The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are fast approaching. Here are a number of sports stars and teams to look out for in the lead up to the competition.
Tokyo 2020 has seen a number of new sports added to the roster. Some have seen new events added such as the 1,500-meter swimming freestyle.
Stand out athlete in the 2016 Rio Olympics was Katie Ledeky where she won gold in each of the 200, 400, and 800m competitions.
It is expected that Ledeky will add the longer distance race to her schedule at the Tokyo Olympics. When asked whether she intended on dropping an event to focus on the 1500m Ledeky stated: “I don’t anticipate trying to drop any of them.”
“It’s something that makes training really challenging and exciting for me to compete in the shorter races,” she said. “So I have no plans of dropping anything. Plans could change, but I think I still have a lot in me.”
Holding nine of the top 10 times in the 1500m event, including the world record, Ledeky could certainly produce a showstopping performance at the Olympics in 2020.
British Athletics have found their new figurehead in the shape of Dina Asher-Smith. After her spectacular performances at the European Champions which saw her achieve 3 gold medals and personal record times, Asher-Smith is one to look out for over the next couple of years.
Her success in the 100m and 200m successes in Berlin made her only the fourth woman in history to achieve the European sprint double. Whilst her times posted were the fasted in Europe and her 200m time of 21.89 seconds was the fastest in the world this year, Dina will have to continue to improve to compete with her worldwide competitors from the USA, Australia and Jamaica etc.
Showcasing her ability to make a statement, the sprinter has caught the world of athletics eye and no doubt her compatriots. With this comes pressure. It will be interesting to see how she deals with this or whether it continues to fuel her drive to be the best and win that potential Olympic Gold Medal.
Baseball and Softball are two new sports which will be showcased at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Known to be one of the best teams in the world with a development program which is second to none USA will be hoping to secure the Gold Medal as the sport returns to the Olympics for the first time since 2008.
Japan and the USA are the first two countries to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, the United States will be looking to produce performances much like they did last week at the World Championships where they walked away with the coveted 1st place prize over arch-rivals Japan. Winning all ten games to get themselves into the final, players such as Kelsey Stewart, Aubree Munro and Michelle Moultrie all produced spectacular innings throughout the tournament. The team management will no doubt be looking over the next couple of years at developing, collegiate and professional players to decide who will make the final squad which will compete in Tokyo.
Lois Toulson and Eden Cheng
Surprise winners at the European Championships, Lois Toulson and Eden Cheng claimed the gold medal in the synchronised 10m platform competition. Having only paired up in may and competed once previously before this event the pair managed to work together to complete their dives and as a result topped the leaderboard.
British Diving has high hopes for this pairing. There is growing confidence in the camp that with further developments and more training together over the next two years the pair could become GB’s first female Olympic diving medallists since the 1960s.