Tokyo Olympics 2020: 5 athletics events with clear-cut gold medal favorites

Ryan Crouser looks set to defend his Olympic title at the Tokyo Olympics 2020
Ryan Crouser looks set to defend his Olympic title at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Athletics at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will be one of the most sought-after disciplines for all fans. Over the years, the popularity of athletics has increased exponentially due to the likes of Usain Bolt, Carl Lewis, and Michael Johnson.

At the Tokyo Olympics, athletics will have 48 gold medals on offer for the participants. All the athletes will give their absolute best to win that coveted gold medal in their particular event.

However, there are certain events where a few athletes have already stamped their dominance. With 30 odd days left for athletics action to begin at the Tokyo Olympics, these athletes are the hot favorites to finish at the top of the podium.

Let's have a look at five such athletes who will be the clear gold medal favorites in their events in Tokyo next month.

Ryan Crouser (men's shot put, USA)

The men's shot put at the Olympics has always been a very competitive event. But this time around, the men's shot put world record holder Ryan Crouser has been in a league of his own in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics.

Ryan Crouser, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist, obliterated the previous men's shot put world record of Randy Barnes (23.12 meters) at the current US Olympic Trials with a massive throw of 23.37 meters.

The men's shot put had become a very competitive event since the 2016 Olympics. At the 2019 World Championships, we saw the likes of Joe Kovacs of the USA, Tom Walsh of New Zealand and Ryan Crouser going head to head with Kovacs taking the gold medal with a massive 22.91 meters throw. In the same final, Crouser and Walsh had thrown the 7.26 kg iron ball to the same distance of 22.90 meters to win silver and bronze medals respectively.

However, the graph of Walsh and Kovacs has dipped since then while Crouser has been on his way up. Only a major upset could hamper his title chance at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Johannes Vetter (Men's Javelin Throw, Germany)

The 2017 world champion Johannes Vetter has been one of the best performers of 2021 across all events. He, too, has been in a league of his own heading towards the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Johannes Vetter has been throwing over 90 meters quite consistently this season with his best throw being 96.29 meters.

No other athlete has even breached the 90-meter mark in 2021. Marcin Krukowski of Poland has the 2nd best throw of the season at 89.55 meters. Javelin throwers like Neeraj Chopra and Keshorn Walcott have been consistent this season but no one has come close to matching Vetter's standards.

With the likes of Thomas Rohler, Andreas Hoffman and Magnus Kirt not showing up this season, it seems that Vetter will go unchallenged at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Yulimar Rojas (Women's Triple Jump, Venezuela)

The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist in the women's triple jump, Yulimar Rojas, has been the most consistent of all athletes in her division since 2017. She has been impossible to beat since losing to Caterine Ibarguen of Colombia at the 2016 Olympics.

Yulimar Rojas won a gold medal at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships. She has been chasing Inessa Kravets' world record of 15.50 meters for a long time. She currently holds the indoor world record in the women's triple jump at 15.43 meters.

Rojas equalled her own mark of 15.43 meters outdoors as well earlier this season. The 2nd best mark of 2021 belongs to Shanieka Ricketts of Jamaica at 14.98 meters. Looking at the numbers, it seems that Yulimar Rojas is all set to win her first Olympic title at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Armand Duplantis (men's Pole Vault, Sweden)

21-year-old Armand "Mondo" Duplantis has been on a world record-breaking spree in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics 2020. He is the highest-ranked track and field athlete in the world today across all events with 1515 points.

In 2020, Duplantis broke Renaud Lavillenie's world record of 6.16 meters, when he jumped over the bar placed at 6.17 meters. Later, he bettered his own world record by jumping at 6.18 meters. Both of his world record marks were achieved indoors. Duplantis also broke the outdoor world record in 2020 when he jumped over the bar placed at 6.15 meters at the Rome Diamond League.

Although there are many talented pole vaulters on the circuit currently, including the likes of Sam Kendricks of the USA and veteran Renaud Lavillenie of France, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 title looks well and truly destined to head to Duplantis.

Trayvon Bromell (Men's 100 meters, USA)

When Usain Bolt retired in 2017, many thought that the men's 100-meter event would become a lot more of an open affair at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. However, with the emergence of Trayvon Bromell, this opinion has been put to rest.

2021 has been absolutely flawless for Bromell. He has not lost a single 100 meters race this season and has a world-leading time of 9.77 seconds.

Bromell is the complete opposite of Usain Bolt as far as physique goes. He is quite diminutive and stands at 1.73 meters. If nothing untoward happens next month, Bromell should win the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

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Edited by Diptanil Roy
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