The Road to Tokyo 2020: A week in quotes

Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain celebrates after crossing the finish line during the Men's Triathlon at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Alistair Brownlee of Great Britain celebrates after crossing the finish line during the Men's Triathlon at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Athletes around the world have been busying themselves with less than a year to go while some nations have allowed training complexes to open and others even giving the green light for competitive action to start.

Tokyo 2020 has been speaking to several athletes whose journey to the Olympic and Paralympic Games is slowly gathering pace.

What is the new triathlon mixed relay?

Cassandre Beaugrand of France shake hands with her team mate at the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships during the Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon in 2019 (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Cassandre Beaugrand of France shake hands with her team mate at the ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships during the Hamburg Wasser World Triathlon in 2019 (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
2019 Getty Images

I feel a lot of adrenaline in mixed relay.

We don’t have it when we run alone.

Triathlon is set to have a new discipline at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year: the mixed relay. The race could be a potential fan favourite as it's fast, furious and well...exhausting. But what's involved with this newest Olympic discipline?

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In the athletics' backstage

Maurren Higa Maggi of Brazil celebrates after her victory in the Women's Long Jump Final with coach Nelio Moura at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Maurren Higa Maggi of Brazil celebrates after her victory in the Women's Long Jump Final with coach Nelio Moura at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images)
2008 Getty Images

The Olympics are a different world.

Of course, the stress you feel is tremendous, even when you succeed.

Nelio Alfano Moura is one of the most sought-after athletics coach who has trained some of the world's elite jumpers for the Olympic stage. As a coach, he makes the world's best not only better at their game, but mentally stronger.

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Tom Vanhove: Rising to the top

Tom Vanhove (no.6) and The Belgium team celebrate their victory during the Men's Group B Goalball match between Belgium and Canada on day 1 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Tom Vanhove (no.6) and The Belgium team celebrate their victory during the Men's Group B Goalball match between Belgium and Canada on day 1 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
2012 Getty Images

We are not the biggest country - we don't have always the best skilled players maybe but we are learning.

Success hasn't been easy for Belgian's national goalball team but captain Tom Vanhove is aiming to keep his side's winning streak going through to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

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Rani Rampal: 'Fitness has brought a sea of changes to our team'

Sjoerd Marijne of India and Rani Rampal of India wave to the fans during the Pool B game between India and USA of the 2018 FIH Womens Hockey World Cup at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Sjoerd Marijne of India and Rani Rampal of India wave to the fans during the Pool B game between India and USA of the 2018 FIH Womens Hockey World Cup at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
2018 Getty Images

To be able to qualify for the Games in our country, and to be the one to score the winning goal, it feels great.

Indian women’s hockey team captain, Rani Rampal, who was the recent recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award – the highest sporting honour in the country, spoke in detail on what role fitness played in her team’s rise in recent years, and also, how she coped with the loss at the Rio 2016 Games.

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FUJITA Yoshikazu: Professional Rugby Player Venturing to Inspire Children

Fujita Yoshikazu of Japan during a match against Wales at the 2019 London Sevens
Fujita Yoshikazu of Japan during a match against Wales at the 2019 London Sevens
(c)JRFU

One of my dreams as a professional athlete is to inspire children to pursue their dreams

Rugby 7s player FUJITA Yoshikazu is hoping to inspire the next generation whether that's by uploading YouTube videos or hosting online rugby classes. He's also has big hopes for Japan at the Olympic Games next year, including a place on the podium.

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Faith Kipyegon: "I want to defend my title before I shift to 5,000"

Faith Kipyegon of Kenya celebrates victory in the Women's 1000m during the Monaco 2020 Diamond League meeting on August 14, 2020 (Photo by Eric Gaillard/Pool via Getty Images)
Faith Kipyegon of Kenya celebrates victory in the Women's 1000m during the Monaco 2020 Diamond League meeting on August 14, 2020 (Photo by Eric Gaillard/Pool via Getty Images)
2020 Pool

Hopefully I want to defend my title before I shift to 5,000m...

I want to defend my title in the 2021 Olympics and hopefully I will do my best.

Faith Kipyegon is on track to defend her Rio 2016 1,500m crown after coming tantalisingly close to breaking world record snot just once, but twice in the past month. However, Tokyo 2020 could be the last time the Kenyan star runs at her current distance.

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Yasmani Acosta: The Cuban who shines in Chile

Yasmani Acosta from Chile after fighting against Mykola Kuchmii from Ukraine at the World Olympic Wrestling Championships in Paris in August 2017
Yasmani Acosta from Chile after fighting against Mykola Kuchmii from Ukraine at the World Olympic Wrestling Championships in Paris in August 2017
Martin Gabor

I have given up many things to go to the Olympics, starting with being away from my country, my mother and my brother.

But my dream is now closer than ever.

After years of trying to represent his native Cuba, Yasmani Acosta made the tough decision to compete for Chile. Thrown into the deep end, the wrestler has overcome many barriers to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

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Time for Greg Polychronidis golden run

Grigorios Polychronidis of Greece competes in the Boccia - Mixed Pairs - BC3 Bronze Medal Match during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
Grigorios Polychronidis of Greece competes in the Boccia - Mixed Pairs - BC3 Bronze Medal Match during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games (Photo by Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images)
2016 Getty Images

I believe it's not the medal that is important but

it's what you can do when you win the medal

It wasn't until the 2018 World Championships that Greg Polychronidis won his first individual gold medal. It was a moment the Greek boccia player and four-time Paralympian longed to experience. However, there is much more to winning a gold medal.

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YAMADA Eri: Hoping to Express Gratitude and Give Courage

Yamada Eri # 11 celebrates Japan's 3-1 win against the United States during the women's gold medal softball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Yamada Eri # 11 celebrates Japan's 3-1 win against the United States during the women's gold medal softball game at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey / Getty Images)

When the Olympic flame arrived in Japan in March,

I was suddenly struck with a sense of reality and the pressure of having to produce results, which also made me a little nervous.

YAMADA Eri helped Japan to victory in softball at the Beijing 2008 Games and 12 years on, the now captain, is aiming for another gold medal at Tokyo 2020.

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