This year, for the first time ever, there are more women than men in the Team GB squad for the Olympics – and our female athletes look like being Britain’s biggest medal hopes this week as the track and-field events begin in earnest at Tokyo’s National Stadium.
We asked Olympic 1500m silver medallist and BBC expert, Steve Cram, to pick the most likely Brits to make it on to the podium, while Eurosport presenter Reshmin Chowdhury selects the best of the overseas athletes…
Women’s 100m (Saturday) and 200m (Sunday-Tuesday)
‘Dina will be running in both sprints and is our number-one opportunity for gold on the track. She’s the world 200m champion, so you would think that would be her best chance, but she’s running very well in the 100m, and people forget that she nearly won the 100m as well at the World Championships.’
Women’s 1500m (Sun, Wed & Fri)
‘Laura ran the second-fastest 800m by a British woman in July – and the fastest by a European woman since 2008 – but has sensibly decided against doubling up in Tokyo and will concentrate on running the 1500m. She has already won European indoor gold over that distance and is determined to win an Olympic medal – and I think she will be very, very close.’
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Maybe it’s the one-year delay. Maybe it’s the global pandemic that caused that delay and lends these Olympics more significance than any in recent memory. Or perhaps it’s the fresh energy of new events. Regardless, now—finally—is the time to learn about the athletes and sports the whole world will soon be watching.