Eleven Surrey residents are heading to Japan in the hope of securing Olympic glory.
The Games were originally due to be held in 2020, but as a consequence of the globally disruptive Covid-19 Pandemic, they were pushed back to this summer.
The opening ceremony took place on Friday (July 23), with Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka lighting the Olympic flame.
The Olympics will feature no overseas spectators and in recent days with new variants seen across Tokyo all spectators have been banned.
Over 11,000 competitors from across 206 countries will still head to Tokyo to compete in the games.
Here are the athletes who were either born or live in Surrey who are taking part, their Twitter and Instagram handles and a bit about them.
Jacob Peters (@Jac0bP2000 / @jacobpeters_)
Born on 20 August 2000 in Guildford, the 20-year-old is making his Olympic debut in Tokyo after an impressive junior career that has seen him tipped for things from a young age.
The butterfly swimmer was part of the England team that took Commonwealth silver in the 4x100m medley relay in Gold Coast in 2018 before he won a gold medal at the European Championships in Glasgow in the same year
Posting on his Instagram yesterday Peters said: “I can’t wait to show the world what I’ve got.”
James Gall (@jamesgall26 / @jamesgall26)
Born in Frimley on 20 May 1995, Gall made his debut in Hockey when the England team picked up Commonwealth bronze in 2018.
The 26-year-old was educated at Cranleigh School and plays as a midfielder for Surbiton and the England and Great Britain national teams.
In 2015, Gall was with friends at Surbiton Hockey Club when he slipped and fell 15 feet through a skylight on a flat roof. He was put in an induced coma for two days and kept in the ICU for a week and described himself as lucky to survive.
Alex Matthews (@AlexMatthews03 / @a.matthews06)
Matthews was born in Camberley on 3 August 1993 and made her debut for England in 2011 positioned as loose forward and later became a member of the winning 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup squad.
She briefly played for the England 7s team in 2013 and 2014. The 27-year-old had to pull out of the 2016 Olympic squad due to an illness and injury.
After switching back to the 7s again in 2018 to take bronze at the Commonwealth Games, later requalifying for England and Team GB at the Rugby 7’s competition at Tokyo 2020.
Posting on her Instagram this morning, Matthews said she was “prepped and ready to go.”
Isabelle Petter ( @izzypetter / @izzypetter )
Petter was born on 27 June 2000 in Cranleigh and stormed onto the international Hockey scene in 2019 when she scored a maiden goal for Great Britain against Germany in the FIH Pro League.
Petter later scored once again against Belarus at the European Championships. After taking another goal at the Olympic qualifiers she helped book her place at Tokyo 2020.
Signing off on Instagram before the games begin, the 21-year-old said: “Thank you so much for all the support, we will do our best to do you all proud.”
Jessie Knight (@Jessie_Knight / @jessieknight400)
Knight was born in Epson on 15 June 1994 and is making her Olympic debut in Tokyo this year.
Whilst working as a school teacher, the 27-year-old decided to give sport another go after pausing training for studies. In 2019, she paired with coach Marina Armstrong and her victory at both the 2020 British Indoor and Outdoor Athletics Championships over 400m and 4000m hurdles put her on the pathway to Tokyo.
Knight was one of the six Team GB athletes forced to self isolate on arrival into Tokyo after coming into close contact with a passenger with Covid-19 on their flight.
Oliver Wynne-Griffith (@olliewg1994 / @olliewg1994)
Born on 29 May 1994 in Guildford, Wynne-Griffith is set to make his Olympic rowing debut this year.
Five years after taking up rowing, Wynne-Griffith’s won bronze at the World Rowing Junior Championships before making his senior debut at the 2017 World Rowing Cup.
The 27-year-old formed part of the men’s eight for the 2018 and 2019 seasons and has won three World Cup silvers, a European silver, two World Championship bronzes and a World Cup gold.
Liam Heath (@Liam_Heath / @Heath_Liam)
Born in Guildford on 17 August 1984, Heath became Team GB’s most successful Olympic canoeist after taking his personal medal tally to three at Rio in 2016.
After winning bronze at London in 2012, Heath and his canoeing partner Jon Schofield gained the silver medal in the men’s K2 200m in Rio and Heath picked up a gold medal for his victory in the K1 200m final.
Heath went on to regain his K1 200m world title in 2019 to secure his place at Tokyo 2020.
Andy Murray (@andy_murray / @andymurray)
While not strictly Surrey born and bred, Murray was born on 15 May 1987 in Dunblane, Scotland but he currently resides in Oxshott.
The two time Wimbledon winner, is the only men’s tennis player in Olympic history to win two singles gold medals and he is bidding for a third at Tokyo this year.
Murray comfortably beat Roger Federer for gold at London 2012 and later defended his Olympic title at Rio in 2016 by beating Juan Martin Del Potro and finished the year ranked number one in the world.
Murray also has an Olympic silver medal in the mixed doubles, which he won alongside Laura Robson in 2012.
James Woodgate (james_woodgate_)
Born in Woking on 29 May 2002, Woodgate is the youngest member of the GB Archery squad in Tokyo.
Having initially been named as a standby a year ago, Woodgate has benefited from the Games being pushed back as he has now earned his spot in the full team.
The 19-year-old took up Archery at the age of seven and quickly progressed and was nominated for the Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme (TASS).
By 2020, Woodgate earned his Olympic Qualification – a year after he broke the world record for Double 60 metres Round 2×72 arrows Outdoor Recurve Cadet Men.
Alicia Wilson (@AliciaMWilson1 / AliciaWilson2000)
Wilson resides in Tadworth but was born in Guildford on 5 March 2000. She won gold and silver at the Commonwealth Youth Games as well as bronze at the European Junior Championships back in 2017.
Her 200m IM title ended Britain’s four-year wait for a World University Games gold in 2019, while a lifetime best at the 2021 British Swimming Selection Trials saw Wilson secure an Olympic spot in Tokyo where she’ll compete in the swimming medley.
Toby Penty (@TobyPenty / @tobypenty1)
Born on 12 August 1992 in Walton-on-Thames, Penty is making his Olympic debut in Tokyo as Team GB’s brightest star in men’s singles badminton.
The left-hander has over 200 wins to his name and is highly decorated at European level, winning silver in the Team European Championships in both 2014 and 2018.
Penty was diagnosed with alopecia in 2018 but he hasn’t let it stop him from competing at the highest level.
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