Team GB ‘on cusp of history’ with female athletes on course to outnumber men in Tokyo Olympic squad

Giuseppe Muro
·2-min read
<p>Mark England says Team GB are ‘on the cusp of history’</p> (Getty Images)

Mark England says Team GB are ‘on the cusp of history’

(Getty Images)

Great Britain is set to take more female than male athletes to the Olympics for the first time in Tokyo this summer, according to Team GB chef de mission Mark England.

With 100 days to go until the Games, England said on Wednesday: “We are on the cusp of making history.”

Around 44 per cent of Team GB athletes that travelled to Rio in 2016 were female, while that figure was 48 per cent at London 2012.

But that number could rise above 50 per cent in July and England hopes that can inspire a generation of girls wanting to play sport.

“We know we have qualified a women’s hockey team, a women’s football team, a women’s rugby 7s team, and so we think it will settle with more women than men in the team,” England told Sky Sports.

A number of GB athletes could make history in Tokyo.

Laura Kenny could become the most decorated female Olympic cyclist of all time, Jade Jones is bidding for a third taekwondo title, Dina Asher-Smith is going for sprint gold and Hannah Mills is targeting a gold or silver to become most successful female Olympic sailor ever.

“We are in really good shape and we are going to take a very strong team,” said England. “We have got some fantastic opportunities to make history.

“It is great inspiration for all of the young girls back at home who are deciding which sports to pursue.”

Double Olympic champion Helen Glover is bidding to become the first woman to make the British rowing team after having children.

The 34-year-old won on her return to racing on Sunday after five years out, alongside Polly Swann, in the women’s pair at the European Rowing Championships in Italy.

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