A record number of women on an away Team and a record number of Indigenous athletes will represent Australia at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games which begin in just 18 days.
The Australian Olympic Committee has announced a Team of 472 athletes to compete in Tokyo, consisting of 254 women and 218 men, plus a record 16 First Nations athletes competing across eleven sports.
This is the biggest number of women ever on an away team for Australia and the highest percentage of women on an Australian Team (53.8%).
This is also the second largest Team ever to leave Australia’s shores, just short of the 482 athletes who competed in the Athens Games in 2004.
The Team for Tokyo will compete in 33 sports, including fielding athletes in all four new Olympic sports – karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.
Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman paid tribute to all the selected athletes who have endured the uncertainties of a one-year postponement, disrupted competitions, qualifying opportunities and access to training venues.
“This has been extremely difficult for every athlete and each has their own individual story to tell. But they have made it. Through their determination and commitment, they are going to Tokyo.
“Even before these Games are declared Open on July 23rd, this Australian Team has made its own history. They are a special Team and Australians can be very proud of them.
“I would also like to pay tribute to those athletes for whom the postponement and global environment prevented them from being a part of this Team. Whether that’s through injury and retirement, lack of safe access to qualification events or through difficult personal circumstances, many have been forced to make that tough call.
“I can promise these athletes that this Team carries their legacy and their contributions in their hearts all the way to Tokyo and into the heat of Olympic competition.”
Mr Chesterman says he and the management Team on the ground in Tokyo are focused on giving every athlete their opportunity to succeed in their Olympic moment.
“The AOC has talked about not setting medal targets and placing unhelpful expectations on these athletes. Given the events of the past 18 months, this has been the correct path. Getting to the start line has been so difficult.
“If we can create the right environment, our Team has the chance to achieve the goals they have set for themselves, whether that’s a personal best or a medal. They don’t need pressure from us, they need us to do our job for them.
“To assist in that task we have a vastly experienced team with Deputy Chefs Susie O’Neill, Evelyn Halls and Ken Wallace – all Olympians. Added to this, Olympian Kyle Vander Kuyp joins the management team as our first Indigenous Liaison Officer.
“We have 16 Indigenous Olympians on this Team and Kyle’s experience and understanding will certainly be welcomed, by those athletes and the broader group.”
The Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo will break new ground in a number of areas
- The highest percentage of female athletes to compete for Australia – 53.8% (Previous highest 50.90% Rio 2016)
- Greatest number of women to compete 254 at an away Games, bettering 214 in Rio
- The highest number of Indigenous athletes – 16 athletes. (Previous highest 12 at Sydney 2000)
- First Indigenous Olympians ever in Tennis (Ash Barty) and Shooting (Thomas Grice)
- Track and field team the biggest ever at an away Games with 63 athletes
- Our oldest ever Australian Olympic competitor – Mary Hanna 66, Equestrian
- Most Olympic Games for Australia – Andrew Hoy competing at his 8th Games in Tokyo
- Most Olympic Games for Australian women – Jian Fang Lay (table tennis) and Mary Hanna (equestrian) both competing at their 6th Games in Tokyo
Mr Chesterman also praised the work of AOC Member sports, Federal and State governments, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), AOC staff as well as the many volunteers whose constant efforts have assisted the Team navigate the difficult path to the start line in Tokyo.
“It has taken an extraordinary amount of effort to deal with the complexity of getting our delegation, in total 990 people, to the point where they can safely travel to Tokyo from all parts of the world.
“But through agile planning and responding quickly to the measures announced by the IOC and our Japanese hosts along the way, we are ready. The athletes know what lies ahead of them and will comply with all the measures in place to keep themselves safe and keep the Japanese people safe.”
Note: There may be further changes to the Team between now and Tokyo based on the circumstances of individual athletes and sports. The AOC will advise on these changes, should they occur.
Over the weekend, cyclist Cameron Meyer has withdrawn for personal reasons. Following advice from Football Australia on squad changes, Marco Tilio replaces Ramy Najjarine while Jay Rich-Baghuelou comes in for Ruon Tongyik.
- First Team in Japan – Softball, arrived June 1
- First team in Olympic Village Tokyo – Archery, July 16
- First Event of Games – Australia v Japan Softball July 21st 9.00am Fukushima
- Biggest day of arrivals in Tokyo– July 17th with 284 arrivals
- Biggest charter group – 218 on Qantas charter arriving July 17th
- Delegation size 990 with 248 arriving from overseas (not Australia) ports into Tokyo
- Biggest Team – Track and field with 63 athletes
- Oldest Team Member – Mary Hanna 66, Equestrian
- Youngest Team Member – Mollie O’Callaghan 17, Swimming
- 254 Women & 218 Men
- First athletes selected – Sailors Mathew Belcher, Will Ryan and Matt Wearn on 20 Sept 2019
- Last athletes selected – Track and field team members 3 July, 2021
- Australia will compete in new disciplines of BMX Freestyle but not 3x3 Basketball
- Australia qualified in new mixed events: Triathlon - Mixed Team Relay; Swimming – 4x100m Mixed Medley Relay, men 800m Freestyle, women 1500m Freestyle; Archery – Mixed Team; Cycling – men & women Madison; and Table Tennis Mixed Doubles
- The Shooting team has qualified five Mixed Pairs teams. +2 teams in Mixed Trap Pairs +2 teams in Mixed 10m Air Rifle Pairs, and +1 team in Mixed 10m Air Pistol Pairs
- Australia not competing in Wrestling, Fencing and Handball
- 62.2% of athletes attending their first Games
- 86% born in Australia, 14% overseas
- 173 athletes will return to overseas locations after Games
Australian Team Logistical
- Shipped to Japan - five shipping containers and 10 air freight pallets
- Ten ice baths and seven slushie machines
- 160 kilograms of coffee beans
- 200 artworks from Australian schoolchildren to be on display in Olympic Village
- 75,000 disposable face masks
- 544 bottles of hand sanitizer & 40,000 disposable wipes
- 150 fans and 1,000 cooling towels
- 1,100 medical travel packs
- AOC advance team on the ground 7 July
- Softball team departs before some members of track and field arrive
- Horses for equestrian team arrive 13 July
Team Sizes Over Time
- 632 – Sydney 2000
- 482 – Athens 2004
- 472 – Tokyo 2020
- 436 – Beijing 2008
- 425 – Atlanta 1996
- 422 – Rio 2016
- 410 – London 2012
Tokyo 2020 Team Sizes
- 63 – Athletics
- 38 – Rowing
- 37 – Swimming
- 28 - Cycling
Most Women at Overseas Games
- 254 – Tokyo 2020
- 214 – Rio 2016
- 200 – Beijing 2008
- 186 - London
- 8th – 1 athlete
- 6th – 2 athletes
- 5th – 2 athletes
- 4th – 15 athletes
- 3rd – 32 athletes
- 2nd – 126 athletes
- Debut - 294 athletes
Indigenous Athletes to Tokyo
- Ash Barty
- Angeline Blackburn
- Taliqua Clancy
- Thomas Grice
- Maurice Longbottom
- Patrick Mills
- Leilani Mitchell
- Brooke Peris
- Dylan Pietsch
- Stacey Porter
- Kyah Simon
- Tarni Stepto
- Brandon Wakeling
- Lydia Williams
- Mariah Williams
- Alex Winwood