FIVE weightlifters to watch out for at the Tokyo Olympics:
LAUREL HUBBARD (NEW ZEALAND)
Hubbard is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics. She is ranked No. 7 by the International Weightlifting Federation for Tokyo 2020 and has qualified for the women’s over-87kg category.
LASHA TALAKHADZE (GEORGIA)
Talakhadze won a gold at the 2016 Rio Games, completing a snatch of 215kg and a clean and jack of 258kg in the men’s heaviest bodyweight category with a world record total of 473kg.
SHI ZHIYONG (CHINA)
Shi, who won the men’s 69kg gold medal at Rio, holds the world record in men’s 73kg class in the snatch, clean and jerk and total. He broke the snatch world record at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in April and set the other two records in 2019.
LIDIA VALENTIN PEREZ (SPAIN)
Perez will be competing at her fourth Olympics after winning silver, gold, and bronze from the last three Games. She has spent most of her two-decade career in the 75kg.
HIDILYN DIAZ (PHILIPPINES)
At Rio, Diaz became the nation’s first woman to win an Olympic medal by grabbing silver in the 53kg category. The Tokyo Games will be her fourth and she could become the Philippines’s first gold medalist.
Diaz, who made a public plea for financial support to continue her career in 2019, won a gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in December of that year. She also won three gold medals at the Weightlifting World Cup event in Rome last year.
Five skateboarders to watch out for at the Tokyo Olympics:
NYJAH HUSTON (UNITED STATES)
A skateboarding prodigy who made his X Games debut when he was just 11, Huston is one of the most high-profile athletes in the sport with lucrative brand partnerships and more than 4.6 million followers on Instagram.
YUTO HORIGOME (JAPAN)
Yuto Horigome, 22, is ranked second in the world and won three out of four Street League Skateboarding (SLS) contests in 2018. Horigome grew up in Tokyo, but moved to California, the mecca of skateboarding, in 2016.
SKY BROWN (BRITAIN)
Twelve-year-old Sky Brown is expected to compete for Britain after recovering from a life-threatening fall last May.
KOKONA HIRAKI (JAPAN)
At 12, Hiraki is set to become Japan’s youngest athlete to compete in a summer Olympic Games. Hiraki is from Japan’s northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido and began skating with her father when she was just five.
MARGIELYN DIDAL (PHILIPPINES)
Didal, 22, made her debut at the 2018 X Games in Minneapolis and won gold at the Asian Games in the women’s street competition the same year.
Didal’s success has made her a national figure in the Philippines, where she started skating even though she had no access to a skate park or her own board.
Didal was selected as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential teens for 2018 for her contributions to the sport. — Reuters