The president of the NOC, Urmas Sõõrumaa, said he was glad the team are so strong and versatile. “It is now clear that the Olympic Games postponed for a year will be taking place, and I am glad to see that the team sent to the Olympics by the Estonian Olympic Committee includes both first-timers and highly experienced athletes. I would like to thank all the athletes, coaches and the background squad, who kept their heads up last year and found mental and physical strength to professionally prepare for one of the most important competitions ever,” Sõõrumaa noted.
“What we expect from our athletes in Tokyo is the demonstration of the best of their current abilities. If their successful efforts are crowned with a high position on the competition results list, our hopes will have come true in addition to our expectations. I wish the Estonian Olympic team the best of luck and many moments of great success in Tokyo,” the NOC president concluded.
Martti Raju, the NOC sports director, believes that the extension of and changes to the qualification period due to the COVID-19 pandemic have left their imprint on the Olympics qualification. “Still, the Estonian team will be competing in a greater number of sports than ever before. As the strict movement regulations mean the members of the team will remain relatively stationary on the premises of their accommodation and competition venues, the selection of support personnel had to be made with regard to these restrictions. In addition, a preliminary training camp will be held for some sports in the city of Saku near Nagano, and there will be no opportunity to use the services of local sparring partners,” Raju said.
As far as the last preparations for Tokyo Olympic are concerned, Raju pointed out that the regulations would be gradually made tougher. “We are ready for a lot to change within two weeks depending on the situation. As for now, the athletes will certainly be tested every day starting on the day of arrival at the airport until they leave the Olympic village, and the organisers have assured us they will do their best for the Olympic Games to be conducted safely,” Raju explained.
The Estonian national team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approved by the NOC executive committee:
Cycling: Tanel Kangert, Peeter Pruus, Janika Lõiv
Judo: Grigori Minaškin
Athletics: Ksenija Balta, Roman Fosti, Tiidrek Nurme, Rasmus Mägi, Maicel Uibo, Johannes Erm, Karel Tilga
Shooting: Peeter Olesk
Wrestling: Epp Mäe, Artur Vititin
Sailing: Ingrid Puusta, Karl-Martin Rammo
Equestrian: Dina Ellermann
Badminton: Kristin Kuuba, Raul Must
Rowing: Tõnu Endrekson, Jüri-Mikk Udam, Allar Raja, Kaspar Taimsoo, Johann Poolak (reserve)
Tennis: Anett Kontaveit
Triathlon: Kaidi Kivioja
Swimming: Eneli Jefimova, Kregor Zirk, Martin Allikvee
Fencing: Erika Kirpu, Julia Beljajeva, Katrina Lehis, Irina Embrich (reserve)
Archery: Reena Pärnat
The largest team Estonia has sent to Olympic Games after the country regained independence went to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, comprising 47 athletes.
The number of athletes in Estonian national teams during the previous Summer Olympic Games:
1992 Barcelona – 37 athletes, 13 sports
1996 Atlanta – 45 athletes, 13 sports
2000 Sydney – 33 athletes, 11 sports
2004 Athens – 42 athletes, 10 sports
2008 Beijing – 47 athletes, 13 sports
2012 London – 32 athletes, 11 sports
2016 Rio de Janeiro – 46 athletes, 13 sports
Tokyo Summer Olympic Games will start on 23 July and will last until 8 August. Olympic broadcasts in Estonia can be viewed on TV on Kanal 2, Kanal 12 and Duo 7 as well as on the news portal Postimees.ee. Information about the Estonian national team is available at https://www.eok.ee/tokyo-2020.