Tokyo 2021 #1YearToGo

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New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) chief executive Kereyn Smith says the country is "on track" to send a team of more than 200 athletes to Tokyo 2020, which would be its biggest ever contingent at an Olympic Games.

The Silver Ferns sent 199 athletes to Rio 2016 and 29 have so far been officially confirmed as on the plane to Tokyo, provided the rearranged Games goes ahead as scheduled from July 23 to August 8 2021.

"At the moment, around 187 quota spots have been either won by individuals or New Zealand teams,” Smith said, as reported by Stuff.

"That still stands at the moment and there is still the possibility for some other athletes to qualify, provided their events take place as scheduled.

"We anticipate that might be, say, 20 to 30 maximum so we would be anticipating an Olympic team of around 200 to 220.

"It’s just uncertain how qualification events that are scheduled, whether they are able to take place in the manner that’s planned.

"What we know is the quotas that have been earned by New Zealand or by specific athletes are remaining.

"So those people can be comforted by the fact they’ve got a spot.

"It’s just the balance of other athletes at the moment we’re working through."

Smith said she was confident of Tokyo 2020 going ahead on its scheduled dates in 2021 adding: "We are confident things will go ahead.

"It’s not ‘if there’s an Olympic Games’, it’s ‘what will they look like?’ That’s where we’re at. So we’re really optimistic about that."

In total, the New Zealand team for Tokyo 2020 is expected to be around 450 including support staff.

Speaking about the planning that was currently going on she added: "We know it’s unlikely that we’ll have to quarantine when we go into Japan, so hopefully we can go into a facility that we’ll be able to manage physical activity and health, but continue training.

"That will be important anyway, because the heat factor is quite significant.

"For us coming from New Zealand, where we’ve been very fortunate to pretty much continue on our life and our training, we’re quickly going to have to adapt and come to understand what that competition environment will look like.

"There’s a lot of things we have to think through around physical distancing, Personal Protection Equipment, all of the measures that are being talked about in general will be part of sport as we know it for the foreseeable future.

"We’ve just got to roll with it."

At Rio 2016, New Zealand won 18 medals - a tally that consisted of four golds, nine silvers and five bronzes.

Two of the country's golds came in rowing courtesy of Hamish Bond and Eric Murray in the men's coxless pair and Mahe Drysdale in the men's single sculls.

The remaining two gold medallists were canoeist Lisa Carrington in the women's K1 200 metres and Peter Burling and Blair Tuke in the men's 49er sailing.

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