The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics for one year, due to the expansion of the coronavirus (Covid-19), could affect the performance of some veteran athletes, as they could see their chances of climbing to the podium at the sporting event diminished.
Here are some members of a long list of athletes from around the world who will make it to the Games on the brink of 40 years, but who nevertheless continue to be a medal hope for their countries.
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Twenty-time Grand Slam tournament winner, the Swiss tennis player, who turns 40 in August 2021, won Olympic gold in doubles alongside compatriot Stan Wawrinka in Beijing 2008, but stayed in the quarterfinals in singles. Four years later, in London 2012, lost the final to Andy Murray and an injury deprived him of being able to participate in Rio 2016.
In his first Olympic participation, in Sydney 2000, he was fourth, but he has special affection for Australia because it was then that he met his wife, Mirka Vavrinec.
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Altogether, they were probably the Olympic Games most incredible that I have lived “, admits Federer, who was the standard bearer for the Swiss delegation in Beijing 2008 and Athens 2004.
The little one of the sisters Williams She will be 40 years old in September 2020, but Serena does not have the pressure to win Olympic gold, a title she has already conquered in London-2012, as well as three doubles with her sister Venus (2000, 2008 and 2012).
Serena hoped in Tokyo 2020 to claim the rematch of Rio 2016, where she fell in ‘singles against Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina in the third round.
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The Californian golfer, who will blow 46 candles in December 2021, would have had difficulties joining the Olympic team in 2020, since he currently occupies sixth place in the US ranking and only the first four are assured of his presence.
Tiger Woods, winner of 15 ‘majors, has been battling a persistent back injury, so a year’s delay can give him more room to recover and improve in the rankings and go to some Games to conquer Olympus.
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The only woman in athletics to have won six gold medals wanted to expand her record in Tokyo. Felix, who will be 35 at the end of this year, will go against the clock in order to expand his collection of medals in what will be his fifth Olympic Games.
Felix You can console yourself by thinking that by no means will you become the oldest athlete to win a medal. Jamaican Merlene Ottey was 40 years old when she took bronze in the 4×100 relay in Sydney-2000.
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The American sprinter planned to retire in 2020 after competing in his quarters. Olympic Games, 38 years old. Following the postponement, Gatlin has announced that he is postponing his retirement in order to compete next year in the Japanese capital.
“I think a lot of people think that time is against me or against older athletes in this situation, but that is far from the truth,” said the controversial Gatlin, an Olympic champion in 2004, who in the past was suspended in twice for doping.
The Los Angeles Lakers star would attend the Games at the age of 36 and although the basketball player wanted to participate in the tournament, he is still a mystery at that age and if a year later he wants to do so.
In the first list of 44 players by Gregg Popovich, announced by the American federation, were NBA world stars such as James Harden, Kawhi Leonard or Lebron James. The latter would be considering participating in his fourth Olympics, from which the gold was hung in Beijing 2008 and London 2012. He was absent in the Rio 2016 ones.
However, it must be said that the coronavirus also forced the calendar to move. NBA reason why the presence of the basketball players is not assured in the Olympic Games to be held in 2021.