Swimmer Chad le Clos, taekwondo star Jade Jones and diver Tom Daley are among the ex-YOG athletes hoping to land medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
After highlighting some of the former Youth Olympic Games (YOG) athletes who are set to make their Olympic debuts in Tokyo, we turn our attention to the YOG graduates who have already tasted Olympic success, with their targets set on adding to their Olympic medal hauls in Japan.
Chad le Clos
South Africa, swimming
One of the best known YOG graduates, South African swimmer Chad le Clos went from winning five medals at Singapore 2010 to the top of the Olympic podium just two years later, as he beat his idol Michael Phelps in the 200m butterfly at London 2012. With his two silver medals at the Olympic Games Rio 2016, Le Clos became South Africa's most decorated Olympian ever with four medals – one gold, three silver – and will be eager to add to his collection in Tokyo.
The South African, who stunned Michael Phelps at London 2012, believes he'll reclaim the title at Tokyo 2020, and told us ahead of the FINA World Championships that he wants to compete in the 2024 and maybe 2028 Olympics too.
Great Britain, taekwondo
Following gold medals at the Olympic Games London 2012 and Rio 2016, Great Britain’s Jade Jones will be fighting to become taekwondo’s first three-time Olympic champion in Tokyo. Whether she makes more history on the mat in Tokyo’s Makuhari Messe or not, it’s clear that the 2019 world champion, 2016, 2018 and 2021 European champion and 2015 European Games champion has already fulfilled the promise she showed as a 17-year-old at Singapore 2010, when she won Great Britain’s first gold medal at the inaugural YOG.
Relive one of the greatest Olympic Moments from the London Summer Olympic Games in 2012 and watch as Jade Jones wins gold for the host Great Britain in the women's taekwondo featherweight final. Hou Yuzhuo from China takes home silver
Chinese Taipei, weightlifting
With four world titles, five Asian Championship gold medals, an Asian Games crown and 11 world records to her name, there is little that Kuo Hsing-chun hasn’t achieved in her incredible weightlifting career. But Olympic gold has so far eluded the 27-year-old, who won bronze at Rio 2016 and silver at the YOG Singapore 2010. Having set her latest world records at the Asian Championships in April – when she snatched 110kg to break the previous record of Choe Hyo-sim (PRK) by 3kg, and then lifted 137kg in the clean and jerk to beat her own total world record by 1kg – Kuo will head to Tokyo full of confidence that she can finally top the Olympic podium.
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The men’s pole vault is set to be one of the most highly anticipated events of Tokyo 2020, with defending champion Thiago Braz set to battle it out with world record holder Armand Duplantis (SWE), two-time world champion Sam Kendricks (USA) and 2012 Olympic gold medallist Renaud Lavillenie (FRA) in a hugely talented field. Braz, who won silver at the YOG Singapore 2010 before thrilling Brazilian fans with the host nation’s only gold medal in athletics at Rio 2016, will certainly have his work cut out to defend his title. But the 27-year-old will be hoping that he can spring another surprise, as he did when clinching gold in Rio with a new Olympic record of 6.03m.
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Great Britain, diving
Tom Daley was already an Olympian when he competed at the inaugural YOG in Singapore in 2010, having been part of the British diving team as a 14-year-old at the Olympic Games Beijing 2008. Since then, Daley has enjoyed a hugely successful career that has included two Olympic bronze medals and two individual world titles. An Olympic gold remains the dream of the 27-year-old, who has been in excellent form in the build-up to Tokyo 2020, winning both the individual 10m platform title and the 10m synchro title (alongside partner Matty Lee) at the FINA Diving World Cup in April, which was held in the Tokyo Aquatics Centre that will host events at the Games.
British diver Tom Daley was causing a media frenzy just before his Olympic debut in 2008, but his late father Rob was keeping him grounded.
Australia, canoe slalom
Slalom canoeist Jessica Fox will be competing in her third Olympic Games in Tokyo, as she bids to add to the K1 silver she won at London 2012 and the bronze in the same event at Rio 2016. The 27-year-old – whose seven overall World Cup titles and seven World Championship gold medals across C1 and K1 make her the most successful canoe slalom paddler of all time – will be contesting both the K1 and the C1 events in Tokyo, as the women’s C1 makes its debut on the Olympic programme, offering two chances to add an elusive Olympic gold medal to her impressive collection.
Relive the greatest Olympic Moments from the Rio Summer Olympic Games in 2016 and watch as Maialen Chourraut wins gold for Spain in the women's canoe K-1 slalom final. Luuka Jones wins silver for New Zealand and Jessica Fox claims bronze for Australia
YOG Singapore 2010 gold medallist Marloes Keetels was part of the Dutch hockey team that was bidding for a third successive Olympic title five years ago at Rio 2016, eventually falling agonisingly short as they lost the gold medal game to Great Britain in a penalty shootout. Since then, the all-conquering Netherlands have won the 2018 World Cup, the 2019 and 2020/21 editions of the FIH Pro League, the 2018 Champions Trophy and three successive EuroHockey Nations Championships, with Keetels establishing herself as a key member of the team.
2016 Getty Images