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Age concern: Six stars for whom Olympics in 2021 may come too late

With the 2020 Olympics postponed till 2021, there are fears the delay will shatter the gold medal hopes of many ageing athletes.

AFP Sport seems at six evergreen stars for whom a delayed Tokyo Video games is perhaps a step too far.


The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who shall be 40 in August 2021, gained Olympic gold when he partnered Stan Wawrinka to the boys’s doubles title on the 2008 Beijing Video games. Federer was a quarter-finalist in singles in China, silver medallist in 2012 in London earlier than harm compelled him skip the 2016 Video games in Rio.

In Sydney, in 2000, Federer made the semi-finals in singles however he nonetheless remembers Australia fondly because it was the place the place he first began his romance with Mirka Vavrinec, who’s now his spouse.

“General it was in all probability probably the most unbelievable Olympics I ever had,” mentioned Federer, who was additionally Switzerland’s flag-bearer in Beijing and in Athens in 2004 the place he exited within the second spherical.


The US nice shall be 40 in September subsequent yr though her need to play in Tokyo may not be as urgent as that of Federer.

Williams already has 4 Olympic gold medals — singles at London in 2012 and girls’s doubles with sister Venus in 2000, 2008 in Beijing and London 4 years later.

The sisters misplaced their opening spherical match in Rio in 2016 whereas Serena’s gold medal defence within the singles was ended by Elina Svitolina within the third spherical.


Woods, who shall be 46 in December subsequent yr, would have struggled to make the US workforce for the Video games if that they had remained of their 2020 slot. He’s at present solely the sixth-ranked American with simply the highest 4 assured to make the squad.

Woods, the winner of 15 majors, has been combating a recurrence of a again harm so at the least the delay to 2021 for the Olympics provides him renewed hope of a golden swansong.

Organisers could be determined for Woods to play after he missed the return of golf on the 2016 Video games in Rio as a result of harm.


The colorful and controversial Chinese language badminton famous person shall be 37 by the point the following Video games roll round.

Lin already has gold from Beijing in 2008 and London 4 years later, including to his 5 world titles.

Nonetheless, there’s a trace of unfinished enterprise for Lin who was defeated within the bronze medal match in Rio in 2016 having been downed within the semi-finals by nice rival Lee Chong Wei, the person he had crushed within the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals.


The one feminine monitor and subject athlete in historical past to win six Olympic gold medals, Felix had spent the final two years making ready for a golden farewell on the Tokyo Olympics.

Felix, who turns 35 on the finish of this yr, shall be racing in opposition to Father Time as she makes an attempt to enhance her medal tally in what shall be her fifth consecutive Olympics look.

The American star can take consolation from the very fact she is on no account the oldest girl to chase Olympic glory in dash occasions. Merlene Ottey was 40 when she anchored Jamaica’s 4x100m relay workforce to a bronze medal in 2000.


Gatlin had deliberate to retire in 2020 after competing in his fourth Olympics on the age of 38. Nonetheless the controversial American star now plans to increase his profession with a purpose to compete within the rescheduled Tokyo Video games.

“I feel lots of people suppose that point is in opposition to me or in opposition to older athletes on this scenario, and it’s removed from the reality,” mentioned Gatlin, who has twice served suspensions for drug offences throughout his profession.

Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion, although may face a battle to even qualify given the depth of the US males’s sprinting squad, with Christian Coleman and Noah Lyles the favourites within the 100m and 200m.

…..However loads of time for this pair….

Syrian desk tennis participant Hend Zaza was set to grow to be the youngest athlete on the Tokyo Olympics – at simply 11 years previous.

She wouldn’t have been alone in Japan as skilled skateboarder Sky Brown – solely 5 months older – hoped to compete for Nice Britain.

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