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How to follow Luxembourg in the Tokyo 2020 Games



7 of the 13 athletes competing in this year’s Olympic Games. Clockwise from left: Bob Bertemes, Ni Xialian, Raphaël Stacchiotti, Nicolas Wagner, Christine Majerus, Tom Habscheid and Sarah De Nutte Maison Moderne

7 of the 13 athletes competing in this year’s Olympic Games. Clockwise from left: Bob Bertemes, Ni Xialian, Raphaël Stacchiotti, Nicolas Wagner, Christine Majerus, Tom Habscheid and Sarah De Nutte Maison Moderne

Luxembourg has 13 athletes vying for medals in this year’s delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, for which the opening ceremony takes place on Friday.

Who is in team Luxembourg?

 

1.     Bob Bertemes, Shot put

Bertemes is considered Luxembourg’s biggest hope for a medal this year. The last time Luxembourg secured a gold medal in track and field was in the summer of 1952 in Helsinki when Josy Barthel won the 1500 metres. Bertemes joined the Luxembourg army at an early age, which enables him to keep in top form. Today, the 28-year-old is in the top 10 in his discipline. He finished sixth at the 2018 European Championships in Berlin, and has a record (at 22m22) that places him 21st among the best performers of all time. If he could pull off such a throw in the Olympic final, the medal might not be far off.

2. Ni Xialian, Table tennis

Born in 1963 in China, Xialian was told in her youth that she was too small (1m57) to reach the top level. Nevertheless, through hard work and sacrifice, she rose to the second national rank in China, before being crowned world champion (in mixed doubles) in 1983, and then climbing to the second step, again at the world level (in doubles), two years later. The athlete competed in her first Olympics in Sydney at age 37. This will be her fifth Games.

3. Raphaël Stacchiotti, Swimmer

When the 2020 Olympics, scheduled to open on 24 July, was postponed, Stacchiotti took advantage to attend a different ceremony. He married his partner Jill the very same day. This will be his fourth and last Games, after Beijing (2008), London (2012) and Rio (2016). His impressive career saw him win 49 medals at various competitions, of which 40 are gold. Stacchiotti will be one of two flagbearers during the opening ceremony on 23 July.

4. Nicolas Wagner, Dressage rider

Although horse riding, and in particular dressage, has been an Olympic discipline for more than a century now, no Luxembourg rider had ever managed to qualify for the Olympics. Until Nicolas Wagner (29 ). With his horse, Quater Back Junior, Wagner, has already entered the history of Luxembourg sport.

5. Sarah De Nutte, Table tennis

Sarah De Nutte, 28, nicknamed “Sunny”, is the penultimate qualifier for the women's table tennis tournament. She is now heading for Japan, a country she says she is a “fan” of, appreciating its rigour and discipline, but also its food and Pokémon.

6. Tom Habscheid, Paralympic shot putter

Ever since he watched the London Olympics in August 2012, Tom Habscheid (34) has been captivated by shot put and discus events. Four years later, he competed at Maracanã stadium in Rio in the shot put competition of the Para-Olympic Games, finishing seventh.

Born with a deformation in the left femur, which resulted in a shorter and atrophied leg, Habscheid played football, skied and swam. In 2019, he became vice-champion of Europe and the world, each time missing out on gold to the same Brit. His challenge for Tokyo will be to beat him.

7. Christine Majerus, Cyclist

A flag-bearer during the opening ceremony Christine Majerus, 34, is a living legend. Having taken up cycling seriously at the age of 18, she has been crowned Luxembourg Sportswoman of the Year six times and has won a total of 36 national titles. This will be her third Games.

8. Charles Grethen, 1500 m

This middle-distance runner joins Bertemes in track and field. This year marks his second Games.

9. Julie Meynen, Swimmer

In what will be her second Games, Meynen will compete in the 50m, and 100m freestyle disciplines.

10. Stefan Zachäus, Triathlete

2020 marks Zachäus’ first Games.

11. Kevin Geniets, Cyclist

2020 marks Geniets’ first Games.

12. Michel Ries’ Cyclist

2020 marks Ries’ first Games.

13. Jeff Henckels, Archer

2020 marks Henckels’ third Games after competing in London (2012) and Athens (2004).

When can I watch them?

The Games run from 23 July to 8 August. Of the old and new faces bearing the Luxembourg colours, viewers can catch a few of them competing over the weekend (all times are in CET).

23 July:

06:00 Henckels competes in the qualifying round for archery.

24 July:

04:00 Geniets and Ries compete in the men’s road race.

10:00 Wagner competes in the individual dressage category.

14:45 De Nutte competes in the first round of the table tennis discipline.

25 July

07:00 Ni Xia Lian competes in the table tennis second round.

06:00 Majerus competes in the women’s road race.

23:30 Zachäes competes in triathlon.

Click here to follow the full programme for Tokyo 2020.