It's Doha day: Women lead the way in GB squad, in number and medal hopes

Team GB's women have had a lot of success in both the World Championships and Olympics this decade (PA Images)
Team GB's women have had a lot of success in both the World Championships and Olympics this decade (PA Images)
7:51am, Fri 27 Sep 2019
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Women dominate the Great Britain World Athletics Championships squad as events in Doha get underway today - and arguably boast the leading medal hopes.

It is the fourth consecutive championships that GB have selected more female than male athletes, with much expectation and hope resting on the shoulders of Dina Asher-Smith, Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Laura Muir.

In the final chapter of our 'Countdown to Doha' series, we look at the rise of women selections in squads and whether this translates to success on a global stage.

The tale of two events - the World Championships and the Olympics

The championships in Daegu in 2011 saw a squad of 69 athletes selected from Great Britain. 33 of them were women while 36 were men. That was the last time more men were selected to represent Team GB compared to women.

The championships of 2015 and 2017 in particular were standout years in the decade. Those years saw 34 and 43 women compete for Great Britain, as compared to 28 and 38 men respectively.

Women have had more Team GB squad members than men for the majority of this decade

While women have dominated the squads at the World Athletics Championships, it is a different story when it comes to looking at the Olympic Games.

Since the turn of the century, only the 2008 Olympics in Beijing saw an equal number of male and females athletes for Great Britain. Otherwise, the men have outweighed the women in numbers every four years in Olympic Games.

So women dominate in world championships, men take the stage at the Olympics. Is that the same case when it comes to bringing home medals?

Medals are shared between the sexes

Across world championships in the recent past, who brings the medals home for Great Britain is a mixed tale. In 2007, women earned five medals and only the members of the 4x100 metre relay team could earn a bronze for the men.

Since then, the medal domination has almost gone back and forth between men and women. In 2011, Great Britain's men stole the show with five medals of their own while two years later, the women brought back four medals.

This change of dominance could be explained by the various stellar athletes that Great Britain have had in both the men's and women's fields. This is not just limited to athletes like Jessica Ennis-Hill or Mo Farah, who excelled in their disciplines.

Their stardust sprinkled onto their country men and women in the last few years and that has given inspiration to young stars like Asher-Smith and Muir, who hope to replicate them in the upcoming championships.

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