THE Teesside Tornado has won every there is to win in the sport of Athletics, apart from an Olympic medal. 

He's racked up medals at the Commonwealth Games, the World Championships and the European Championships. 

Now with once medal missing from his cabinet, Richard Kilty believes he and the rest of the 4x100m men's relay team hold Team GB's best chances of winning a gold medal at the Toyko Olympics. 

Kilty is currently out in Tokyo making final preparations for the games whici officialy begin on Saturday. The men who will be holding the responsibility alongside him are Adam Gemili, Zharnel Hughes and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake.

The 31-year-old Kilty will become a two-time Olympian after making the cut to race in the 4x100m relay team. But this will be a very different Olympic games. 

Covid-19 is continuing to have a significant impact in Japan amid rising cases forcing organisors to make the call of not allowing spectators into the venues. The pandemic has also prevented the quartet from organising regular training sessions with each other in the build up to the games.

Despite that, Kilty thinks he and his fellow sprinters can make this an Olympics to remember. 

“If you look at Athletics across the board as a whole sport, who are you gold medal chances?" Kilty asked in a wide ranging interview on BBC Radio Tees Sport. 

“The people you may consider for medals Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Dina Asher-Smith, the likes of Laura Muir, people like that, they are the people you’d look to win medals but an actually gold medal, I really do feel the mens 4x100m is our strongest chance of an Olympic gold medal in the whole of the sport of athletics in the Olympic Games.

“For me to be part of that is something really special. That’s why it was bittersweet just missing out on the 200m squad.

“Our chances of a gold medal are sky high in the relay and there’s nothing more important to me in the rest of my athletics career than to bring an Olympic medal back to Teesside and back to my family because that’s the only medal I’m missing in the whole sport.

“From a junior level all the way to world, commonwealth, European, indoors, outdoors, everything.

“This would complete the whole medal tally in the whole sport.

The Northern Echo: Richard Kilty in action for Great Britain.Richard Kilty in action for Great Britain.

“We’ve only came together once in a little group meeting. We’ve had a lot of zoom calls and things like that.

“We’re actually in a holding camp in Yokohama for two weeks before we enter the Olympic the village in Tokyo.

“Everyone else has been in the same boat so we’re not going to worry about that. The good thing is that we know each other. We’ve been practicing for years and year whereas the American team now is a brand new team. They’ve got no Christian Coleman, they’ve got no Justin Gatlin and they’ve not got Michael Rodgers. Out of the quartet that they won the World Championships with two years ago, you’ll actually find only one of those guys in the squad and that’s Noah Lyle.

“Our quartet is all the same. We’re the same squad as we had in Doha apart from Harry (Aikines-Aryeetey) who’s injured and he came along with the squad.

“We’ve got a lot of experience and our units remain strong."

Kilty and the rest of the 4x100m relay team are due to race on Thursday 5th August.

While Kilty has achieved almost everything there is to achieve in the sport, he's adament that this will be a moment to relish.

“It feels really really special.

“As a kid, what makes you fall in love with the sport is the Olympic games.

“Because it comes round every four years it makes it even special. It was five years since the last one because of the pandemic.

“It didn’t feel real because of the last couple of months building up. Is that Olympics going ahead? Are we doing the right thing? And then suddenly to now being announced, I was picking up my kit and we were getting all the details of teams together at Birmingham, it all started to feel really real.

“It’s a really special moment."