With 33 sports, 339 events, and just over two weeks to pack it all in, it can be hard keeping track of Britain’s medal hopes as each day goes by at the Olympics.
However, we’ve decided to give it our best shot.
Here’s our breakdown of likely Team GB medal chances as the competition develops this summer in Tokyo…
GB Medal Chances | British Medal Hopes | Days 1-5
British TV viewers might not have to wait too long for Team GB to hit the target in Tokyo after the Opening Ceremony gets proceedings officially underway on Friday 23rd July.
Archery could be one of the early chances for Britain to get off the mark as Games veteran Naomi Folkard leads the charge for a squad packed with emerging talent. It might be a tough ask, however, given Britain have failed to medal since 2004 in this sport.
Therefore, it’s probably best to focus on some traditional GB bankers – swimming and road cycling. The imperious Adam Peaty was the first Brit to take home gold in Rio, and on current form, it seems a safe bet we could be in for a repeat in the pool in 2021.
Will Adam Peaty clean up in Tokyo? 🏊♂️
Check out our top Team GB medal hopes for this summer’s games. 🥇🥈🥉
He heads up a promising GB squad that could clean up during the first week in Japan, with Duncan Scott, Luke Greenbank, Kathleen Dawson, Anna Hopkin and Molly Renshaw other names to keep note of at the Aquatics Centre.
All that glitters could be gold for Geraint Thomas in the road cycling over opening weekend. The Tour De France winner is looking to bring up a hat-trick of golds as he heads to his fourth Olympics, while the Yates brothers (Adam and Simon) will be looking mirror the Brownlees by becoming sibling games medallists as they join Thomas in the quest for early medals on opening weekend.
Forgotten your ippon from your tomoe nage?
Don’t worry, you’ll soon passing yourself off as a fully-fledged judoka if the Brits can get on the board in the judo.
Team GB medalled at both London 2012 and Rio 2016 although the competition could be tougher here as the sport returns to its spiritual home. European Bronze medallists Chelsie Giles and Ashley McKenzie – formerly of Celebrity Big Brother fame – look likely to lead an outside GB charge for medals.
Therefore, it’s probably best to throw yourself into a spot of taekwondo, where the legendary Jade Jones looks a very strong gold shout for GB after reigning supreme in London and Rio.
Three is a magic number. At least, it could be for Team GB if their triathletes can reign supreme in Tokyo. Britain has genuine hopes in both the men’s and women’s individual events on Monday and Tuesday, with Jonathan Brownlee, Alex Yee, Vicky Holland, Jess Learmonth and Georgia Taylor-Brown all viable medal prospects.
Set the clock early on Tuesday 27th as the rowing finals begin at the Sea Forest Waterway – traditionally Team GB’s strongest hand at recent Olympics. Britain’s best medal hopes probably lie later in the week, but the Skulls finals could be early indicator of GB’s prospects on the water.
Wednesday throws up the Men’s Rugby Sevens final which produced a surprise silver for the GB Men’s team in Rio, while, defending champions Jack Laugher and Daniel Goodfellow will be looking to make a splash as they go for gold in the 3m synchronized diving. The pair have already tasted success in Tokyo after claiming gold at the 2021 FINA Diving World Cup in the run-up to this event.
GB Medal Chances | British Medal Hopes | Days 6-10
Wednesday 28th to Friday 30th July could be the days that really help catapult Britain up the medal table as the brunt of the rowing golds get handed out. Helen Glover and her bid for a hat-trick of Olympic golds seems set to be one of this summer’s biggest storylines to watch out for as she teams up with Polly Swann.
The athletics finally gets underway at the Olympic Stadium on Friday, but British interest really bursts into life on the second Saturday of the games, with Dina-Asher Smith primed to deliver the goods in the women’s 100m final.
Before that, Mallory Franklin will be aiming to make waves in the C1 at the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre on Thursday. A four-time gold medallist in the World Championships, she looks the one to watch on the water as she heads to her first games.
Britain’s golf representatives have now been confirmed. Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Justin Rose on the second Sunday. He claimed the first men’s Olympic gold medal since 1904 in Rio, but a poor US Open showing means he won’t be defending his medal here.
Could Seonaid McIntosh hit the target in the 50m rifle at the Asaka Shooting Range?
The Scottish shooter is a European and World Champion and could help Britain build on the medal gains made in this sport at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympiads.
GB Medal Chances | British Medal Hopes | Days 11-17
He’s Britain’s most successful gymnast of all time, but can Max Whitlock add to his tally in Japan?
The 28-year-old looks primed for another medal charge on the pommel horse after picking up two golds and three bronzes from his first two Olympics exploits as he joins Joe Fraser, James Hall and Giarrni Regini-Moran in a competitive-looking men’s team for Tokyo.
The bulk of the medal action from the Ariake Gymnastics Centre takes place on Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd August.
It’s been a frustrating build-up to the games for 2016 golden boy Giles Scott in the Finn class sailing. Covid travel restrictions and America’s Cup commitments have hampered his preparations for these games, but he nonetheless remains a frontrunner to retain his gold from Rio, with the medal race taking place on Tuesday 3rd.
While the gold rush is expected to slow up for the Brits in Japan, the final week could see GB motor up the medal table as the track cycling finals begin at the Izu Velodrome.
It’s a full-on family affair on the 3rd August as the Kennys go for gold yet again, with Jason Kenny heading up the Men’s team sprint and Laura Kenny leading out the Women’s team pursuit in two events where Team GB are defending champions.
Another serial medal winner is in action the following day, as three-time Olympics veteran Ed Clancy bids for a fourth gold medal as he adds some much-needed experience to a young Men’s team pursuit quintet. Once the team events are out of the way, GB also has realistic individual medal chances in the Keirin and Omnium events, with Katy Marchant, Jack Carlin and Matthew Walls among the riders looking to usher in a new golden generation for British cycling in the final week of the games.
Liam Heath knows a thing (or three) about winning Olympic medals. The canoeist completed the full set at Rio 2016, adding gold and silver to the bronze he picked up at London 2012. The 36-year-old looks a strong contender to land a second gold in the K1-200m on Thursday 5th August.
The gloves are off for the British boxing squad as they look to make up for an underwhelming 2016 medal return, where Nicola Adams picked up GB’s solitary gold medal. Peter McGrail and the McCormack twins (Luke and Pat) look Britain’s best bets to get on the podium as the medal events get underway in the closing week of the games (3rd – 8th).
Can Steph Houghton and the women’s football team help banish the Euros blues by medalling in Japan? GB head coach Hege Riise has bags of trophy-winning experience with a clutch of players from WSL giants Chelsea and Man City putting their club allegiances aside in a bid to reach the Gold Medal match on 6th August.
On the track, Katrina Johnson-Thompson will start her quest for heptathlon gold on Wednesday 4th August, with her long-standing rivalry with Nafi Thiam likely to go all the way to an 800m showdown the following day at the Olympic Stadium.
Laura Muir also looks in good shape to land a medal in Tokyo in the 1,500m after a flying warm-up for the games at the Diamond League in Monaco, where she recorded the second-fastest time by a British woman in the 800m. The Scottish runner could be a late addition to GB’s medal haul on the final Friday (6th).
Will GB women’s hockey team go all the way again at the Oi Hockey Stadium?
Matching the gold medal of five years ago seems a tough ask with several of Rio’s stars opting for well-deserved retirement in the wake of that success. A hungry young GB squad will be heading to the games as nine debutantes board the plane for Tokyo in the hope of reaching the last two again on the final Friday of the games.
How times flies. Tom Daley will arrive at this games as the ‘grandad’ (his own words) of a youthful diving squad, but the 27-year-old games veteran has a genuine medal chance in the 10m platform event after winning gold at the 2021 FINA Diving World Cup.
If he can repeat that form, his bid for a much-coveted individual Olympic gold could be one of the highlights of the penultimate day of action at the games (Saturday 7th).
Finally, could Britain bag a medal in one of the final showpiece events of the entire games?
Men’s marathon runner Callum Hawkins battled to a courageous fourth at the 2019 World Championships in Doha and has every chance of going at least one better here should any of his rivals falter in the sticky Sapporo heat.
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