Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
2 minute read
23 Jul 2021
12:35 pm

Tokyo Olympics: By the numbers

Wesley Botton

Can you guess how many athletes will be taking part, or how many South African medallists from Rio are taking part?

A general view of the stadium prior to the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Friday. Picture: Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Billions of people around the world will have an eye on the Japanese capital over the next few weeks, with the 2020 Olympic Games officially opening in Tokyo on Friday.

Here’s a breakdown of the 29th edition of the quadrennial multi-sport showpiece in numbers.

1 – North Korea will be the only country with a National Olympic Committee that will not compete at the Games. Russian entrants will participate as “neutral athletes” due to restrictions placed on the country as part of an international doping ban.

2 – This is the second time Tokyo will host the Games, with the city having previously held the showpiece in 1964. The 1940 Olympics had also been scheduled for Tokyo but the event was cancelled due to World War II.

4 – New sports which will be held at the Olympics for the first time: climbing, karate, skateboarding and surfing.

5 – South African medallists at the 2016 Rio Games who will compete in Tokyo: Chad le Clos (swimming), Wayde van Niekerk (athletics), Henri Schoeman (triathlon), Lawrence Brittain (rowing) and the Blitzboks (rugby sevens).

16 – Sports to be contested by Team SA: athletics, aquatics, climbing, cycling, equestrian, football, golf, gymnastics, hockey, judo, rugby sevens, rowing, sailing, skateboarding, surfing and triathlon.

17 – Sports being held at the Games which will not be contested by the SA team: archery, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, canoeing, fencing, handball, karate, modern pentathlon, shooting, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling.

19 – Days of competition to be held. Some sports started on Wednesday, two days before Friday’s official opening ceremony, and the Games will conclude on Sunday, 8 August.

63 – Coaches, managers and technical assistants accompanying the SA team. The national contingent also includes 11 team officials and 19 medical staff.

183 – Athletes in the South African team. It is the largest ever squad to represent the country at the quadrennial Games.

205 – Countries that will be represented at the multi-sport spectacle.

613 – The largest national team at the Games, representing the United States. Host country Japan will have 552 athletes taking part.

11,100 – Athletes taking part in the Games, in all sports and disciplines.