From all indications women are going to be more than men in the Great Britain Olympics team for the first time, says chef de mission Mark England.
At the London 2012 Olympics, a little over 48% of Great Britain team was female and that figure dropped to 44% in Rio 2016 but could rise above 50% at Tokyo Olympics come 2020.
“For the first time it looks like we might have more women than men in the Great Britain team for Tokyo as we see the fruition of some fabulous athletic talent,” said Mark England, who is optimistic the team could match their Rio medal haul score.
“We have seen some fantastic role models in multiple Olympic champions like Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, Jade Jones and Nicola Adams.
“Everybody also looks up to Jessica Ennis-Hill and they have clearly all had a great impact in terms of inspiring a new class of young female athletes which is now emerging.”
The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is aiming for 50% representation by women at the Olympic Games and the British Olympic Association’s attempt to get there first may be reliant on the participation of a Great Britain women’s soccer team.
Fifa stated in October it had received agreement from all four home unions to field a unified women’s team at the 2020 Olympics. England’s performance at the Women’s World Cup in France this summer will determine if Team Great Britain earn one of the four European qualification spots for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
GB team came second on the medal table at Rio 2016, with 67 medals haul, 27 of which are golds, 23 silvers, and 17 bronzes.
“We have tough shoes to fill from Rio,” added Mark England.
“Typically, we don’t set medal targets but we are hugely confident that the investment by UK Sport and the work that has been undertaken by the home countries’ sports institutes and, in particular, by national governing bodies will make Team GB as successful as it was in Rio.”