Big debate: Team GB’s medal expectations at London 2012 Olympics

Wolrd champion Mo Farah is among those with serious Olympic medal expectations on their shoulders in London. Wolrd champion Mo Farah is among those with serious Olympic medal expectations on their shoulders in London.

Thursday, July 26, 2012
6:55 PM

The bar was set high in Beijing, all for the benefit of the arrival of London four years later. So now it’s here, Michael Bailey looks at what Team GB want to deliver – and what we should all expect of them…

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Jessica Ennis will be aiming for women's heptathlon gold in London's Olympic Stadium.Jessica Ennis will be aiming for women's heptathlon gold in London's Olympic Stadium.

From the moment London won its bid for this summer’s Games, attention switched to the sporting prowess it would inspire.

Team GB received their expected spike in Beijing: 47 medals – 19 of them gold – produced our country’s best performance since 1908.

So the question is with all the added support of a partisan home crowd, the familiarity of the surroundings and then added pressure – what are GB aiming for this summer?

The targets have been revised here and there over the last four years, but the ranges are now set and the bar is high. The aim is one more medal than GB’s Beijing total, which should preserve their hard-won fourth in the medal table behind Russia, USA and the hosts – who amassed an incredible 51 golds at their home Games.

One place where Team GB wants to wring out a drop more success is in the athletics stadium. A range of five to eight medals is the aim; in Beijing GB won four. The likes of current world champions Dai Green (400m hurdles) and Mo Farah (5,000m) should help that pursuit, while 2009 world champion Jessica Ennis will be hoping to fulfil her big billing with gold in the heptathlon.

An unprecedented 14 medals headed GB’s way in the velodrome four years ago, so a target range of six to 10 medals sounds pessimistic. But Britain’s stunning success is the very reason why it won’t be repeated. Each country is now only allowed one rider in each event, regardless of how many world class acts you produce. Still, with triple-golden boy Chris Hoy and soon to retire Victoria Pendleton itching for the ride of their glittering careers, the velodrome should be a medal mine for GB again.

The aim is to match the six medals from the Beijing pool, with Rebecca Addlington set to lead that charge again – while Tom Daley carries the hopes of breaking GB’s 2008 duck off the diving board. At least three medals apiece are demanded from boxing, canoeing, equestrianism and sailing, with the controversial taekwondo selection geared to bringing home one medal, maybe three.

Every athlete will carry their own pressure to deliver – more than put on them from the rest of us outside.

The USA, Russia and China will most likely be out of sight in the table; Germany and Australia won’t be far behind. You suspect 2016 hosts Brazil will be pushing on too.

But in truth, if Team GB get anywhere near their Beijing placing and total, London will have been a success.

3 comments

  • Who writes this stuff, your caption under Ms. Ennis reads pentathlon, well sorry guys but she is competing in the Woman's Heptathlon (seven events) not going to list them, but would if required to.

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    RoadWarrior

    Friday, July 27, 2012

  • Mo Farahs , Not British for starters

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    billytheolympicbookie

    Thursday, July 26, 2012

  • billythecookie, I am sure Mr. Farah has a British Passport, I don't live in the UK I live in a country that has only one real medal hope, that is Katie Taylor, but I will be cheering for Mo and Jess Ennis and all the other Brits and plastic Brits. Also just to watch in awe the top athletes where ever they are from.

    Report this comment

    RoadWarrior

    Friday, July 27, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site



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