Rio Olympics 2016 – Team GB Gold Medal Hopes
It seems like only yesterday we were all grumbling about how rubbish and unorganised London 2012 was going to be. Well, it proved to be a little more than that and tomorrow it’s Rio’s chance to show the world what they’re made of when the 2016 Olympics officially begins with an opening ceremony in the famed Maracanã Stadium.
Team GB exceeded all expectation 4 years ago racking up 29 Golds and a total of 65 medals – enough to finish 3rd on the leader board. It was an all-time high for Great Britain, and the Team are looking to beat that tally over in Brazil. So we thought we’d give a quick rundown of some of the athletes you need to keep an eye on during the Summer Olympic Games.
Adam Peaty – Swimming
Almost certainly our best hope in the pool is Adam Peaty. The 21-year-old breaststroke specialist will be heading to Rio as the reigning world record holder and World Champion in both the 50m and 100m. He’s a huge favourite and could claim Great Britain’s first men’s Olympic swimming Gold since Adrian Moorhouse in Seoul back in 1988.
Lizzie Armitstead – Cycling
Lizzie Armitstead almost didn’t make the Olympics after she skipped a drug test and was essentially banned from Rio. Thankfully the World Road Cycling Champion won an appeal against the decision and is free to compete. That’s great news for Team GB as she has a great chance at Gold. This will be no gimme, however, and her biggest rival will undoubtedly be Dutch rider Anna Van Der Breggen.
Helen Glover/Heather Stanning – Rowing
If there’s one Gold Medal you can almost bank on – and we’d recommend you do – it’s from Helen Glover and Heather Stanning in the Women’s Coxless Pair. The duo have been so dominant they haven’t lost a race in five years of competition. So it’s fair to say it would be an almighty shock if they end up anywhere but first.
Giles Scott – Sailing
Another relatively sure bet to look out for during the Games will be four-time sailing World Champion Giles Scott. He goes in the Finn class and has dominated the category since missing out on a place in 2012. He had a three-year unbeaten streak which has only just come to an end, but we’re sure he’ll rediscover his winning form in Rio.
Bianca Walkden – Taekwondo
While her fellow taekwondo team-mate and best friend, Jade Jones, will almost certainly get the attention thanks to her exploits in London 2012, Bianca Walkden is our best hope in the event and will be looking to add to the World Championship she won in the +73kg division.
Max Whitlock – Gymnastics
If you followed London 2012 as much as we did, you’ve probably already heard of gymnast Max Whitlock. A double Bronze medallist in London, Whitlock recently became the first ever British male to win an individual World Gymnastics Gold in Glasgow 2015. The unquestionable favourite on the pommel, Whitlock could also challenge for the all-around title.
David Florence – Canoeing
David Florence is a two x World Champion in the C1 category – the second of which he claimed last year at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. A month later he won the Olympic selection trials in both C1 and C2 with partner Richard Hounslow. He’s won two Silvers in previous Games but he’s got a good chance of moving up the podium in Rio.
Charlotte Dujardin – Equestrian
The equestrian events were one of the biggest surprises to both audiences and Team GB’s medal table back in 2012, with three Golds and five medals in total. This year our strongest chance comes once again from Charlotte Dujardin in the dressage. Dujardin and her horse Valegro may not be ranked number one but hopefully her expe