Tokyo 2020 Athletes to Look Out For (Sports News) – With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics pushing through in a couple of days after being suspended last year due to the pandemic, people are looking forward to the resumption of the games after a long wait. There are also new athletes who are expected to make waves in upcoming athletic fields. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Tokyo 2020 Athletes to Look Out For - Swimming/Diving
This year’s roster of swinnersis full of talented stars: some returning to defend their titles, some looking for Olympic glory for the first time. Here they are:
- Caeleb Dressel (USA) – Built up to be the next Michael Phelps, the 24-year old has already won 2 gold medals and has the world record in butterfly. He will be competing in two freestyle events and 1 butterfly competition.
- Katie Ledecky (USA) – Ledecky in 2016 became the first swimmer to win the 200-, 400- and 800-meter freestyles, the first one to do so since 1968. She also set records in the 400- and 800-meter editions.
- Emily Seebohm (Australia) – The 29-year old, who has battled an eating disorder for 2 years, is coming back the games with 5 Olympic medals.
- Shi Tingmao (China) – The 29-year old won two diving golds in 2016 and has dominated the 3-meter springboards that year onward.
Tokyo 2020 Athletes to Look Out For - Track and Field
The track-and-field lineup for Tokyo 2020 is sure to be a showstopper, with all of these individuals included:
- Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) – The 36-year Rio gold-medalist is renowned for being the only person to finish a marathon within two hours.
- Allyson Felix (USA) – At 35, Felix has won more world championship golds than any track-and-field athlete, and will become the most successful one when she triumphs in Tokyo.
- Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce (Jamaica) – The 34-year old could become the oldest person to win a sprinting event at the Olympics, as well as the first to win the 100-meter dash in three different Olympiads.
- Andre de Grasse (Canada) – The 26-year old will be the only 100-m and 200-m Rio medalist to participate in Tokyo after other noted sprinters failed to qualify.
Tokyo 2020 Athletes to Look Out For - Individual Events
Events such as gymnastics and weightlifting will also have an abundance of talent that everyone would want to root for. Here are our picks from among the collection of athletes:
- Laurel Hubbard (New Zealand) – The 43-year old weightlifter will be the first transgender to compete in the Olympics, having been eligible since 2015. Hubbard competed in the men’s category up to 2013 when she transitioned.
- Simone Biles (USA) – Regarded as the greatest gymnast of all time, Biles is the reigning individual all-around gymnastics champion. Winning gold in Tokyo will make her the first to repeat since 1968.
- Ryo Kiyuna (Japan)- The 31-year old karateka is a favourite to win gold as his sport makes its debut in the Olympics. He will be competing in the kata event.
- Hend Zaza (Syria) – The 12 year-old table tennis player will be the youngest Olympian in Tokyo. She qualified for the event in 2020 at 11 years old, and has rarely competed due to the ongoing Syrian Civil war.
Tokyo 2020 Athletes to Look Out For - Team Sports
Team sports like football, basketball and volleyball will still be drawing in a robust following at the Olympiad. Here are some names to look out for:
- Megan Rapinoe (USA) – The face of the US women’s football team, Rapinoe scored the game-winning goal in the 2019 World Cup and named the tournament’s best player.
- Masahiro Tanaka (Japan) – Known for once being part of the New York Yankees in the MLB, Tanaka is leading a Japanese squad that will compete in baseball for the first time since the sport was reinstated in the Olympics.
- Zhu Ting (China) – At only 26 years old, Zhu is regarded as one of the best indoor volleyball players ever. She led the national squad to a gold medal finish back in 2016.
- Kevin Durant (USA) – One of the returning basketball players that won Olympic gold in 2016, Durant was also the squad’s leading scorer. In the recent NBA playoffs, he averaged 34.3 points.
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