Two tennis legends are out, and many of the greats of the past few years in athletics are not in Tokyo. The football tournament is poorly attended anyway – this is especially true for the German team.
The Olympic Games are considered to be the highlight of a four-year cycle that most sports are eagerly working towards. Accordingly, numerous stars cavort at the summer games, and that will also be the case in Tokyo in 2021.
But many of the scene’s superstars will stay away from the world’s largest sports festival – for a variety of reasons.
FEDERER & NADAL: Like hardly any other rival duo, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have shaped world sport over the past 15 years. There will be no further tennis duel in Tokyo, because both canceled their participation. “I found the atmosphere that every athlete should feel at least once,” said Nadal, who also canceled Wimbledon and now wants to celebrate his comeback in the USA in August. Federer, who turns 40 on the final day of the Tokyo Games, justified his end with renewed knee problems.
The duo, which together have booked 40 Grand Slam titles, are not alone in this. The American Serena Williams (23 Grand Slams) and the former Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber from Germany will also not take part in the tournament. Serbian star player Novak Djokovic, on the other hand, is there and has the chance to win the “Golden Slam”, which includes all four Grand Slams and Olympic gold in one season.
82 GERMAN FOOTBALLERS: Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels and many other German footballers were traded as Olympic candidates for Germany long before the Games. In the end, Stefan Kuntz couldn’t even fill the 22 management positions. “We had to make a 100 list in January. We have phoned all of the players on this list. Those 18 are left, ”said a frustrated coach. For him this is “not an optimal sign. There is probably no other sport in which all possible management positions are not filled. ” Max Kruse and Maximilian Arnold are the top professionals on the team. For comparison: Spain is sending six athletes from its EM semi-final team.
100 METER WORLD CHAMPION: The fastest sprinter in the world is not allowed to take part. The American Christian Coleman, who won gold over the 100 meters at the 2019 World Cup in Doha, missed three doping tests in one year and was then banned. The fact that the ban by the CAS International Court of Sports was shortened from 24 to 18 months did not help the 25-year-old for the high point of the year.
Sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson is also not there after consuming cannabis. The US federation refrained from nominating the athlete who had actually qualified in sports. Because the gold candidate then tested positive for the substance THC contained in marijuana, her success at the trials in Eugene was canceled and she was suspended for 30 days.
GOLF LEGEND: Tiger Woods’ collection of titles is endless. The Masters, the US Open, the PGA Championship: the 45-year-old has won all of these titles several times. What he still lacks is gold at the Olympics. It won’t be anything in 2021, because Woods is not back after his serious car accident in February, and was most recently absent from the British Open.
GERMAN GOLD WINNERS: In Brazil they gave the German athletes the only victories, in Japan they are not even there: Discus thrower Christoph Harting and javelin thrower Thomas Röhler cannot repeat their Olympic gold medals. The 31-year-old Harting – Robert Harting’s younger brother – is only a substitute due to performance, while Röhler (29) had back problems in between.
OLYMPIC HEROES: Anyone who has followed the Summer Olympics since Beijing does not know the competitions without the sprinter Usain Bolt and the swimmer Michael Phelps. In 2008, 2012 and 2016 the duo shaped the competitions. The American secured a total of 23 gold medals and is miles ahead of all the competition in the all-time medal table, none of which has even had a double-digit number of gold medals. Bolt won the triple three times (100, 200 and 4×100 meters), with a title from Beijing subsequently being revoked because teammate Nesta Carter was convicted of doping.
Tokyo 2021 will actually rise without Phelps and Bolt, both of whom have since ended their careers. The now 36-year-old American swimmer stopped right in the Rio year, Jamaica’s superstar Bolt (35) hung on the untitled World Cup in London in 2017 and then left the big stage.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210720-99-445892 / 2