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Team GB’s best medal hopes: Can Peaty and Kenny lead Tokyo gold rush?


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eam GB enjoyed their most successful Olympic Games for more than a century in Rio four years ago – so the question is, how will they perform in Tokyo?

While reaching the heights of five years ago, when Britain won 27 golds, looks unlikely, particularly with several stalwarts like Mo Farah and Alistair Brownlee missing, Team GB still arrive in Japan with plenty of leading medal contenders.

Here are the best of them…

Adam Peaty (Swimming)

Peaty might just be the biggest favourite of the entire Games, British or otherwise. The defending 100m breaststroke champion boasts the 18 fastest times ever and is the only man in history to have swum below 57 seconds – in fact, no one else has even been below 58.

As well as his individual events, Peaty will also compete in the men’s 4x100m medley relay (Britain are world champions) and possibly the new mixed medley relay.

Laura Kenny (Cycling)

Kenny won two golds at each of the past two Games and needs one more medal of any colour to match Katherine Grainger’s record as Britain’s most decorated female Olympian of all-time.

Having returned from the shoulder injury that might have kept her out of the Games had they gone ahead last year, the 29-year-old will be after more than that, boasting genuine medal chances in the team pursuit, omnium and Madison.

AFP via Getty Images

Dina Asher-Smith (Athletics)

The poster girl of British athletics will carry the nation’s hopes on the track, particularly with fellow world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson short of form after an Achilles injury.

Asher-Smith won’t go into either the 100m or 200m as outright favourite, but is unbeaten this season and has proven herself a big game performer. It would be a surprise to see the 25-year-old miss out on the podium in either event and the women’s 4x100m quartet will be targeting bronze at least.

Jade Jones (Taekwondo)

Still only 28, Jones burst onto the scene as a teenager in London and is looking to become the first three-time Olympic champion in her sport, having defended her title in the women’s 57kg category in Rio.

A reigning world champion, if successful, the Welsh athlete would also become the first British woman to win three successive Olympic golds in any sport, though Kenny or Charlotte Dujardin could match the feat later in the Games.

KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP/Getty Images

Pat McCormack (Boxing)

Britain have several big medal chances in the boxing ring, including Caroline Dubois (sister of Daniel) and super heavyweight Frazer Clarke, but McCormack may be the best of them.

The 26-year-old won welterweight gold at the European and Commonwealth Games and though he was unfortunate to lose the World Championship final by split decision to Andrey Zamkovoy in 2019, he avenged that defeat when winning the European Olympic Qualifier earlier this year.

Men’s Coxless Four (Rowing)

There has been major turnover in the British rowing ranks since Rio and overall medal projections are down but the Coxless Four remains Team GB’s flagship.

Great Britain have won gold in the event at every Games this century and though Ollie Cook, Matt Rossiter, Rory Gibbs and Sholto Carnegie are all making their Olympic debuts, a dominant win at the World Rowing Cup in May has marked them out as favourites.


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