7 British and Irish athletes to watch at the Paris 2024 Olympics

By Sports Desk April 16, 2024

With 100 days to go until the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympics, the PA news agency picks out seven top British and Irish athletes to watch.

Keely Hodgkinson

Hodgkinson could be forgiven for feeling sick of silver linings. The 800m star has finished second to either Athing Mu or Mary Moraa at a series of big events including the Tokyo Olympics (to Mu), and last year’s World Championships (to Moraa). It will take a Herculean effort to go one better in Paris, but all eyes will be on what should prove one of the most competitive events of the track and field programme.

Kimberley Woods

Woods heads to Paris as the reigning world champion in the exhilarating and brand new Olympic discipline of kayak-cross, involving heats in which four competitors hurtle down the same whitewater course simultaneously. Despite its inherent unpredictability, the 28-year-old from Rugby also won the overall World Cup title in 2023 and has proved a cut above her closest rivals.

Bradly Sinden

The Doncaster taekwondo star was disappointed with a silver medal in the men’s -68kg category in Tokyo and vowed to learn from his mistakes. He will return to Olympic competition with a second world title in the bag and as a strong favourite to finally make good on his lifelong ambition and turn that agonising silver into gold in the French capital.

Bryony Page

A surprise silver medallist on the women’s trampoline in Rio, Page returned to the podium with a bronze medal in Tokyo. At the age of 33 her confidence continues to rocket, and World Championship gold in Birmingham in 2023 – where she shunted Olympic champion Zhu Xueying into second place – suggests Page has what it takes to complete the set in Paris.

Tom Dean

Double Tokyo gold medallist Dean set himself the staggering target of five medals in Paris only to find the recent British Championships did not go to plan. Likely to be denied the chance to defend his 200m freestyle title, Dean nevertheless remains determined to make multiple visits to the podium as he heads up one of the most promising British swimming squads in decades.

Emma Wilson

Wilson, who won windsurfing bronze in Tokyo, is well placed to land gold in Marseille after making a stunning statement at this year’s World Championships, in which she won 15 of 20 qualifying races before finishing second in the winner-takes-all final race. Her consistency at the top level makes her arguably the best medal bet among the traditional surge of British sailing contenders.

Rhys McClenaghan

The Irish pommel ace finally ascended to the top of his sport after winning the 2022 World Championships in Liverpool, and went on to repeat the feat in Antwerp last year. McClenaghan, who was denied a medal in Tokyo after an early error, will relish the prospect of renewing his long-time rivalry with defending Olympic champion Max Whitlock in Paris.

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