— Published 5 July 2021

Australia will rely on women


The sanitary crisis does not seem to have had too negative an impact on the preparation of Australian athletes. The National Olympic Committee (AOC) has announced that the delegation to the Tokyo Games will include 472 athletes, the highest number since the Athens Games in 2004 (482). In Japan, Australia will be represented by 254 women and 218 men in 33 sports. Its delegation will include the highest number of women in history, reaching 53.5%. The previous record dated back to the 2016 Games, when the number of female athletes exceeded the number of men for the first time (50.90%). Ian Chesterman, the chef de mission, explained that the Australian Olympic Committee had not set a medal target. “Given the events of the past 18 months, this is the best approach,” he suggested. “For many of our athletes, getting to the line will already be a form of achievement.” The delegation will include 16 Aboriginal athletes, including tennis player Ashleigh Barty. It will also include the oldest Olympian, 66-year-old Mary Hanna, competing in the equestrian dressage event.