Andy Murray has set his sights on defending his Olympic gold medal, and described Tokyo 2020 as offering a beacon of hope in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Murray is a two-time defending champion, after winning gold at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Had the event taken place as scheduled last year, Murray would have been absent after battling a serious hip injury.
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He is still not at peak fitness or form, but battling adversity has spurred him on ahead of Tokyo 2020.
“Going to a second Olympics as defending champion is exciting and I am looking forward to the challenge,” Murray wrote on the Olympics.com.
“Overcoming barriers and difficulties is what defines competing at this level, the ups and the downs. In so many ways, right now it’s more important than ever that people around the world get to reconnect to the raw emotion of sport, watch incredible performances and celebrate the achievement of athletes coming from around the world.
As we saw here in London in 2012, the spirit of Olympism has a huge impact on athletes, fans and people around the world. For those that are still experiencing the worst of the pandemic and others that have lost so much over the last year, this Games can be a beacon of hope."
Novak Djokovic is the overwhelming favourite for Olympic glory in the men's singles, with the golden slam still up for grabs, but Murray is aiming for a medal.
“My goal is to try and win a medal,” Murray said. “Ideally a gold one for my country. I know first-hand the impact that playing sport for a career has on your body. I know how difficult and frustrating that journey can be.”
The world is still in the grip of the pandemic, and Murray feels sport offers a release for those who have been hit hard by Covid-19.
“Exposure to sport at the highest level brings benefits we can’t begin to quantify," he said. "It supports mental health. It encourages increased physical activity. It exposes us to other cultures and peoples. It brings us together. Sport isn’t just a fundamental human right – it is one of the most impactful tools to heal and strengthen our society.
“In times of difficulty, sport isn’t just necessary, it is vital.”
The draws for the Olympic tennis events take place on Thursday.
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