The 100m hurdle runner carried the hopes of his nation last time out, but was forced to pull out of his event due to injury. Following over a year out of action while he regained fitness, he has been slowly improving and recently ran under 13 seconds for the first time since 2007. Expect him to atone for 2008 by bringing the gold medal back to China.
Chris Hoy, sorry Sir Chris Hoy, will be the highest profile cyclist at the 2012 Games but it’s the BBC Sports Personality of the Year holder who could see his profile skyrocket the furthest. The most exciting cyclist for a generation is concentrating on the Olympic road race as he seeks to add to his array of honours.
Swimmer Hannah will compete in the 200m and 400m individual medley at the Games, having finished sixth in the 400m and 11th in the 200m at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Since Beijing, Hannah has won European and Commonwealth titles and, last year in Shanghai at the World Championships, she came second in the 400m medley. At the London trials, her time of 4mins 32.67secs in the 400m was the second-fastest time ever swum in a textile suit.
The 5,000m and 10,000m runner is one of Britain’s best gold medal hopes, despite never having won an Olympic medal before. It’s one of the only medals he hasn’t won, with European and World Championship gold medals to his name. Farah recently ran the second-fastest time of his career in the 5,000m, indicating that he is the man to beat in this event.
How could any list leave out the 18-year-old diving sensation? Too young to compete in Beijing, Daley has won gold in the 10m platform dive in the World and European Championships as well as Commonwealth gold. Whatever happens, expect teenage girls to scream and an updated version of his autobiography to appear shortly afterwards.
With all the attention focused on the 100m and 200m, and a certain Usain Bolt, the 2008 400m gold medal winner has gone under the radar. He’ll be looking to retain his title and, judging by his early season form, is definitely the man to stop.
Swimmer Keri-Anne was the first British athlete to qualify for London 2012 after winning the World Championships last year in Shanghai, her second world title in succession. Back in 2008, she won silver in the 10km marathon at the Beijing Olympics, finishing just two seconds behind the gold medallist. At the London Games, she’s one of GB’s big medal hopes, tipped to win gold in the 10km marathon, which takes place in the Serpentine at Hyde Park.
When the American basketball team arrive at any Olympics, it is guaranteed that some of the world’s biggest (and highest paid) sporting stars will be in their squad. There is arguably no bigger – or more controversial – star than the Miami Heat man and perennial winner of the NBA’s MVP.
A long shot for a medal, Okoye only started training competitively at the discus in 2010 after abandoning a rugby career. He may be young and inexperienced but he recently threw a British record mark of 68.24m; if he gets it right on the night, then Britain could well have a new hero.
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