Team GB’s Olympic hopes powered by tea, crisps and porridge

News and reactions from the world of sport, including a historic night for Northern Ireland women’s football team

Team GB athletes won 67 medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics
Team GB athletes won 67 medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. What’s on the Team GB packing checklist for Tokyo?


There’s just 100 days to go until the start of the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Japan’s capital city is preparing to host the major event after a year’s delay and nations around the world are also getting ready for the highlight of the sporting summer.

Team GB has been busy shopping for its athletes, coaches and delegates. In February a huge number of items were packed onto a large cargo ship and the vessel will shortly arrive in Tokyo after a 55-day journey. The Guardian has revealed some of the items on Team GB’s shopping list:

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  • 45,000 teabags
  • more than 7,000 bags of crisps
  • nearly 8,000 porridge pots
  • more than 50 Brompton bikes
  • “games packs” consisting of Connect 4, Jenga, Dobble
  • performance equipment including boxing bags and judo mats
  • nearly 1,000 mattress toppers, pillows, pillowcases, and blankets

Team GB will have around 370 athletes in Tokyo, who are “on the cusp of making history” with more women than men set to qualify, chef de mission Mark England said. In Rio in 2016 the British team won 67 medals in total and England feels confident those numbers can be improved upon, Sky Sports reports.

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo Olympic Games is scheduled to take place on Friday 23 July.

2. Chelsea and PSG lose second legs but progress to semi-finals

Champions League

Two of this season’s Champions League semi-finalists have been confirmed. Premier League club Chelsea and French giants Paris Saint-Germain are both through despite losing their quarter-final second legs last night.

Chelsea, who will play Liverpool or Real Madrid in the semi-finals, lost 1-0 at home to Porto but were 2-1 winners on aggregate. PSG knocked out defending champions Bayern Munich and will face Manchester City or Borussia Dortmund next.

Bayern beat PSG 1-0 in Paris last night but the French side progressed on away goals after the tie ended 3-3 on aggregate.

Tonight’s quarter-final second leg fixtures

  • Liverpool vs. Real Madrid (Agg 1-3; 8pm)
  • Borussia Dortmund vs. Manchester City (Agg 1-2; 8pm)

3. Kick It Out backs Premier League-wide social media boycott

Kick It Out

(Image credit: Tony Marshall/Getty Images)


Kick It Out chief Tony Burnett says the anti-discrimination charity would support a Premier League-wide boycott of social media.

Last week Championship clubs Swansea and Birmingham announced a seven-day boycott in protest at online abuse of players and it’s understood that discussions have taken place between Premier League clubs over a league-wide boycott, the BBC reports.

“We support football and our partners in football that are taking direct action,” Burnett said. “If that’s a boycott, fantastic, we’ll get absolutely behind you on it.”

‘Enough is enough’: football tackles social media racism

4. Northern Ireland women make history


Northern Ireland’s women’s football team have qualified for a major tournament for the first time. They will play in Euro 2022 after securing a 4-1 aggregate victory over Ukraine in the play-offs. Marissa Callaghan and Nadene Caldwell scored the goals in last night’s 2-0 second-leg win.

Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels says qualification for Euro 2022 was “unbelievable” for his squad of amateur players. “It is incredible what they have achieved, incredible,” he added. “I look at my staff and there are grown men crying and I am nearly in bits myself, but it is down to the girls at the end of the day.”

5. Stokes ruled out of IPL after breaking finger


England cricket star Ben Stokes will miss the rest of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season after breaking his finger in Rajasthan Royals’s first game against Punjab Kings on Monday.

The 29-year-old is in contact with England’s medical staff and he will have a second scan to assess the seriousness of the injury. “I’m devastated,” Stokes told the Daily Mirror. “To suffer a broken finger in the very first game is just devastating.”

The injury to the all-rounder’s left index finger has made him a major doubt for the start of England’s summer schedule.

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Mike Starling is the digital features editor at The Week, where he writes content and edits the Arts & Life and Sport website sections and the Food & Drink and Travel newsletters. He started his career in 2001 in Gloucestershire as a sports reporter and sub-editor and has held various roles as a writer and editor at news, travel and B2B publications. He has spoken at a number of sports business conferences and also worked as a consultant creating sports travel content for tourism boards. International experience includes spells living and working in Dubai, UAE; Brisbane, Australia; and Beirut, Lebanon.