Six Scots to watch as the Tokyo Olympics get under way

The Games have begun and these Scots will be confident of bringing home a medal.

Six Scots to watch as the Tokyo Olympics get under way Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympics may be taking place a year later than scheduled, but that’s only ramped up the anticipation ahead of the festival of sport.

After Friday’s opening ceremony, the world’s best athletes will compete across a multitude of sports, with only the very best winning a place on the podium.

Team GB has sent a strong squad east and there’s a long list of Scots aiming to contribute to the nation’s climb up the medal table.

The pandemic means there won’t be any spectators, but fans will be cheering on from home.

We’ve picked out a handful of Scots to watch this summer.

Laura Muir

Probably the best known of the Scottish athletes heading to Tokyo, Muir has chosen to put all her efforts into the 1500m, despite having run a personal best in 800m in her final event before the Games.

Muir finished fifth in the 1500m at the World Championship in Doha in 2019, despite having far from ideal preparations, and is fully focused on an improved performance in what could be a weaker field.

The 26-year-old is European 1500m champion but has yet to win a medal at a Worlds or Olympics. This could be the year she celebrates a podium finish.

Jemma Reekie

Jemma Reekie has already shown she can compete with the world's best. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)

Muir has put her improvement at 800m down to having Reekie as a training partner and the 23-year-old will have the spotlight all to herself at that distance in Tokyo.

Two gold medals at the European Under-23 Championships in Sweden in 2019 underlined her potential.

Last year also proved successful for the Kilbarchan runner, who broke the British indoor record for the Mile and 1500m at the Millrose Games in New York in February. That came a week after she took the national 800m record.

Reekie will face tough competition at the highest level, but will be all-out to bring home a medal.

Seonaid McIntosh

Seonaid McIntosh has set her targets for Tokyo. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

One of Team GB’s best medal bets, McIntosh heads to Japan as the current world number one. The Edinburgh shooter is 50m prone world champion and a real contender in the 3 position 50m rifle event.

McIntosh, who will also be competitive in the 10m air rifle, is continuing in the family business. Her mother Shirley has four Commonwealth games medals, her dad Donald is a two-time Commonwealth gold medallist and her sister Jennifer has five Commonwealth medals, including two gold, two European Championship gold medals and competed at the London Olympics.

No pressure then.

Duncan Scott

Duncan Scott is part of a strong British swim team aiming for medals in Japan. (Photo by Bill Murray/SNS Group)

The Great Britain swim team has travelled east with a lot of expectation to bring home medals and Scott is aiming to add to the two silver medals he picked up in Rio five years ago.

Scott has already won medals at Olympic, World, Commonwealth and European level and the pool in Tokyo will hold no fears for him. He says he has no negative thoughts as he prepares to compete in relay and individual events.

British record holder in the 100m and 200m freestyle and the 200m individual medley, at 24 Scott has yet to reach his peak.

Jack Carlin

Jack Carlin can deliver medals at the velodrome. (Photo by Ross Brownlee/SNS Group)

Paisley’s Jack Carlin was a keen footballer growing up, but fractured ankles led to him getting on a bike as part of his rehab. On two wheels, he found his sport and hasn’t looked back since.

After learning the ropes with Glasgow Riders, Carlin headed south to join the Great Britain Cycling Senior Academy and has developed into a world-class athlete.

Carlin won a silver in the sprint at the 2018 Commonwealth games and took another silver at that year’s World Championships in the individual and team sprint events. Two years later Carlin, Ryan Owens and Jason Kenny were runners up again at the Worlds, finishing behind a hugely successful Dutch team.

The Scot will be competing in individual and team events in Tokyo and it’s unlikely he’ll fly home empty handed.

Kim Little and Caroline Weir

Kim Little will be a major player for Team GB at the Games. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)

The Scotland men’s team have already had a memorable summer after their return to major competition but two Scots in Team GB’s women’s Olympic football team could have a more successful time of it.

Kim Little and Caroline Weir are both important players in Hege Riise’s team and both started in the 2-0 win over Chile on Wednesday.

There was no home nations team in Rio, but the collective picked for Tokyo has serious medal hopes and if they make it through to the medal matches, there’s no doubt that the duo from north of the border will be key.

Little played for Team GB at the London Games in 2012 and caught the eye against Chile with a real leader’s performance – she can be one of the stars of the tournament.

Manchester City’s Weir was nominated for the 2020 Puskas Award in 2020 for a stunning goal and she can impress a global audience again.