Guide to Team GB’s Top 10 Tokyo Olympic 2020 hopefuls in year of golden girls

Britain is sending its ­biggest team to compete in a foreign ­Olympics, with more women than men for the first time ever.

Four of those female athletes will be looking to win gold at three ­separate games in a row, which has never been achieved by UK women stars.

There will be 201 female athletes and 175 men in Team GB, with another 22 reserves ready to go across 26 sports when the games open next Friday.

It is the first time in the event’s 125-year history that the balance has shifted in the favour of women.

Cyclist Laura Kenny, ­taekwondo star Jade Jones, rower Helen Glover and ­equestrian Charlotte Dujardin, are all in line to take home a hat-trick of gongs in Tokyo after winning at London and Rio.

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Glover will be the first British rower to compete after becoming a mum, while Kenny – who has also had a baby since Rio – is the UK’s most successful female athlete ever with four golds.

Team GB’s youngest star is skateboarder Sky Brown, who turned 13 on July 12. And at 54, dressage star Carl Hester will be the oldest.

If Hannah Mills scoops a medal in Tokyo, it will make her the most successful female Olympic sailor of all time, after landing silver at London 2012 and gold at Rio 2016.

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Proud Team GB chiefs have declared 2021 the “year of the female Olympian”.

They will be hard-pushed to emulate the 67 medals in Rio. But after a grim 18 months of Covid and the disappointment of the Euro 2020 final, any haul will be a huge boost for the UK.

Here is the Mirror’s guide to our top 10 Olympic hopefuls…

Sky Brown

At the tender age of 13, Sky will become Britain’s youngest summer Olympian when she lines up in the skateboard park competition.

But the teenage prodigy stands every chance of a medal, having qualified in third place.

She also won a World Championship bronze medal in Sao Paulo in 2019.

Dina-Asher Smith

The fastest British woman in history will need to be in the form of her life in Tokyo.

Sprinter Asher-Smith, 25, will be up against Gabby Thomas, who set the second fastest ever time over 200m at the US trials, and Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who did the same in the 100m in Kingston.

Seonaid McIntosh

The Edinburgh shooter heads to Tokyo as the reigning world No1 and 50m prone world champion.

McIntosh, 25, is also a strong medal bet in the women’s 3×50 rifle event.

Pat McCormack

McCormack, 26, will start as a clear favourite for welterweight boxing gold.

His recent win over Russia’s Andrey Zamkovoy – who denied him world gold in 2019 – was a clear sign of intent and his fine form going into the Games.

Jade Jones

A teenager when she won her first Olympic taekwondo gold at London 2012, Jones successfully defended her title in Rio four years later.

Now 28 and the reigning world champ in the 57kg category, she is a hot favourite to secure an unprecedented third consecutive Olympic title.

Helen Glover

After winning consecutive rowing gold medals in the coxless pairs with Heather Stanning in 2012 and 2016, Glover retired to start a family – but the 35-year-old mum-of-three is back.

She stormed to European gold in April with partner Polly Swann and is now on the hunt for more Olympic glory.

Jason and Laura Kenny

The golden couple of British cycling hope to make history in Tokyo this summer.

Laura, 29, has four Olympic medals, one fewer than rower Dame Katherine Grainger – the UK’s most decorated female Olympian.

Jason has seven Olympic medals, one short of Sir Bradley Wiggins, who tops the men’s list. Jason, 33, and Laura may break the records.

Max Whitlock

After claiming two extraordinary gold medals in Rio, Whitlock has restricted his focus to his favoured event in Tokyo – the pommel horse.

The 28-year-old fell off at the European Gymnastics Championships in April, but will start as favourite at the Olympics.

He faces stiff competition from the likes of Ireland’s rising star Rhys McClenaghan.

Adam Peaty

Having set the 20 fastest times in history, swimmer Peaty is the overwhelming favourite to take gold in the 100m breaststroke.

It would be his second Olympic title, having won the event in 2016.

His rivals in Tokyo should be warned that the 26-year-old says becoming a dad last year has made him even more determined to win gold.

  • Get your Tokyo 2020 Olympics pullout guide in the Sunday Mirror this Sunday.

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