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Top 10 athletes to watch at Tokyo Olympics

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TOKYO, July 23 (Xinhua) — Following are the top 10 athletes to watch at the Tokyo Olympic Games to be held from July 23 to August 8:

Athletics: Allyson Felix, United States

The 35-year-old Allyson is returning for her fifth and final Olympics. The American sprinter, who runs the 400m and 4x400m relay, has collected six Olympic gold medals and three silvers. She will make herself the most successful female athlete in history by adding more Olympic medals in Tokyo.

Badminton: Kento Momota, Japan

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Kento Momota will compete in his first Olympics on home soil. The 26-year-old holds the record for winning 11 men’s singles champions in one season in 2019. As the world No. 1, he is the top favorite for the men’s singles gold in Tokyo.

Gymnastics: Simone Biles, United States

With four Olympic golds and one bronze in hand, Biles will be hoping to leave her legacy as the most dominant female gymnast of all time. The 24-year-old will try to change the bronze from Rio to gold in balance beam in Tokyo.

Tennis: Novak Djokovic, Serbia

Fresh from securing his 20th Grand Slam title, Novak Djokovic will be focusing on his first-ever Olympic gold in Tokyo. In his past three Games, the Serbian won only a bronze medal in 2008. The 34-year-old will be a clear favorite with the absence of both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and reigning champion Andy Murray suffering injuries.

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Table Tennis: Fan Zhendong, China

Once a wonder kid, Fan Zhendong was picked as a substitute in Rio. The current world No. 1 will use his attacking style to prove himself in Tokyo. The 24-year-old is expected to help China sweep the men’s singles and team events.

Basketball: Kevin Durant, United States

The U.S. men’s team started the gold-winning streak in Beijing 2008. Two-time NBA champion and Olympian Kevin Durant will carry on the tradition to seek another Olympic gold medal in Tokyo. However, the team has only three players who competed at past Olympics. The 32-year-old has to exploit all his talents to lead the team to glory.

Football: Marta, Brazil

The 35-year-old Marta, who currently plays her club football in the United States, was named Ballon d’Or winner six times. She got the silver medals at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. As a Brazilian veteran forward, Marta is making her fifth appearance at the Olympics, and this could be her last Olympics. No wonder that she will strive for a gold in Tokyo, atoning for a disappointing fourth in Rio.

Volleyball: Zhu Ting, China

Having made her national team debut at the age of 18 in 2013, Zhu led Team China to win the Olympic gold in 2016 and became a volleyball superstar. As one of China’s flagbearers at the Tokyo Olympic Games opening ceremony, the 26-year-old is determined to retain the title in Tokyo.

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Swimming: Katie Ledecky, United States

Katie Ledecky, 24, will compete in her third Games with the hope of grabbing her sixth Olympic gold medal. She is expected to compete in multiple events, including the women’s 1500m, which makes its debut in Olympics. Ledecky could become the most successful female swimmer in the Olympic history, as she holds the Olympic records in the 400m and 800m freestyle, and the world record in the women’s 1500m freestyle.

Diving: Shi Tingmao, China

The 29-year-old won the gold medals in the individual and synchronized three-meter springboard in Rio. Shi was also named the Best Female Diver of the Year by FINA in five consecutive years from 2015 to 2019 after she won her third consecutive gold in the 3m springboard event at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships. The Olympic champion is keen to repeat her success in Tokyo.

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