WOMEN are on course to outnumber men in the Great Britain team for next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games, according to chef de mission Mark England.

With less than 500 days to go to the opening ceremony of the 2020 Games, England said the team is now reaping the rewards of the “inspiration” provided by a number of female trailblazers - including Flint’s Taekwondo gold medalist Jade Jones - from London 2012.

Just over 48 per cent of the Great Britain team for London was female - as can be expected of a home nation Games due to automatic quota places - but that percentage dropped to 44 per cent for Rio.

England said: “For the first time it looks like we might have more women than men in the Great Britain team for Tokyo as we see the fruition of some fabulous athletic talent. We have seen some fantastic role models in multiple Olympic champions like Heather Stanning and Helen Glover, Jade Jones and Nicola Adams.

“Everybody also looks up to Jessica Ennis-Hill and they have clearly all had a great impact in terms of inspiring a new class of young female athletes.”

The International Olympic Committee is striving for 50 per cent representation by women at the Olympic Games and the British Olympic Association’s bid to get there first may yet be reliant on confirmation of a GB women’s football team.

Football’s world governing body FIFA claimed in October it had received agreement from all four home unions to field a unified women’s team in Tokyo - but the terms are now reportedly being questioned by the Scottish FA.

World athletics governing body the IAAF is seeking “urgent clarification” from the Russian authorities over a report that a top coach is still working with the team despite several of his athletes being banned for doping.

The announcement was made after a two-day meeting of the IAAF Council that also decided to uphold the ban on the Russian Athletics Federation which has been in place since November 2015.

This was the 10th time that ban, which was imposed following a World Anti-Doping Agency-commissioned report into allegations of endemic doping in Russian athletics, has been extended.