Team GB is set to have more women than men competing at the Tokyo Olympics for the first time in our history.
With a year to go to the Games yesterday, proud team chiefs declared it the ‘year of the female Olympian’.
Based on current predictions, our Olympians will be 52 percent female (194) and 48 percent male (180) next year.
In a move towards gender balance, Tokyo will see the highest ever number of women competing in the Games.
The International Olympic Committee predicts women’s participation will be 48 per cent. At Rio 2016, the gender balance of the Team GB squad was 55-45 in favour of men and that split was replicated with the athletes who took home medals; 71 men and 59 women.
If the medal split matches the team make-up in Tokyo, more British women will be on the podium than men for the first time in a summer Olympics.
Of the 130 Team GB athletes who medalled at Rio 2016, 103 were from England, with 16 from Scotland, and nine from Wales.
Three British Golden Girls are looking to make history with their third consecutive gold medals – Jade Jones (taekwondo, Charlotte Dujardin (equestrian dressage) and Laura Kenny (track cycling).
Hannah Mills (sailing), Laura Unsworth and Nicola White (both hockey) are also going for a medal at their third Olympics.
Chef de mission Mark England confirmed that Team GB is set to send more women than men to a Games for the first time. And he believes the team will ‘change the focus on women’s sport for ever’.
The news came as the team released ‘Tokyo is What Makes Us’, an open letter to Tokyo. Narrated by double Olympic taekwondo medallist Lutalo Muhammad, it tells how the city hosted the first Olympic Games to be staged in Asia back in 1964.
The rearranged games next year are also seen as a symbol of hope following the devastating pandemic. Team GB Chief Executive, Andy Anson, said: “It is against a very different backdrop that we are celebrating another year to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“The last four months have been challenging for everyone, but we are immensely proud of the attitude and commitment demonstrated by every Team GB athlete throughout this period.”
Tokyo will have 147 women’s events – the highest ever number in Olympic history – and 156 men’s events. The IOC added nine new mixed-gender events across seven different sports to the Tokyo 2020 competition schedule, totalling 18 mixed-gender events
Predicted breakdown of male/female Team GB athletes: 52% female (194) and 48% male (180).
130 Team GB athletes medalled at Rio 2016
England: 103 – 79.2%
Scotland: 16 – 12.3%
Wales: 9 – 6.9%
Isle of Man: 1 – 0.75%
Northern Ireland: 0 – 0%