Let’s call it the “last salvo” of athletes who have won their ticket to the Tokyo Olympics which will start in less than 3 weeks and will take place from July 23 to August 8. Olav Spahl, the director of high level sport of the COIB and Chef de Mission Tokyo 2020, announced on Saturday morning this fifth and last selection of Team Belgium: a group of 50 athletes in the following 10 sports: athletics, basketball, 3×3 basketball, cycling, golf, gymnastics, judo, equestrian sports, archery and sailing.
67 men and 55 women
In total, Team Belgium Tokyo 2020 will take 122 athletes (67 men and 55 women) plus 8 reserves (5 men and 3 women) who will defend the Belgian colors in 25 sports including 3 team sports (basketball players, basketball men 3×3 and hockey players) and 5 mixed teams (jumping, 3 4x400m relay teams and the mixed relay in triathlon).
The largest delegation for over half a century
It is the largest delegation since the Helsinki Games in 1952. During the previous summer edition in Rio in 2016, Team Belgium had 104 athletes and 6 reserves in 19 disciplines.
“Tokyo 2020 will be unique Games,” said Olav Spahl. “While taking care not to take any risk to health, our mission will be to increase the number of top 8s compared to Rio 2016. We are now focusing on the immediate and performance-oriented aspects of the preparation in parallel with the health scenario. . “
Olav Spahl: “We must not be afraid to win! ”
The director of high-level sport of the COIB and Chef de Mission Tokyo 2020 will take the Belgian delegation to the Olympic Games for the first time. “It is a great honor and a great challenge for me to be able to take and supervise these 122 athletes of Team Belgium in Tokyo”, confides Olav Spahl. “The way in which they have invested themselves in the last few months for the Games, despite particularly difficult circumstances, shows a lot of confidence, courage, resilience and perseverance. Together with the leadership of the federations, we now need to create the most optimal and safest conditions in Tokyo so that our athletes can perform at their best during the Games. We must not be afraid to win! “