Distance Dark Horses

By: Ruby Wyles

This “Distance Dark Horses” special begins a mini feature series on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games track and field previews, focusing on lesser-known names who have the potential to upset the favorites!

What makes a “dark horse”?

For the purpose of this article, I have chosen to define a “dark horse” as an athlete who I believe is flying under the radar, not getting the brightest of lights shone on them. Some are already Olympians and global medalists, while for others, Tokyo will be their first time representing their country on an international stage. Some names are ‘big names’ that I feel are undervalued and lacking the respect and attention they deserve; some are athletes from around the world that you’ve probably never heard of, but totally should!

The athletes highlighted below are ones I consider potential medalists at the Olympic Games, who to the outside may be seen as surprise upsets to better known favorites, but if you are reading The Harrier, you will not be shocked to see these elites on the rostrum come Tokyo!

Stalking the World Athletics rankings alongside the respective National Olympic Committees, these athletes are coming in to form at the right time, have a competitive track record of winning, or are on a high-speed comeback train to Tokyo!


Clayton Murphy, USA 

Elliot Giles, Great Britain

Oliver Dustin, Great Britain

 Jemma Reekie, Great Britain

Keely Hodgkinson, Great Britain

Rose Mary Almanza, Cuba

Melissa Bishop-Nraigu, Canada


Ronald Musagala, Uganda

Stewart McSweyn, Australia


Mohamed Katir, Spain

Paul Chelimo, USA

Mohammed Ahmed, Canada

Eilish McColgan, Great Britain


Yemaneberhan Crippa, Italy

Agnes Jebet Tirop, Kenya

3000m Steeplechase

Hyvin Kiyeng, Kenya

Emma Coburn, USA

Winfred Mutile Yavi, Bahraini

Gesa Krause, Germany



Who have you got your eyes on? Who am I overlooking?

Send us a DM and let us know!

Look out for the next piece in this series as we identify some dark horses and uncover some underrated talents in the sprints and hurdles.