THE past decade was hugely successful for Scottish athletes, and there is no sign of things slowing down as enter 2020.

While there are European and World Championships on the horizon for a number of sports, it is the Tokyo Olympics, which are now under seven months away, which will really capture everyone’s attention.

Scottish athletes have, traditionally, punched above their weight when it comes to claiming Olympic silverware, and it looks like Tokyo will be no different.

At the turn of the last decade, Scots shone in a few sports, these days, success is prevalent across the board.

We may not have Chris Hoy or Katherine Grainger to look to for Olympic silverware as we did at the turn of the last decade, but there are no shortage of world-class athletes hailing from these shores who have the potential to leave Tokyo with silverware draped round their neck.

Here are my five Olympic hopefuls to keep and eye on throughout 2020.


Scott has established himself as one of the strongest swimmers in what is currently a phenomenally strong the GB team.

He already has a packed medal cabinet, with world, European and Olympic and Commonwealth silverware under his belt.

However, the majority of his major championships medals, including his two Olympic silvers, are from relay events, but that all might change in Tokyo.

Still only 22-years-old, Scott’s best is yet to come. He showed glimpses of his ability at the World Championships last year, where he won bronze in the 200m freestyle, as well as gold in the relay.

It is Scott’s swagger that makes me think he will produce the goods in Tokyo, with the Alloa man not shy in saying what he thinks when it comes to doping cheats, as China’s Sun Yang found out last year.

Scotland has had no shortage of success in the pool over the years, and Scott has the potential to continue that tradition, with relay medals certainly predicted to come Scott’s way in Tokyo, and individual medals also a very real possibility if he performs to his best.


The Paisley-born cyclist is following in the footsteps of world-class Scottish track sprinters, Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean and Ross Edgar, all of whom won Olympic medals at recent Games.

Carlin has yet to make his Olympic debut, but if all goes to plan, he will go to Tokyo as a very real medal prospect, despite it being his first Olympic experience.

The 22-year-old has established himself as a certain pick for the team sprint, which also includes six-time Olympic medallist, Jason Kenny, with the Englishman effusive in his praise about the Scot’s potential.

He is not a one-trick pony though, with the sprinter also world-class in the individual sprint and the keirin, where he has already won European, world and Commonwealth silverware.


The 26-year-old has already proven that she can compete with the very best, but the 1500m specialist has yet to get her hands on a global major championship medal.

However, she has gained a wealth of experience over the past couple of years, including being a part of what many are calling the best women’s 1500m ever, at the Doha World Championships last October.

Muir ran one of the fastest 1500m ever, and this was despite having what her coach called a “nightmare” run-up to the event having been plagued by illness and injury.

She has the ability to win an Olympic medal, potentially even gold, now all she needs to do is execute it on the day.


Scotland had not produced a world-class diver for a generation until Reid came along.

She is now a mainstay in the British team, and as well as winning silverware as an individual, has become a regular partner of Tom Daley in the 3m synchro event, winning World Cup gold in 2019.

Reid has been competing internationally for a decade after being selected to represent Scotland at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Now 23-years-old, Reid is a far more mature and experience athlete than she was at her first Commonwealth Games.

She made her Olympic debut in Rio in 2016, where she finished in eighth place in the 3m springboard.

If she medals in Tokyo, she will become Scotland’s first-ever diving medallist.


It feels like Lyle has been around for years, yet the para-sprinter is still only a teenager. She broke onto the scene in 2014 when she became European champion in both the T35 100m and 200m.

The following year Lyle became world champion for the first time before going on to win three Paralympic medals in Rio.

However, it is Tokyo that could see her become Paralympic champion for the first time.

She showed her potential with two world golds last year, regaining her T35 100m and 200m titles, with her impressive performances a sign of what is to come.