Our 10 best medal chances
Wed July 11, 2012 12:00am
THESE are the 10 individual athletes and sporting teams that present our best chance for Olympic glory in London.
1. SALLY PEARSON (100M HURDLES)
IT’S always fraught with danger to talk about the perfect preparation, but that’s exactly what Sally Pearson has enjoyed in the lead-up to the biggest race of her life.
Every box has been ticked from the moment she stamped herself as the one to beat in London by demolishing her rivals at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea, 10 months ago, winning the 100m hurdles gold medal in 12.28sec – the fourth fastest time in history.
THE DANGER: The two biggest threats are from the USA - Dawn Harper, the reigning Olympic champion, and Lolo Jones.
WHEN: Heats - Monday August 6; Semi-finals, Final - Tuesday August 7
– Scott Gullan
2. JAMES MAGNUSSEN (100M SWIMMING)
IF James Magnussen was a cricketer or footballer, we would probably think the bloke was full of himself.
He tells his opposition in the 100m freestyle to brace themselves about what to expect at London. He doesn’t talk about winning gold, but the certainty of it. He talks about breaking the world record of 46.91secs set by Brazilian arch rival Cesar Cielo like it’s a fait accompli.
‘‘That’s how close I am,’’ he says, clicking his fingers.
THE DANGER: Fellow Australian James Roberts.
WHEN: Semi-finals - Tuesday July 31; Final - Wednesday August 1.
– Andrew Webster
3. KOOKABURRAS (MEN'S HOCKEY)
IN the four years since the appointment of arguably our best sporting coach, Ric Charlesworth, the Kookaburras’ trophy cabinet has featured more silverware than a MasterChef kitchen.