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Six Paralympic champions named in GB team for Tokyo

The remaining squad members will be announced on July 21.

Six reigning Paralympic champions have been named in the first wave of para athletes who will represent Great Britain at the Tokyo Games later this summer.

Hollie Arnold, Jo Butterfield, Hannah Cockroft, Aled Davies, Sophie Hahn and Richard Whitehead were all gold medallists in Rio five years ago and will help spearhead the ParalympicsGB team in Japan.

Para athletics head coach Paula Dunn said: "It has been a long wait for these athletes, but this is a significant milestone in their career, so I hope they savour this moment and reflect on their achievement so far and use it to fuel them in the final few weeks of preparation for the Games.

"I am proud of how these athletes have conducted themselves over the last year or so under very challenging circumstances.

"They have kept their focus on their goals in a year like no other, and I wish them all the best over these final few weeks of preparation prior to the Games. I am looking forward to seeing how they all perform out in Tokyo."

The other six athletes named in the first wave of selection are Kare Adenegan, Jonathan Broom-Edwards, Sabrina Fortune, Maria Lyle, Andrew Small and Thomas Young.

Cockroft heads to Tokyo in form, having lowered her own world records in the women's T34 100 metres, 200m, 400m and 800m in Switzerland in May.

Whitehead and Davies – who will each be participating in their third Games – will compete in the T61 200m and F63 shot put respectively.

Aled Davies will defend his shot put title in Tokyo
Aled Davies will defend his shot put title in Tokyo (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Arnold is on course for her fourth appearance at a Paralympic Games and will aim to defend her F46 javelin title from Rio.

Hahn won gold in the T38 100m in Brazil and will be aiming to retain her crown in Tokyo, as will F51 club throw champion Butterfield.

ParalympicsGB chef de mission Penny Briscoe said: "It's a great pleasure to welcome such talented athletes to the ParalympicsGB team with just over 60 days to go before the Games get under way in Tokyo.

"This tremendous group of athletes from both track and field has already shown great ability on the global stage, including gold and silver medal-winning performances at the last World Championships.

"I am in no doubt that their talent and experience will stand them in great stead at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and I look forward to joining them on that journey."

The remainder of the squad will be announced on July 21, British Athletics said. The Tokyo Games begin on August 24.

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A general view of Olympic rings following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in front of the Japan Olympics Museum in Tokyo, Japan March 24, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States19201352
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151238
Great BritainGreat Britain9101231
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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