The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Can our athletes beat one medal low from 1976?
TEAM GB have sent 77 track and field athletes to Tokyo, which makes it more than twice the size of the next biggest sporting delegation sent from Britain. The question is whether they will deliver much in the way of medals.
While Dina Asher-Smith will have three strong shots in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay, and Laura Muir is a serious threat in the 1500m, there are major doubts over the competitiveness of world heptathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson as she feels her way back from a ruptured achilles tendon.
That leaves only a handful of reasonable medal contenders, many of whom are young.
There are fears within the sport that they could win as few as four medals — the same haul they managed in Athens in 2004, which was their lowest since the single medal in 1976.
RIATH AL-SAMARRAI gives his verdict on the prime medal prospects...
Age 25 Events Women’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay. Finals 100m Sat, Jul 31, 1.50pm; 200m Tue, Aug 3, 1.50pm; 4x100m relay Fri, Aug 6, 2.40pm The 200m world champion faces stacked fields in the 100m and 200m and has not dropped a blistering time in 2021, but is unbeaten in 12 races this season and will be a major threat.
Age 28 Event Women’s 1500m Final 1500m Fri, Aug 6, 1.50pm The 1500m field is brutally tough but Muir, the two-time Diamond League champion, will be in
Age 23 Event Women’s
800m Final Tue, Aug 3,
1.25pm. The Scot burst on the scene in 2020 and has a good chance of a medal.
Age 19 Event Women’s 800m
Final Tue, Aug 3, 1.25pm
The teenager (right) emerged from obscurity this year to win the 800m at the European Indoors and beat Reekie at the British Championships last month.
ELLIOT GILES (27),
OLIVER DUSTIN (20), DAN ROWDEN (23) Event Men’s 800m Final Wed, Aug 4, 1.05pm
In a wide-open men’s 800m, Britain have three strong candidates for a medal, led by Giles, who set the second fastest 800m indoor time in history earlier this year.
Age 29 Event Women’s pole vault
Final Thu, Aug 5, 11.20am
A long-time challenger in the pole vault
who is yet to deliver on the biggest stage.
Age 26 Event Women’s 100m hurdles Final Mon Aug 2, 3.50am
Fourth at Rio 2016 in the 100m hurdles and showing good form.
Age 29 Event
Men’s 110m hurdles Final Thu, Aug 5, 3.55am
The 2018 world indoor champion (right) is a good bet for the sprint hurdles.
Decent opportunities exist in the women’s and men’s 4x100m and the women’s 4x400m.