Tokyo 1964 Olympians hold reunion on 55th anniversary of the Games
Tokyo 1964

Tokyo 1964 Olympians hold reunion on 55th anniversary of the Games

11 October 2019 / 12:17
While the current crop of Team GB hopefuls prepare for next year's Olympic Games in Tokyo, the last group of British athletes to compete at a Games in the city came together yesterday to mark 55 years on from the Opening Ceremony.

Hosted at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in central London, over 30 of the British team which competed 55 years ago reunited to celebrate the landmark and welcome five of the latest members of Team GB in the form of the canoeing team for Tokyo 2020.

Swimmer Anita Lonsbrough, who won 200m breaststroke gold four years previous at Rome 1960, had the honour of leading the team into the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo.

Lonsbrough fronted a delegation of 204 athletes, including 160 men and 44 women, who would go on to win 18 medals; four gold, 12 silver and two bronze.

All four golds came in athletics with Ann Packer (800m), Mary Rand (women's long jump), Lynn Davies (men's long jump) and Ken Matthews (20km walk) all triumphing on the top step of the podium. Britain also won medals across fencing, rowing, weightlifting, swimming, sailing and equestrian. 

Fencer Allan Jay, who joined for the reunion event yesterday, carried the flag at the Closing Ceremony as the Games drew to a end, 56 years before British athletes will compete once again for Olympic glory in Tokyo.

Addressing the group, Sir Hugh Robertson, Chairman of the British Olympic Association said: "I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you – the team of 1964. You did the country proud then and have done us proud since. 

"As we hope 2020 will be, the 1964 Games was a breakthrough for British women’s sport, with Anita Lonsborough the first ever female flag bearer at a Summer Olympics and then gold medal winning role models in Ann Packer and Mary Rand.

"But what is striking in particular is the togetherness of your team, from organising your own preparation camp at Tinsbury Manor, to extra-ordinary support for each other during the competition, and even being here today.

"Thank you for all you did then, and have done subsequently, to promote British Olympic sport and the country more generally."
The full list of Tokyo 1964 athletes in attendance: 
Leonard Allen, Wrestling
William Barker, Equestrian
Joy Blanchard, Swimming
John Cadman, Hockey
Rt Hon Menzies Campbell MP, Athletics
Arnold Cooke, Rowing 
Michael Corby, Hockey
Stewart Farquharson, Rowing
David Harris, Sailing 
Michael Hogan, Athletics 
Michael Howard, Fencing
Harry Jackson, Cycling 
Peter Jacobs, Fencing
Allan Jay, Fencing
Christopher Langhorne, Hockey
Linda Ludgrove-Lillo, Swimming
Madeleine McGovern, Athletics
Brendon McKeown, Cycling
Neil Nicholson, Swimming
Frances Northcott, Diving
Alan Page, Hockey
Michael Parker, Athletics
Mary Peters CH DBE, Athletics
Peter Radford, Athletics
Michael Ralph, Athletics
Brian Sandy, Cycling
Alan Simpson, Athletics
Alix Stevenson, Athletics
David Stevenson, Athletics
Anthony Sweeney, Judo
Gwenda Ward, Athletics
Peter Warden, Athletics
Mary Anne Watts, Fencing
Terence West, Cycling
John Whetton, Athletics
Jill Whyman, Swimming