HAMPSHIRE'S residents and popular Athletic clubs are well represented with athletes travelling to the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

The games were scheduled to take place last summer but could not go ahead following the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Although the virus is still rife in the Asian country, 11,000 athletes will gather to compete for the greatest prize many could achieve - Olympic gold. 

The opening ceremony will take place on Friday, with 16 days of events to seperate the winners. 

Let's take a look at Hampshire's Olympic links for Tokyo 2020: 

Maddie Hinch

Maddie Hinch MBE is a Southampton-born hockey goalkeeper who achieved critical acclaim in the 2016 Olympic Games, after saving all four penalties in a final shoot-out against world champions The Netherlands.

At 32-years-old, she will be hoping to add to that Olympic gold, and a prior European Championship gold she had won in 2015 representing England.

Daily Echo: Team GB's Maddie Hinch (Picture: Red Bull)Team GB's Maddie Hinch (Picture: Red Bull)

Eilidh McIntyre

Winchester-born Hayling Island resident Eilidh McIntyre is already a highly successful British sailor.

The 27-year-old has silver and gold medals in the 2017 and 2019 470 World Championships and will partner with Hannah Mills at this year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo – after the pair failed to qualify for the 2016 Games.

Tanya Watson

Southampton-born Tanya Watson became the first Irish female diver to qualify for an Olympic Games in May this year – after being primarily based at Southampton Diving Academy.

The 19-year-old booked her spot in Tokyo after landing a semi-final place in the 10m platform event at the Diving World Cup meeting in the Japanese capital.

Daily Echo:

Caragh McMurtry

Local rower Caragh McMurtry is competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo with the first race happening on Sunday 25th July (3.20am BST).

Caragh, 29, started rowing at age 11 through project Oarsome and was a member of Coalporters ARC in Northam, Southampton for a number of years before joining the Reading University team. She is competing in the women's eight.

James Heatly

Team GB diver James Heatly hails from Winchester and has represented GB at the European Championships and European Games.

It will be the 24-year-old’s first Olympics, though, and he will perform in the men’s 3m springboard – winning silver in the official Tokyo 2020 test event, the 2021 FINA Diving World Cup.

Steph Twell

British 10,000m champion Steph Twell will represent Team GB at her third Olympics – following Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

The 31-year-old, who trains with Aldershot, Farnham and District AC, will compete in the women’s marathon in Tokyo with the hopes of landing a first Olympic medal, to add to a couple of senior European Cross Country Championship golds.

Daily Echo:

Caleb Watts

Saints FC youngster Caleb Watts has been called up to the young Australian side, nicknamed ‘Olyroos’, by manager Graham Arnold for this year’s Games in Tokyo.

The 19-year-old midfielder has played for Saints first team on a handful of occasions and represented Australia, the country of his Grandparents and Dad, at youth level before, including an under-17s FIFA World Cup.

The Olyroos face stiff opposition from group members Argentina, Spain and Egypt in their search for gold.

Rebecca Muzerie

Also in the women’s eight is 31-year-old Rebecca Muzerie, born in Fareham. This is her first Olympic Games, with the rower having also been employed full-time as a social worker in the past.

After taking up rowing whilst studying at Cardiff University, she made her professional debut four years ago in 2017.

Charlie Elwes

Born in Andover, the 24-year-old has been selected to take part in the men’s 8 event.

Elwes is a gold winner at the 2021 European Rowing Championships and is hotly tipped for further success, following studying at Yale University, United States.

Declan Brooks

Portsmouth’s Declan Brooks has travelled to Tokyo to represent Team GB in the BMX Freestyle Park event, with a European bronze medal in 2019 his career highlight so far.

Brooks was among the first BMX freestyle park riders on to the Great Britain Cycling Team programme when the discipline's Olympic inclusion was announced in 2018.

Olivia Breen

Welsh Team GB Paralympian Olivia Breen is already a Paralympic medal winner after collecting 4x100m relay bronze at London 2012.

Guildford-born Breen represents City of Portsmouth at club level and has several gold medals to her name, including IPC World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

Despite being born with cerebral palsy, nothing has held Breen back.

Daily Echo:

Chris Thompson

Veteran long-distance runner Chris Thompson remarkably qualified for Tokyo at 39-years-old with victory in the Great Britain marathon trials at Kew Gardens, back in March.

Although born in Cumbria, Thompson represents Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletics Club.

After representing Team GB in London 2012, Thompson will be hoping to land a first Olympics Medal to add to his 2010 European Championships silver.

University links…

Pavlos Kontides

University of Southampton alumni Pavlos Kontides has become a national treasure in his home country of Cyprus, after becoming their first athlete to land an Olympic medal following silver at London 2012.

Kontides will compete in the men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser.

Alison Young

Another University of Southampton alumni, British sailor Alison Young placed fifth in the Laser Radial class event at London 2012, and will now compete again in Tokyo.