Clockwise from left: Yorkshire's own Tom Pidcock, Bradly Sinden and Matty Lee have all won medals in Tokyo
Yorkshire was being hailed for its "extraordinary" pedigree at the Olympics last night, having already secured two golds and a silver medal.
A familiar pattern is emerging in Tokyo after the county previously contributed 14 medals in 2016 and 12 in 2012. This time around, diver Matty Lee, mountain biker Tom Pidcock and Bradly Sinden are keeping up appearances.
"It’s pretty extraordinary," says Richard Caborn, the former sports minister who is now chairman of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park. "We’ve also got the two national games, cricket and football, with on-field leaders who come from Sheffield."
Caborn says the secret of his county’s success are the facilities and expertise available, rather than any ingrained character trait amongst its population.
"We’ve a very strong role within the English Institute of Sport, and that helps," he said. "There is so much expertise in sports science, medicine, psychology here. That’s a really big strength, which I think shone through in 2012 when so many of the athletes were trained in Sheffield."
Jessica Ennis-Hill was a poster girl for that era, and Caborn believes golds for Lee, from Leeds, and Pidcock, from Leeds, will boost what is becoming a more "holistic" approach to combining elite sport with local "health and wellbeing". Around £100million of funding has been secured for his park over six years.
Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium was knocked down in 2013 and plans for a £3.5m basketball arena stalled. However, it will now be built at the 35-acre Olympic Legacy Park alongside a new health research centre. A diagnostic scan centre for injuries and a "call centre for health technology" are being set up, Caborn promises.
"We’re bringing forward some of the best in development in health and well being, and it’s being driven by the elite sports agenda," he said. "We are looking to make the absolute most of this DNA."
With Sinden also hailing from Doncaster, Yorkshire is currently contributing to 50 per cent of the Team GB medal haul GB.
Caborn added: "I don’t think it’s who we are – I think it’s what is on offer and how that’s delivered. There’s no doubt people in Yorkshire respond very positively to that. It’s not just the Olympic athletes in the elite. We’ve turned out some of the best sportsmen and women full stop."
If Yorkshire were a country in 2016, it would have finished 17th on the medals table, ahead of New Zealand, Canada and South Africa among others.