THREE local athletes will be flying the flag for Bradford in Tokyo as they represent the UK at this year’s Olympic Games.

The athletes are all due to be heading out to Japan shortly for the Games, which are being held a year late due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Olympics begin on July 23, with Team GB taking its largest ever group of athletes for an overseas Games, with 376 athletes and 22 reserves travelling to Japan to represent the nation in 26 sports, with 53.5 per cent of the team being female.

It is the first time that Team GB has been a female-majority team, and two of those women hail from the Bradford area.

Representing Britain in her third Olympics will be Otley cyclist Lizzie Deignan who will be competing in road cycling.

Mrs Deignan, 32, is a two-time world champion road cyclist, and won a silver medal in the women’s road race at London 2012, while also coming tenth in the individual time trial.

In Rio 2016 she came in fifth place in the road race, and will be aiming to add to her medal tally on July 25.

She is in fine form, having won last year’s UCI Women’s World Tour, and also won this year’s Tour de Suisse Women, also topping the points and mountains classifications.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Lois Tolson won a World Cup silver in Tokyo in May. Pic: PALois Tolson won a World Cup silver in Tokyo in May. Pic: PA

The Bradford area’s other female representative is 21-year-old diver Lois Toulson from Cleckheaton.

Miss Toulson, who has won multiple European gold medals, will be competing in the 10m platform and 10m platform synchronised in Tokyo, looking to go a few places better than her fifth place in the synchro at Rio.

Alongside her diving partner Eden Cheng, they won silver at the Diving World Cup in Tokyo in May and will be hoping to follow that up with an Olympic medal on July 27, and then go for individual success on August 4/5.

Also hoping to go one better in Tokyo is 31-year-old Bingley Harrier Jonathan Brownlee, who will be representing Britain in the triathlon, which takes place on July 26.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Jonny Brownlee already has a silver and bronze, can he add a gold in Tokyo?Jonny Brownlee already has a silver and bronze, can he add a gold in Tokyo?

Brownlee, a former Bradford Grammar School student from Bramhope, won a bronze in London 2012 and silver in Rio 2016, so will be hoping to complete the set with a gold in Tokyo.

His has won numerous golds throughout his career but the Olympics has eluded him - mainly due to his elder brother Alistair taking the glory.

However, double Olympic champion Alistair was not selected for this year’s Games due to a lack of form. If Jonny can cross the line in first he will sign off a decade of dominance for the Brownlees in Olympic triathlon.

The Olympics take place from July 23 to August 8.