Meet the Olympians from east London and Brentwood

A general view of Olympic Rings outside The Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan.

Athletes from east London and Brentwood are taking part in Tokyo 2020. Pictured is The Olympic Stadium in the Japanese capital. - Credit: PA

Team GB athletes have so far gained 24 medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, including six golds.

Competitors hail from up and down the country, with east London and Essex contributing its own share of elite sportsmen and women to the team.

Here we salute those who were either born or live in Hackney, Newham, Havering and Brentwood. 

Sarah Bettles

The Harold Wood archer received a bronze medal at the World Championships in 2019, followed by gold at the European Games in Minsk.


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During the darkest days of the coronavirus pandemic, Bettles regularly trekked up the M1 as she balanced training at Archery GB’s Lilleshall base, finding a house in Telford and domestic life in Essex.

At Tokyo 2020, the 28-year-old made her Olympic debut.

James Gall

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A member of the men's hockey team, Gall is from Brentwood.

The 26-year-old was called up in 2017, going on to become a key component of the midfield for both England and Great Britain.

In his first tournament, he helped Great Britain win a Sultan Azlan Shah Cup gold medal for the first time.

With England, he went on to win bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and played at the World Cup in the same year.

But it could have been much different for the youngster, who fractured his skull and spine in a freak accident in 2015.

However, he fought back to become one of the most reliable and gritty players in the team with a long international future ahead of him, according to England Hockey.

Tao Geoghegan Hart

Great Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart

Tao Geoghegan Hart is from Hackney. - Credit: Bradley Collyer/PA

Cycling pro Hart is from Hackney. In 2017, he became a permanent member of Team Sky and went on to win the 2020 Giro d'Italia as part of Ineos Grenadiers.

The 26-year-old is competing in his first Olympics, representing Team GB in the men’s road race and time trial along with his Ineos teammate Geraint Thomas.

Harry Glover

From Canning Town, this former Rokeby School pupil formed part of Team GB's men's rugby sevens team.

The 25-year-old has played professional rugby union for Carcassonne, Stade Francais and Wasps.

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake

Great Britain's Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (centre) celebrates winning silver in the Men's 200m Final

Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake celebrates winning silver in the men's 200m final at the 2018 European Athletics Championships. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Born in Canning Town, men's 200m runner Mitchell-Blake is due to make his second appearance at an Olympic Games. 

In his first outing, the 27-year-old reached the semi-finals of the 200m.

In Tokyo, the Newham-born speedster is to compete in the 200m and form part of Team GB’s 4x100 relay team.

In 2017, Mitchell-Blake was part of the 4x100m relay team that claimed World Championship gold.

He was also part of the quartet that took silver in Doha at the 2019 World Championships.

Team GB credits Mitchell-Blake and his 4x100m running mates with "a real chance" of bringing home a relay medal from Tokyo 2020.

Noah Williams

Talented young diver Noah Williams

Talented young diver Noah Williams is from Hackney. - Credit: LBH

The 21-year-old Hackney diver was introduced to the sport after being given a flyer for Crystal Palace Diving Club while at primary school.

Since then, Williams has become an established part of the British diving team, according to Team GB.

Williams won silver at both the 2018 Commonwealth Games and European Championships in partnership with Matthew Dixon.

In 2019, he made his World Championships debut in Gwangju, South Korea, before picking up three medals at the European Championships.

In Tokyo, Williams will go it alone competing in the 10m platform dive.

In 2015, he was among those to benefit from Hackney Council’s Youth Sports Fund.

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