The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games from July 24 to August 9 will be another wonderful showcase for Barça’s female athletes.
As many as ten different women are expected to be headed to Japan, although particularly in athletes this depends heavily on what happens in trials between now and May.
One of the best medal options is Yulimar Rojas, the Venezuelan triple jumper who came to the club after the Rio 2016 games, where she won silver, and who is a four-time world champion and last February 21 set a new indoor record of 15.43 metres. She’s the favourite to take gold, while the Dutch pair of Lieke Martens and Stefanie van der Gragt are also expected to in well in football.
Right now, Barça only has confirmed participants in football and athletics, but if picked and if Spain qualify, Marta Canella has a good chance of appearing in 3x3 basketball.
In athletics, walker Raquel González and Brazilian triple jumper Nubia Soares, like Rojas, are both returning for their second Olympics. For Spanish champion marathon runner Marta Galimany who broke 2 hours 30 minutes, sprinter Jaël Bestué and Colombian high jumper María Fernanda Murillo, it will be a new experience.
Barça was first represented by a woman at the Olympics in Sydney 2000 when Eva Pérez came 27th in the 20 km walk. Since then, the only time there have been no Barça women was London 2012.
At Athens 2004 we had Iratxe Quintanal (shot put) and Cora Olivero (400 m hurdles). At Beijing 2008 we had Alessandra Aguilar (marathon), Iratxe Quintanal again plus Lithuanian Sonata Milusauskaite (20 km walk). Finally, at Rio 2016 we had Caridad Jerez (100 m hurdles), Raquel González (20 km walk) and Sabina Ajenjo (discus).
Outside of athletics, Laia Palau was in the basketball team at Athens 2004 while a member of UB Barça, although she left for French club Bourges shortly after. Brazilian footballer Andressa Alves came fourth on home soil in 2016, and joined FC Barcelona for the following season.
The club has also had representatives at the Winter Olympics. Barça greats Gloria Mas and Marta Andrade competed together in figure skating at Lake Placid 1980 and Lillehammer 1994, and Marta was also at Nagano 1998.