Tokyo 2020 Olympics: The teenagers primed to star at next year's Games

By Sports Desk July 24, 2019

Just 12 months out from the 2020 Olympic Games, sport fans can look forward to seeing the world's top established athletes in action in Tokyo.

But stars will also be born when eyes are trained on Japan this time next year.

And a number of young prospects who will still be teenagers when the Olympics rolls around can already have their sights set on making a mark.

We look at five such talents to watch in Tokyo.

 

ARIARNE TITMUS

Titmus will only be 19 when the Games get under way, but she made waves at this year's World Aquatics Championships, beating the great Katie Ledecky in the 400 metre freestyle in Gwangju.

The Australian holds the short-course world record for the 400m freestyle and won four medals, three of them gold, at last year's Commonwealth Games.

With such pedigree at such a young age, Titmus should be firmly in contention for multiple medals in the pool.

SHAN LIN

China could have another diving superstar in their midst in the form of Lin, who starred at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games with victories in the 10m platform and 3m springboard.

She won world championship gold in the mixed team event in Gwangju this year and if she continues in this vein then plenty more medals will be coming the 17-year-old's way in Tokyo.

 

TOMOKAZU HARIMOTO

The hopes of the home nation in table tennis may rest on the young shoulders of Harimoto.

That should not daunt the 16-year-old, however, with Harimoto having already established himself as one of the world's best.

Ranked fourth in the world, Harimoto won gold at the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals last year and may take some stopping in his pursuit of Olympic glory with the home crowd behind him.

 

TAKEFUSA KUBO

Another who will be able to rely on the support of the home fans is Real Madrid's Japan international footballer Kubo.

The winger was previously on Barcelona's books, predictably encouraging comparisons to Lionel Messi, but he joined their great rivals Madrid from FC Tokyo in June.

Although he is likely to play for their second string, Kubo starred for Japan at the Copa America and then featured for Madrid's first team in the International Champions Cup.

With the Samurai Blue preparing a serious assault on the Olympics, Kubo - 19 this time next year - is set to be a key figure.

JAGGER EATON

Skateboarding will make its Olympic bow next year, and America's Eaton will have his sights set on making history with a medal in Tokyo.

The youngest ever X Games competitor having made his debut at 11, Eaton won silver in the street event in Minneapolis and Oslo in 2018 and is a genuine contender to go one better in Japan and become one of the first Olympic skateboarding champions.

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