After over a year of uncertainty around whether the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games would ever go ahead, months of delays and revised coronavirus restrictions, the international sports tournament is finally expected to make its much awaited return on July 23.
The upcoming Tokyo games is the biggest Olympic Games yet, with over 11,000 athletes competing in the sprawling Japanese capital from more than 200 nations.
Initially due to take place in May 2021, this year’s games were pushed back to July 23 after Covid cases spiked worldwide and Japan saw positive case numbers soar in Tokyo and beyond.
But this isn’t the first time that a world crisis has forced Tokyo to rearrange its hosting of the landmark championships – with the city having to pull out from hosting the games in 1940 as World War II began in 1939.
With 339 medals in over 33 sports up for grabs at the Tokyo games this summer, Team GB are keen to come away with as many medals as possible after the pandemic put sporting events and competitions on hold for over a year.
Here’s what you need to know about the top stars to watch in a variety of sports categories and what Team GB will be wearing at the 2020 Olympic Games.
How many Team GB athletes will compete at the Olympics 2021?
With a 376-person squad for Team GB 2021, this year’s UK team is already breaking a number of records before it has even gotten started.
Out of the 376 athletes on this years team, 201 members are women – meaning that Team GB includes a higher number of female athletes than male for the first time at a summer Olympic games in British history.
This year’s team also marks the biggest yet, with UK athletes keen to bring home even more medals than they did in 2016 at the Rio Olympic Games.
The Rio Games five years ago saw Team GB come away with 67 medals in a record-breaking number of wins at the global competition.
Who are the key Team GB athletes to watch this year?
This year’s team will see Carl Hester, the 54-year-old equestrian, become Team GB’s oldest and most seasoned Olympian – with the Tokyo Olympics set to be Hester’s sixth games so far.
Meanwhile, skateboarder Sky Brown bounces back from her injury last year to become the youngest ever Team GB member at an Olympic Games.
As one of just two Brits competing in the Olympics skateboarding competition, Brown turned 13 in early July.
Team GB women’s football squad, overseen by head coach and former Olympic footballer Hege Riise, is also set to try their hand at success in this year’s Olympics, with their Group E opening match against Chile coming up on July 21.
Football fans will be keeping a keen eye on performances from Manchester City defender Steph Houghton, Caroline Weir and Scottish midfielder Kim Little, who captains the Arsenal women’s squad and vice captains the Scottish women’s national team.
Out of the 77 athletes competing for Team GB in the Athletics rounds, familiar faces include heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, sprinter Dina Asher-Smith, as well as middle and long distance runners Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie.
For the men’s Athletics squad, Josh Kerr will be once again competing in the 1500m after recently breaking the fastest-ever record set by Sir Sebastian Coe for the middle distance stretch, while Elliot Giles will be trying his luck at the 800m stretch after his success at the Rio games in 2016.
In swimming, Adam Peaty will be defending his Rio 2016 title win, where he became the fastest breaststroker of all time in the 100m breaststroke at just 26 years of age.
He will be swimming for Team GB alongside emerging stars like Duncan Scott, Molly Renshaw in the 200m breaststroke, two-time European freestyle relay champion Freya Anderson and breakout backstroke swimmer Kathleen Dawson.
Diving champ Tom Daley will also be returning for his fourth Olympics in 2021, with
Scottish tennis star Andy Murray will be returning to the Olympic Games next week after a successful return to Wimbledon 2021, where Murray managed to make it through to the third round before being beaten by Canadian star Denis Shapovalov.
Andy Murray will be joined on the Team GB tennis squad by his brother, Jamie Murray, as well as up and coming star Dan Evans, Heather Watson and Liam Broady.
To check out the full list of Team GB athletes competing in this year’s games, visit https://www.teamgb.com/.
What kit will Team GB wear for the 2021 Olympics?
The Team GB kit for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will see athletes don classic red, white and blue attire to symbolise the Union Jack.
A hefty splash of red makes its mark on the uniform for this year’s games, however, after previous Olympics kits such as those designed by leading British fashion designer Stella McCartney for London 2012 and Rio 2016 with Adidas were panned as being too blue.
This year’s edgy kit has been designed by Adidas alone, with the sports brand’s head of graphics, Camila Codino explaining how the unity of all four nations has been brought into focus with the 2021 kit.
"We’ve created a variety of graphics based on interpretations of the Union flag and the national flowers of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland,” Codino said.
The full list of athletes in Team GB 2021
Sarah Bettles, Naomi Folkard, Bryony Pitman, Tom Hall, Patrick Huston, James Woodgate
Running – Dina Asher-Smith (100m, 200m, 4x100m), Sam Atkin (10,000m), Niclas Baker (4x400m), Meghan Beasley (400m hurdles), Alex Bell (800m), Lizzie Bird (3000m steeplechase), Andrew Butchart (5000m), Cameron Chalmers (4x400m), Zoey Clark (4x400m), Ben Connor (marathon), Stephanie Davis (marathon), Emily Diamond (4x400m), Beth Dobbin (200m, 4x100m), Oliver Dustin (800m), Jona Efoloko (4x100m), Adam Gemili (200m, 4x100m), Elliot Giles (800m), Callum Hawkins (marathon), Jake Heyward (1500m), Keely Hodgkinson (800m), Matthew Hudson-Smith (4x400m), Zharnel Hughes (100m, 4x100m).
Jess Judd (5000m, 10,000m), Josh Kerr (1500m), Richard Kilty (4x100m), David King (110m hurdles), Jessie Knight (400m hurdles, 4x400m), Imani-Lara Lansiquot (4x100m), Amy-Eloise Markovc (5000m), Eilish McColgan (5000m, 10,000m), Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (200m, 4x100m), Laura Muir (1500m), Daryll Neita (100m, 4x100m), Ashleigh Nelson (4x100m), Laviai Nielsen (4x400m), Phil Norman (3000m steeplechase), Michael Ohioze (4x400m), Asha Philip (100m, 4x100m), Jess Piasecki (marathon), Ama Pipi (400m, 4x400m), Tiffany Porter (100m hurdles), Andrew Pozzi (110m hurdles), Aimee Pratt (3000m steeplechase), Reece Prescod (100m, 4x100m)
Jemma Reekie (800m), Daniel Rowden (800m), Marc Scott (5000m, 10,000m), Zak Seddon (3000m steeplechase), Cindy Sember (100m hurdles), Katie Snowden (1500m), Chris Thompson (marathon), Lee Thompson (4x400m), Jessica Turner (400m hurdles, 4x400m), Steph Twell (marathon), Chijindu Ujah (100m, 4x100m), Revee Walcott-Nolan (1500m), Jake Wightman (1500m), Hannah Williams (4x400m), Jodie Williams (400m, 4x400m), Nicole Yeargin (400m, 4x400m)
Discus – Lawrence Okoye
Hammer – Taylor Campbell, Nick Miller
Heptathlon – Katarina Johnson-Thompson
High jump – Emily Borthwick, Tom Gale, Morgan Lake
Long jump – Abigail Irozuru, Jazmin Sawyers, Lorraine Ugen
Pole vault – Holly Bradshaw, Harry Coppell
Shot put – Scott Lincoln, Sophie McKinna
Triple jump – Ben Williams
Walk – Tom Bosworth (20km race walk), Callum Wilkinson (20km walk)
Chloe Birch, Marcus Ellis, Kirsty Gilmour, Ben Lane, Toby Penty, Lauren Smith, Sean Vendy
Charley Davison, Galal Yafai, Peter McGrail, Karriss Artingstall, Caroline Dubois, Luke McCormack, Pat McCormack, Lauren Price, Ben Whittaker, Cheavon Clarke, Frazer Clarke
Adam Burgess, Bradley Forbes-Cryans, Mallory Franklin, Liam Heath, Deborah Kerr, Emily Lewis, Kimberley Woods, Katie Reid
Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Declan Brooks, Jack Carlin, Lizzie Deignan, Ed Clancy, Neah Evans, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Ethan Hayter, Jason Kenny, Laura Kenny, Josie Knight, Katy Marchant, Ryan Owens, Tom Pidcock, Evie Richards, Anna Shackley, Beth Shriever, Geraint Thomas, Ethan Vernon, Matt Walls, Kye Whyte, Ollie Wood, Charlotte Worthington, Adam Yates, Simon Yates
Eden Cheng, Tom Daley, Daniel Goodfellow, James Heatly, Jack Laugher, Matty Lee, Scarlett Mew Jensen, Grace Reid, Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, Katherine Torrance, Lois Toulson, Noah Williams
Scott Brash, Charlotte Dujardin, Laura Collett, Charlotte Fry, Carl Hester, Ben Maher, Tom McEwen, Holly Smith, Oliver Townend
Millie Bright, Lucy Bronze, Rachel Daly, Lauren Hemp, Steph Houghton, Sophie Ingle, Fran Kirby, Kim Little, Nikita Parris, Ellie Roebuck, Jill Scott, Georgia Stanway, Demi Stokes, Carly Telford, Keira Walsh, Caroline Weir, Ellen White, Leah Williamson
Paul Casey, Jodi Ewart Shadoff, Tommy Fleetwood, Mel Reid
Joe Fraser, Jennifer Gadirova, Jessica Gadirova, Laura Gallagher, James Hall, Alice Kinsella, Amelie Morgan, Bryony Page, Giarnni Regini-Moran, Max Whitlock
Women - Giselle Ansley, Grace Balsdon, Fiona Crackles, Maddie Hinch, Sarah Jones, Hannah Martin, Shona McCallin, Lily Owsley, Hollie Pearne-Webb, Izzy Petter, Ellie Rayer, Sarah Robertson, Anna Toman, Susannah Townsend, Laura Unsworth, Leah Wilkinson
Men - David Ames, Liam Ansell, Brendan Creed, Adam Dixon, Jacob Draper, James Gall, Chris Griffiths, Ollie Payne, Phil Roper, Liam Sanford, Rupert Shipperley, Ian Sloan, Tom Sorsby, Zach Wallace, Jack Waller, Sam Ward
Sarah Adlington, Chelsie Giles, Gemma Howell, Ashley McKenzie, Natalie Powell, Lucy Renshall
Joseph Choong, James Cooke, Kate French, Joanna Muir
Thomas Barras, Jack Beaumont, Karen Bennet, Chloe Brew, Joshua Bugajski, Sholto Carnegie, Oliver Cook, John Collins, Emily Craig, Jacob Dawson, Katherine Douglas, Rebecca Edwards, Charles Elwes, Henry Fieldman, Emily Ford, Thomas Ford, Fiona Gammond, Thomas George, Rory Gibbs, Helen Glover, Imogen Grant, Lucy Glover, Angus Groom
Charlotte Hodgkins-Byrne, Mathilda Hodgkins-Byrne, Matilda Horn, Harry Leask, Rowan McKellar, Caragh McMurtry, Rebecca Muzerie, Sara Parfett, Matthew Rossiter, James Rudkin, Mohamed Sbihi, Hannah Scott, Rebecca Shorten, Polly Swann, Harriet Taylor, Graeme Thomas, Victoria Thornley, Oliver Wynne-Griffith
Men - Dan Bibby, Alex Coombes, Alex Davis, Robbie Fergusson, Harry Glover, Ben Harris, Oliver Lindsay-Hague, Ross McCann, Max McFarland, Tom Mitchell, Dan Norton, Ethan Waddleton
Women - Holly Aitchison, Abbie Brown, Abi Burton, Deborah Fleming, Natasha Hunt, Megan Jones, Jasmine Joyce, Alex Matthews, Helena Rowland, Celia Quansah, Hannah Smith, Emma Uren
Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey, Dylan Fletcher and Stuart Bithell, John Gimson and Anna Burnet, Elliot Hanson, Luke Patience and Chris Grube, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre, Giles Scott, Tom Squires, Emma Watson, Alison Young
Matt Coward-Holley, Aaron Heading, Kirsty Hegarty, Amber Hill, Seonaid McIntosh
Sky Brown, Bombette Martin
Freya Anderson, Kieran Bird, Kathleen Dawson, Tom Dean, Luke Greenbank, James Guy, Anna Hopkin, Calum Jarvis, Dan Jervis, Harriet Jones, Joe Litchfield, Max Litchfield, Ross Murdoch, Adam Peaty, Jacob Peters, Ben Proud
Molly Renshaw, Matthew Richards, Duncan Scott, Alys Thomas, Sarah Vasey, Jacob Whittle, James Wilby, Cassie Wild, Brodie Williams, Aimee Willmott, Alicia Wilson, Abbie Wood
Paul Drinkhall, Tin-Tin Ho, Liam Pitchford
Mahama Cho, Jade Jones, Bradly Sinden, Bianca Walkden, Lauren Williams
Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Heather Watson, Neal Skupski, Joe Salisbury, Liam Broady
Jonny Brownlee, Vicky Holland, Jess Learmonth, Georgia Taylor-Brown, Alex Yee
Emily Campbell, Sarah Davies, Emily Muskett, Zoe Smith