July 23 – August 2

Team GB were dealt a big blow with the last-minute withdrawal of skeet world No 1 Amber Hill but their medal hopes remain intact.

SEONAID McINTOSH is tipped to become the first British woman to win Olympic shooting gold. The Scot is the world champion and top-ranked woman in the 50m rifle three positions, and she will also compete in the 10m air rifle.

Seonaid McIntosh is tipped to become the first British woman to win Olympic shooting gold

Seonaid McIntosh is tipped to become the first British woman to win Olympic shooting gold

MATTHEW COWARD-HOLLEY is another world champion and Olympics rookie and will go for glory in the men’s trap, as well as shooting with KIRSTY HEGARTY in the mixed trap team.

Four-time Commonwealth Games medallist AARON HEADING (trap) completes the line-up.

One to watch: Seonaid McIntosh

Rio 2016 medals: 2 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 2

Gold: Seonaid McIntosh (50m rifle three positions); Bronze: Matthew Coward-Holley (trap)

SWIMMING July 24 – August 5

ADAM PEATY is the nearest thing to a guaranteed gold for Team GB, whose swimmers are tipped to bring back their best medal haul from an overseas Games.

Olympic champion and world record holder Peaty is a second faster than the rest of the 100m breaststroke field, which includes team-mate JAMES WILBY, who is the world silver medallist.

Swimming legend Adam Peaty is the nearest thing to a guaranteed gold for Team GB

Swimming legend Adam Peaty is the nearest thing to a guaranteed gold for Team GB

DUNCAN SCOTT (200m freestyle) and LUKE GREENBANK (200m backstroke) will be looking to upgrade the bronze medals they won at the 2019 World Championships, while BEN PROUD is a former world champion and could claim a medal in the 50m freestyle.

Among the female talent in the squad are European champions KATHLEEN DAWSON (100m backstroke) and MOLLY RENSHAW (100m breaststroke), as well as freestyler FREYA ANDERSON.

Team GB are also expected to sweep up medals in the relays, particularly the men’s and mixed 4 x 100m medley relay, when Peaty will swim the breaststroke leg.

Marathon swimmer ALICE DEARING is making history as the first black woman to swim for Britain at an Olympics.

One to watch: Adam Peaty

Rio 2016 medals: 6 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 7

Gold: Adam Peaty (100m breaststroke), Men’s 4 x 100m medley relay Silver: Duncan Scott (200m freestyle), Men’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay, Mixed 4 x 100m medley relay Bronze: Ben Proud (50m freestyle), Women’s 4 x 200m freestyle relay

TAEKWONDO July 24-27

With taekwondo moved to the start of the Games, JADE JONES can become the first British woman to win gold at three Olympics. She is the hot favourite in the -57kg category but the other four Brits are also in podium contention.

Jones’ housemate Bianca Walkden (+67kg) is a three-time world champion and will be desperate to finish two places better than the bronze she claimed in Rio. LAUREN WILLIAMS, who took up the sport after watching Jones at London 2012, is ranked third in her -67kg division.

Jade Jones is the hot favourite in the -57kg judo category at this summer's Olympic Games

Jade Jones is the hot favourite in the -57kg judo category at this summer’s Olympic Games

BRADLY SINDEN (-68kg) became Britain’s first male world champion in 2019 and is going for gold, while MAHAMA CHO (+80kg) was selected ahead of London and Rio medallist Lutalo Muhammad.

One to watch: Jade Jones

Rio 2016 medals: 3 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 4

Gold: Jade Jones (-57kg); Silver: Bradly Sinden (-68kg), Bianca Walkden (+67kg); Bronze: Mahama Cho (+80kg)

TRIATHLON July 26-31

After a bronze and silver behind his brother at the last two Games, JONNY BROWNLEE is going solo this time around as he bids to complete his Olympic set. But he could be upstaged by team-mate ALEX YEE, the 22-year-old who won the World Series race in Leeds last month, when double Olympic champion Alistair Brownlee was disqualified in his last chance to secure selection. But it is Spain’s Mario Mola and Frenchman Vincent Luis who go to Tokyo as the top-ranked pair.

Jonny Brownlee (right) will be gunning for gold without brother Alistair (left) alongside him

Jonny Brownlee (right) will be gunning for gold without brother Alistair (left) alongside him

In the women’s race, Team GB qualified with three of the world’s top five. JESS LEARMONTH and GEORGIA TAYLOR-BROWN, best known for their disqualification from an event in 2019 when they crossed the line holding hands, will battle it out for a medal, as will returning Rio bronze medallist VICKY HOLLAND. The new four-person mixed relay event gives Britain another medal shot.

One to watch: Jonny Brownlee

Rio 2016 medals: 3 

Predicted Tokyo medals: 1

Silver: Jess Learmonth (women’s)

OTHER SPORTS 

ARCHERY: New mum Naomi Folkard competes in her fifth Olympics. The women’s team won bronze at the 2019 World Championships. Rio medals: 0; Prediction: 0.

ARTISTIC SWIMMING: Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe make their Games debut in a sport where GB have never won a medal. Rio medals: N/A; Prediction: 0.

BADMINTON: Marcus Ellis partners girlfriend Lauren Smith in the mixed doubles, but he and Chris Langridge were not picked in the men’s despite Rio bronze. Rio medals: 1; Prediction: 0.

Marcus Ellis (left) partners girlfriend Lauren Smith (right) in the badminton mixed doubles

Marcus Ellis (left) partners girlfriend Lauren Smith (right) in the badminton mixed doubles

CANOEING: Liam Heath is the hot favourite to defend his sprint title. Mallory Franklin is GB’s best slalom hope. Rio medals: 4; Prediction: 1.

FENCING: Marcus Mepstead is Britain’s only fencer and will try to replicate his 2019 world silver medal in the men’s foil. Rio medals: 0; Prediction: 0.

FOOTBALL: GB’s first Olympic football since London 2012, with Hege Riise in charge of a 22-woman squad. There is no men’s team. Rio medals: N/A; Prediction: 0.

GOLF: Paul Casey and Tommy Fleetwood will look to follow Justin Rose’s Rio gold. Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Mel Reid are Britain’s women. Rio medals: 1; Prediction: 0.

Team GB have already started their Olympic football bid with a 2-0 victory over Chile this week

Team GB have already started their Olympic football bid with a 2-0 victory over Chile this week

HOCKEY: Britain’s women are the fifth-ranked team in Tokyo as they attempt to repeat their famous Rio gold. The men’s team are sixth in the world. Rio medals: 1; Prediction: 0.

JUDO: Sarah Adlington, Chelsie Giles, Gemma Howell, Ashley McKenzie, Natalie Powell and Lucy Renshall are Team GB’s six judokas. Rio medals: 1; Prediction: 0.

MODERN PENTATHLON: World medallists Joe Choong and Kate French are strong contenders for the podium. Jamie Cooke and Jo Muir will also compete. Rio medals: 0; Prediction: 2.

RUGBY SEVENS: GB’s men want to go one better than in Rio when they lost in the final; the women are after their first medal after fourth last time. Rio medals: 1; Prediction: 0.

SKATEBOARDING: Sky Brown, 13, is Britain’s youngest summer Olympian and is joined by Bombette Martin, 15. Rio medals N/A; Prediction: 0.

Sky Brown is set to become the youngest ever Team GB participant at the Olympic Games

Sky Brown is set to become the youngest ever Team GB participant at the Olympic Games

SPORT CLIMBING: Shauna Coxsey is GB’s sole climber on the sport’s Games debut. Rio medals N/A; Prediction: 0.

TABLE TENNIS: Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford play in the men’s singles. Tin-Tin Ho is the first British female player to qualify for a Games since 1996. Rio medals: 0; Prediction: 0.

TENNIS: Andy Murray will defend his singles title and partners Joe Salisbury in the doubles. His brother Jamie plays with Neal Skupski. Heather Watson is the only GB woman. Rio medals: 1; Prediction: 1.

WEIGHTLIFTING: Emily Campbell is a contender. Sarah Davies, Emily Muskett and Zoe Smith are the other British weightlifters. Rio medals: 0; Prediction: 1.

Predicted medal tallies provided by Gracenote 

YOUR KARAOKE SONG, HERO AND FUN FACTS: QUICKFIRE QUESTIONS FOR FOUR BRITISH STARS 

ED CLANCY CYCLING

Ed Clancy is part of the men’s team pursuit quartet in cycling this summer

Ed Clancy is part of the men’s team pursuit quartet in cycling this summer

FIRST OLYMPIC MEMORY: I remember watching at home when Jason Queally won gold in the kilo at Sydney 2000, when I was 15. I didn’t know it at the time but that gold medal created funding for the next Olympics and we all benefited from that.

SPORTING HERO: I grew up loving motorsport and watching Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill, but my all-time hero is a textbook answer: Sir Chris Hoy.

ALTERNATIVE CAREER: Engineering. I applied to Loughborough University to do civil engineering. I would probably be making houses or bridges now.

FUN FACT: I have got an orange cat called Boris, not named after the Prime Minister.

KARAOKE SONG: I wouldn’t do it… I’d have to be exceptionally drunk!

MAX WHITLOCK GYMNASTICS

Max Whitlock is one of the favourites for the pummel horse gold in gymnastics

Max Whitlock is one of the favourites for the pummel horse gold in gymnastics 

FIRST OLYMPIC MEMORY: Louis Smith winning bronze on the pommel horse in Beijing. That had a huge impact on gymnastics in this country.

SPORTING HERO: A Japanese gymnast, Kohei Uchimura. He inspired me for many years. I also have a huge amount of respect for Jessica Ennis-Hill.

ALTERNATIVE CAREER: I’ve always been passionate about design. I used to spend hours designing trainers and drawing up new ideas for clothes.

FUN FACT: I followed my coach to live and train in Slovenia when I was 12 years old with no return date. I spent three months there in the end.

KARAOKE SONG: We will go with a song from Moana because my daughter Willow loves it.

TOM GEORGE – ROWING

Tom George will be hoping for Olympic success in the rowing this summer

Tom George will be hoping for Olympic success in the rowing this summer

FIRST OLYMPIC MEMORY: I watched Athens 2004 religiously. I remember Matthew Pinsent winning in the four by six inches and then Kelly Holmes winning the double.

SPORTING HERO: Alan Shearer has got to be up there, but Jonny Wilkinson was the one throughout my youth. I was rugby mad growing up and he was the ultimate professional.

ALTERNATIVE CAREER: When I was at Princeton University, I wanted to be a lawyer. If the rowing didn’t work out, that was always my plan. 

FUN FACT: My thesis at Princeton was on Brexit and posed the question: Why did the people of Britain vote to leave the European Union?

KARAOKE SONG: Carly Rae Jepsen — Call Me Maybe. Let’s go with it!

BRYONY PAGE TRAMPOLINING

Bryony Page is part of the strong gymnastics team heading to the Japanese capital

Bryony Page is part of the strong gymnastics team heading to the Japanese capital

FIRST OLYMPIC MEMORY: Michael Johnson and his golden shoes at Atlanta 1996.

SPORTING HERO: In trampolining it would be Irina Karavayeva from Russia. She was the legend of our sport when I was growing up.

ALTERNATIVE CAREER: I’d love to join the circus and be an acrobat in the Cirque du Soleil. If I hadn’t done any sport at all, maybe I’d have gone into teaching or research.

FUN FACT: I studied a degree in biology and my dissertation was about ‘acoustic signalling in non-avian dinosaurs’.

KARAOKE SONG: A Disney song or Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. So I can show off the range of tones that I can’t sing!



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