UK Sport are hopeful that the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be the most successful of all time for Team GB as they target a record medal haul at next year’s games. If they achieve this ambitious goal it will mark an increase in total medals at every Games since Atlanta back in 1996, when Team GB took home just one gold.
Chelsea Warr, UK Sport’s performance director, insists the "bases are loaded" when it comes to British medal potential, given more athletes have finished in the top three at World Championships during this Olympic cycle compared to the last one.
“What is pleasing is that ahead of Rio we had 15 sports getting medals at world championships, now we’ve 22,” she said.
“We’ve also had more fourth-to-eighth places this year. In 2015 we had 188 leading into Rio and we have 218 leading into Tokyo. So the bases are loaded. The medal potential is there.”
At London 2012, Britain won 65 medals, a total that many thought would not be beaten given the home advantage and effort that had gone into preparing for those games. However, four years later, Team GB took home 67 medals from Rio and although there was a slight drop in the number of golds won (29 to 27).
Team GB are leaving no stone unturned as they prepare for Tokyo and have even been given advice on where to sit on the plane out there, to avoid infections. The competitors have been told to sit away from the toilet while also been given advice about hand-washing, dieting and staying healthy in the build-up to the games.
Craig Ranson, director of athlete health at the English Institute for Sport said: "We don't want people to bag our seats so I won't go into specifics, but not near the toilet. [We teach athletes] about how they can clean their seat in the plane and where to sit in the plane so the air-conditioning leaves them less exposed to bugs from other people in the plane.”
The start of the biggest ever Olympic games, including 33 sports, more than ever before is now just 217 days away. Team GB is doing everything in its power to make sure this is the most successful of all time for the Brits.