WITH the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics all set for Friday, a five-year wait for the Games will end.

Olympic cycles usually last four years but due to the pandemic the 2020 event was delayed.

Even with Covid-19 raging in many countries of the world, more than 11,000 athletes will travel to Japan to compete in 33 sports.

However, just 10 of them are from Dorset or based in the county. Here, we take a look at the ‘Dorset 10’.

Hannah Mills – sailing

Dorset Echo: Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre will go for gold in Tokyo Picture: LLOYD IMAGES/RYAHannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre will go for gold in Tokyo Picture: LLOYD IMAGES/RYA

ENTERING her third Olympics, Cardiff-born Poole resident Hannah Mills is the defending champion in the women’s 470 sailing class.

She will partner Eilidh McIntyre at Enoshima – the venue for the sailing events – having trained at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy.

Mills gets under way at 6.50am on Wednesday, July 28.

Dylan Fletcher & Stuart Bithell – sailing

Dorset Echo: Dylan Fletcher, left, and Stuart Bithell, right Picture: lloydimages.comDylan Fletcher, left, and Stuart Bithell, right Picture: lloydimages.com

BOTH competing in their second Olympic Games, Dylan Fletcher & Stuart Bithell are Portland residents.

They will go for gold in the men’s 49er sailing class, having been one of the stand out partnerships in this Olympic cycle, medalling in over 20 World Cup events and rising to number one in the world.

READ MORE: Dylan Fletcher 'buzzing' for Tokyo

Bithell already has a silver from London 2012, so can Fletcher also become an Olympic medallist?

The duo begin their Olympic bid on Tuesday, July 27 at 6.50am.

Alison Young – sailing

ONLY a broken ankle stopped Alison Young winning gold at Rio 2016, entering the Games as one of the favourites.

The Portland resident would eventually finish eighth but can she medal this time around?

Young’s Olympic campaign starts at 4.05am in Kamakura on Sunday, July 25.

Emma Wilson – windsurfing

Dorset Echo: Emma Wilson is based in Christchurch Picture: JESUS RENEDO/SAILING ENERGYEmma Wilson is based in Christchurch Picture: JESUS RENEDO/SAILING ENERGY

CHRISTCHURCH resident Emma Wilson is embarking on her debut Olympics at the age of 22.

Her mother Penny is a two-time Olympian, competing in windsurfing at the 1992 and 1996 Games.

Emma took her first world title aged 12 and will bid for Olympic gold from 7.05am in Enoshima on Sunday, July 25.

Tom Squires – windsurfing

WILSON’S fellow windsurfer Tom Squires, based on Portland, is also making his Olympics debut.

The 27-year-old could contest the medal race three days before turning 28. Not bad for someone who shunned a career in gardening to fulfil his Olympic dream.

Squires is in action on Sunday, July 25 from 4.05am.

Elliot Hanson – sailing

DOES lightning strike twice? Elliot Hanson will certainly be hoping so.

Months of training on the waters of Portland paid off in 2018 when he took World Cup gold in Enoshima, going on to become European champion.

Hanson begins his quest for gold in Kamakura at 6.35am on Sunday, July 25.

Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey – sailing

Dorset Echo: Saskia Tidey, left and Charlotte Dobson, centre Picture: LYME REGIS SAILING CLUBSaskia Tidey, left and Charlotte Dobson, centre Picture: LYME REGIS SAILING CLUB

PORTLAND pair Charlotte Dobson and Saskia Tidey are hoping to sail into the Olympic medals in the 49erFX sailing class.

Dobson is originally from Scotland, while Tidey competed for Ireland in Rio before switching allegiance in 2017 due to her British father Don.

Preparing for Tokyo, the duo held their final meeting at Lyme Regis Sailing Club before jetting off to Japan.

Their first race begins at 4.05am on Tuesday, July 27.

Jacob Peters – swimming

Dorset Echo: Poole's Jacob Peters Picture: IAN RUTHERFORD/PA ARCHIVEPoole's Jacob Peters Picture: IAN RUTHERFORD/PA ARCHIVE

MAN from Poole wins gold in the pool. A headline writer’s dream.

Peters will be representing Team GB in the 100m butterfly – joining James Guy as Britain’s selected athletes in that discipline.

Peters is also a European gold medal winner in the 4x100m medley relay, back in 2018.

The men’s 100m butterfly heats begin at 11.50am on Thursday, July 29.

Who’s not going?

Dorset Echo: Dorchester taekwondo star Aaron Cook Picture: MARTIN RICKETT/PA WIREDorchester taekwondo star Aaron Cook Picture: MARTIN RICKETT/PA WIRE

SADLY, the Olympic curse on Dorchester’s taekwondo star Aaron Cook continues.

Cook, world number one ahead of London 2012, was sensationally overlooked for selection as Lutalo Muhammad took bronze in his place.

Cook switched to Moldova for Rio 2016 but was shocked by Chinese Taipei’s Liu Wei-Ting in the last 16.

However, despite trying for Tokyo selection, Cook’s bid ended in the European qualifiers in May.

Sturminster Newton-based William Fox-Pitt goes to Tokyo as fourth reserve and as coach for Kazuma Tomoto, the Japanese rider based with him in Dorset.

Dorset Echo: William Fox-Pitt Picture: MARTIN RICKETT/PA WIREWilliam Fox-Pitt Picture: MARTIN RICKETT/PA WIRE

Portland swimmer Jay Lelliott will also sit out the Olympics but can at least console himself with retention in the lucrative International Swimming League for Toronto Titans.

Dorchester’s London 2012 golden boy Peter Wilson saw his speciality – the double trap – scrubbed off the Olympic roster but switched his attention to the trap, for which he did not earn selection.