Paralympics 2020: Key athletes to watch

The Paralympic Games 2020 are well and truly underway in Tokyo and there are plenty of impressive sporting champs competing in this year's games – all of which are worthy of the spotlight.

This year, ParalympicsGB will have the highest ever percentage of female athletes competing in the games – and a number of them are realistic gold medal contenders.

But there will also be plenty of other impressive athletes talking part this year – of all genders and from all countries.

Here we break down a full list of the most exciting and impressive Paralympic athletes to keep your eye on this year.

Will Bayley – Para-table tennis

Despite getting a ligament injury whilst performing on Strictly Come Dancing, Will Bayley has managed to make a superb recovery in time for the Paralympic 2020 Games.

Born with arthrogryposis which which affects all four of his limbs – Bayley overcame cancer at the age of seven and has gone on to become an inspiring athlete to many.

Here's hoping he will find his form and defend his crown in Tokyo.

Key date: Aug 29 (final)

Gordon Reid – Wheelchair tennis

At 29 years old, Gordon is a Rio 2016 Paralympic singles gold medalist who also won a silver medal in the doubles event.

He begins these Games in a powerful position and has kept in fine form as the doubles pair competed in the last Grand Slam, winning all four majors in a row from the 2020 US Open to the 2021 Wimbledon Championships.

Key date: Sep 2 (singles final)

David Weir – Para-athletics

Six-time gold medallist Weir, now 42, will be keen for another Gold after leaving Rio in 2016 without a medal.

After starting his career at 17 years old in Atlanta, Weir has recently rediscovered his form in track racing, and has recently reached a new personal best in the 1500m this season.

Key date: Aug 31 (1,500m final)

Amy Conroy – Wheelchair Basketball

Amy is a key player in the team GB women's basketball team.

She narrowly missed a medal at the Rio Paralympics in 2016, but is now rising as a firm favourite and powerhouse within the sport.

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The Brits managed to make it to the semi-finals at the Rio Olympics, before being beaten by the USA.

Here's hoping that Amy and the team will bring home a medal this time around – they're certainly looking on good form!

Key date: Sep 4 (final)

Maisie Summers-Newton – Para-swimming

At just 19 – Maisie is already a formidable world, European champion and world record holder.

Maisie made her debut at the 2018 European Championships where she won a gold medal after beating her hero Ellie Simmonds.

She described it as "a bit surreal" to win against her idol.

Key date: Aug 26 (SM6 200m individual medley final)

Libby Clegg – Para-athletics

Libby managed to take home two Gold medals after Rio 2016.

The impressive athlete took time off the track, becoming a mother in 2019 – before shining on ITV's Dancing on Ice where she finished third.

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The Paralympics runs in Libby's blood, as her younger brother Stephen, partner Dan Powell, brother-in-law Marc and father in-law Terry have all competed too.

Key date: Sep 4 (200m final)

Jaco van Gass – Para-cycling

Jaco van Gass will compete in a mammoth five races on the track and the road for this year's tournament.

The 34-year-old moved started para cycling after he was hit by a grenade whilst serving in the Parachute Regiment in Afghanistan in 2009.

He has gone on to trek the North Pole with Prince Harry, won gold at the Invictus Games and become a downhill skier – as well as a Paralympic cyclist!

Key date: Aug 28 (mixed team sprint)

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