Going for gold — Ade Adepitan on Team GB's ones to watch at the Paralympics

Ade Adepitan
Ade Adepitan will be in Tokyo as part of Channel 4's Paralympics presenting team. (Image credit: Channel 4)

Hard on the heels of Team GB’s impressive performance at the Tokyo Olympics, the baton passes to our Paralympic stars as their Games get underway in Japan soon. 

Ade Adepitan, who won wheelchair basketball bronze in Athens, will be in Tokyo as part of the C4 team covering the Games.

Here, the 48-year-old presenter to get his take on the Games, Team GB’s medal prospects, and more…

Ade, will Team GB’s impressive recent Olympics showing in Tokyo help our Paralympic athletes?

"Yes! I remember how watching the Olympics in 2000 before we went out to Sydney got me really fired up. You're just like: ‘Wow, this is what our guys have done. Now I'm ready to go!’"

Sprinter Jonnie Peacock is a familiar face who was a late addition to the team. How do you rate his prospects? 

"Jonnie’s won back-to back Paralympic 100m titles. After 2012 he competed for six or seven years non-stop, which does take its toll. He took a year out to just sort of detox from the intensity of the sport. If he wins again, you can put him down as one of our greatest, if not our greatest ever, amputee sprinter."

Jonnie Peacock.

 Jonnie Peacock. (Image credit: PA)

Another famous face, swimmer Ellie Simmonds, is back for her fourth Games at the age of 26!  

"She's another one of those legends, isn't she? She started at Beijing when she was 13, and won two medals! It is going to be tough for Ellie, because she's coming towards the back end of her career. She’s defending her 200m medley title."

Ellie Simmonds.

Ellie Simmonds. (Image credit: PA)

At 42, wheelchair track and road athlete David ‘Weirwolf’ Weir is another Team GB veteran. How’s his form looking? 

"I had a chat with David recently, and he's in a really good place mentally, and happy that he's been able to have time away from the sport. He recently got his first personal best in 11 years, and to be in your 40s and still peaking and competing so well is great. He's been doing a lot of heat training, and feels like he's in the best shape of his life. I think he could smash it out there!"

David Weir.

David Weir. (Image credit: PA)

Strictly fans will be looking out for table tennis star Will Bayley, won’t they? 

"Will’s come off an interesting year, like all of them, what with COVID and not being able to play many tournaments. Before that, he was in Strictly Come Dancing as you say, and he got injured. So it was about getting his focus back — but he’s got the pedigree, and I think Will's got a good chance. He’s also a great personality for the other athletes to have around out there."

Will Bayley.

Will Bayley. (Image credit: PA)

Alfie Hewitt won the Wimbledon wheelchair men’s singles this year. Can he win again in Tokyo? 

"Alfie is the man to beat and, funnily enough, we used to have the same tennis coach! Because of classification issues, he may not be allowed to compete in the Paralympics in the future. So that might spur him on even more, and make him even harder to beat because he may not get another chance to win gold. Look out for Team GB’s Gordon Reid as well." 

Alfie Hewitt.

Alfie Hewitt. (Image credit: PA)

Cyclist Laura Kenny rode into the record books in Tokyo — could Sarah Storey follow suit? 

"I think Sarah is going to be laser-focused. It's going to be an eighth Games for her — did she come out of the womb and straight into the Paralympics?! She swam in a couple of Games, and now she's dominating the cycling field. If she wins three golds, I think she'll be the most medalled British Paralympian of all time. She's going to be really hard to beat." 

Sarah Storey.

Sarah Storey. (Image credit: PA)

Taekwondo is one of two new sports at the Games. Could Amy Truelove emulate Jade Jones by winning gold? 

"I'm looking forward to the Taekwondo! Amy is our favourite for gold, and she’s been competing since she was seven years old. She has an opportunity to make history by being the first Taekwondo gold medal winner for Britain at the Paralympics. There's not much better motivation than that!"

Amy Truelove.

Amy Truelove. (Image credit: PA)

Ade Adepitan will present the Tokyo Today Paralympics highlights show at 5pm on Channel 4 from 24 August to 5 September.

Ian MacEwan
Senior Writer

Ian writes about TV and film for TV Times, What’s on TV and TV & Satellite Week magazines. He co-hosts the weekly TV streaming podcast, Bingewatch.