Olympics 2020 – 10 Stars Set to Shine in Tokyo
Thousands of athletes from more than 200 countries will be competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Legendary American swimmer, Katie Ledecky and the world’s greatest gymnast, Simone Biles are expected to break barriers and records at the Games.
Here are our ten athletes who are set to shine in Tokyo.
All eyes will be on Osaka when she returns to action in front of her home fans in Tokyo. The 23-year-old, a four-time grand slam champion, withdrew from the French Open after being fined for not talking to the media, and also skipped Wimbledon to take some time out with her family, but has committed to making her Olympic return.
The undisputed king of the cycling time trial, Ganna will start as a clear favourite in the men’s event, and will also switch to the track to join his Italian teammates in the team pursuit. The Team Ineos rider won both time trials in this year’s Giro d’Italia.
The 34-year-old Jamaican, winner of the women’s 100m in both Beijing and London, sent a timely reminder that she remains the one to beat when she clocked 10.63sec in June. This was the second-fastest time in history behind the late Florence Griffith-Joyner. The Jamaican’s rivals, including Dina Asher-Smith, have their work cut out.
The American swimming superstar is a near-certainty to add to her six-medal haul at her third Games. Ledecky soared through the US trials and is expected to compete in up to six events, including the women’s 1500m, a discipline appearing in the Games for the first time and in which she is almost untouchable.
In 2019, the Kenyan became the only person to complete a marathon in under two hours, stopping traffic at home in Nairobi and sparking celebrations around the world. In Tokyo, he’ll have the opportunity to defend his title. If he does, he’ll be the third person in history to win the Olympic marathon twice.
Wayde Van Niekerk
Van Niekerk was the silver medallist in the 400m at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and took bronze in the 4×400 metres relay at the 2013 Summer Universiade. He also represented South Africa at the 2013 and 2015 Athletics World Championships. At the 2015 World Championships, he won the gold medal in the 400 meters. He defended his title two years later, in London, where he also won the silver medal in the 200 meters race. In the 400 metres, he is the current world and Olympic record holder which he broke in the 2016 Olympic Games.
Caeleb Dressel might be the next big thing in men’s swimming. The 24-year-old has already got two Olympic gold medals, and he’s the world record holder in the 100-meter butterfly. He’ll be racing in that event as well as the 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter freestyle.
The world’s greatest gymnast, who won four gold medals and one bronze in Rio is aiming to become the first woman to defend the all-around title since Vera Caslavska in 1968. Biles earned her place despite a series of uncharacteristic errors in the US trials. Bank on her being back at her best in the Japanese capital.
The American-born Swede is in a world of his own in the men’s pole vault and an unbackable favourite for his first Olympic gold. Duplantis set a new indoor world record of 6.18m last year, then went on to dethrone the great Sergei Bubka’s 26-year-old outdoor best by clearing 6.15m at the Diamond League meeting in Rome.
China’s diving teams have been dominating Olympic competitions since 1984, taking home 40 gold medals out of a possible 56. Shi, 29, won two golds in 2016 and will look to add to that tally before calling it a career. She’s owned the 3-meter springboard events since 2015, rarely losing an event.