ECONOMY

‘We are getting close’ :Team GB unveil kit for delayed Tokyo Games

T

eam GB Olympic hopefuls today told how they are determined to do their country proud at the Games – if they go ahead.

Uncertainty remains over whether the Olympics will take place as planned in Tokyo in July, as Japan battles a resurgence in coronavirus infections and opinion polls show the majority of its public is opposed to them amid the pandemic.

But athletes remained positive as they hailed “a big moment” in their countdown to the delayed Games with the unveiling today of the team’s kit, saying the competition now feels “more real than ever”.

Gymnast Max Whitlock, cycling star Laura Kenny, and diver Tom Daley were among those to pose in the kit created by adidas. ParalympicsGB stars including sprinter Jonnie Peacock also starred in the launch.

London-based 400m sprinter Laviai Nielsen, 25, spoke of her pride as she hopes to compete in her first Games. She said: “I think standing on the start line will be a very emotional moment.”

The sprinter, whose twin sister Lina competes in the 400m hurdles, said theteam felt they were now “on the home straight”.

“Looking ahead to Tokyo, which is not far away now, it feels like we are almost there which feels incredible. Everything feels a lot more certain.”

Max Whitlock and Bianca Walkden

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Rower Tom George, 26, said: “I put the t-shirt on and I was like: ‘Wow. Ok. We are almost in touching distance now.’ There is a lot of work to do between now and then, but we are getting pretty close. It was the first moment where I thought: ‘I am going to go to an Olympic Games.’”

Four-time Olympic gold cycling star Kenny, 29, said: “We actually did the photoshoot for the kit back in March last year before we went into lockdown. I didn’t even really know what covid was at the time. I will never take for granted pulling on an Olympic kit. It feels and looks amazing. I feel so privileged to be able to wear it.”

Speaking at the launch, double Olympic champion Whitlock, 28, from Hertfordshire, said: “It feels amazing. For any athlete this is a big, big moment.”

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