1. Daiya Seto, Japan
One of Michael Phelps' biggest fans is now out to beat him. A young Daiya Seto took a photo with his idol, only to compete with him 14 years later in the 200m butterfly this week. The Saitama Prefecture native recently took home his first Olympic medal last week after coming in third in the 400m medley.
2. Rupinder Pal Singh, India
Rupinder Pal Singh's an Olympic first-timer who's a defender and drag flicker for the national hockey team. The Punjab native was also part of the team who won the silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and most recently, the bronze at the 2015 FIH World Hockey League.
3. Hassan Saaid, Maldives
The fastest man in Maldives has sprinted with the likes of Usain Bolt himself. Hassan Said will compete in the men's 100m sprint this Saturday, where he'll meet Bolt again.
4. Azad Al-Barazi, Syria
The Santa Monica Bay lifeguard of Syrian descent is swimming for Syria, and reportedly paid his own way to Rio. On his way to his second Olympic showing, the Saudi-born, California-raised, Azad Al-Barazi even encountered problems at the airport and was detained for three hours because officials doubted his legibility as an Olympian.
5. Park Tae-Hwan, South Korea
Doping ban controversy aside, the four-time Olympian is one of South Korea's best swimmers. Unfortunately, Park Tae-Hwan has recently left Rio empty-handed after failing to make it through the heats in the 400, 200m and 100m freestyle races — but watch him swing back into action in Tokyo in 2020.
6. Lin Dan, China
A reigning world champion, Lin Dan is fierce competition for his rivals — he's looking for a third consecutive gold in Rio. Recently sporting gold shoes at his first match this Olympic season, he's reportedly said that they bring him luck and happiness.
7. Kozhatayev Bakhtiyar, Kazakhstan
Kozhatayev Bakhtiyar is also part of Astana, a professional road bicycle racing team named after the capital of Kazakhstan. He's fairly new to the pro circuit, having joined only last year — but is proving to be the one to watch, notably in mountain races.
8. Quah Zheng Wen, Singapore
Making his Olympic debut, Quah Zheng Wen's in the news for both the right and wrong reasons — while he's qualified for the 100m butterfly semis in his best personal timing, he's gotten some flak from The New Paper for not granting the tabloid a proper quote.
9. Ali Adnan Kadhim, Iraq
Ali Adnan Kadhim has football running through his veins — his father and uncle both played. The latter, Ali Kadhim, is known as one of Iraq's best, having scored 35 international goals throughout his time. Although Iraq has exited the Olympics in the group stage of the competition, the footballer continues to show top form for Udinese Calcio, an Italian football club.
10. Brazilian bonus: Arthur Nory Mariano
The half Japanese and half Portuguese Brazilian has been making headlines for cosying up to US gymnast Simone Biles — but who can blame them? The gymnast's full name is a mouthful: Arthur Nory Oyakawa Mariano, with Oyakawa being his mother's last name and Mariano his father's. His father was also into sports — in judo, which was how the gymnast initially started his athletic career in.
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