The Port Macquarie Missile, James Magnussen, is perhaps the hottest of the hot favourites in London. Going into his pet event, the 100 metre freestyle, he has made it no secret that he wants to be the fastest man in history and, considering that the record was set in a super suit, breaking that mark would be a massive achievement.
Magnussen is also a huge chance to back that up with gold in the 4x100m relay. Don’t count him out in the 50m dash as well.
Magnussen’s toughest rival is the little known Aussie James Roberts. Roberts has put in some extremely quick times himself and if Magnussen’s party is to be spoilt, let’s hope it’s by this man.
Malcolm Page and Mat Belcher
Along with swimming, sailing is likely to be Australia’s most successful sport at the London Games. Tom Slingsby is one sailor that is a real chance to take out the men’s Laser class but pictured is Malcolm Page and he has a real shot at gold with Mat Belcher. Malcolm Page won gold with Nathan Wilmot in Beijing and has gelled well with Belcher since to win three world titles coming into the Olympics. They are a real chance to take out the gold in the men’s 470 class.
Sally Pearson had, up until two weeks ago, experienced the perfect preparation to an Olympic Games. She was pipped at the post by American Kellie Wells in her last competitive race but is reportedly confident about her chances. She will remain odds on favourite to win the 100 metre hurdles gold and, barring another big problem, she should do that.
The velodrome is again predicted to be a haven for medals for Australia.
Anna Meares has been one of Australia’s most successful Olympians. Her power on the track is in many ways unparalled. She is the fastest woman ever over 200 metres and will be strong again in this event. But Meares’ pet event, the Kerin, is widely considered her best chance at gold. Glen O’Shea and the men’s pursuit team are also strong chances to win gold.
The famous Kookaburra’s, under coach Ric Charlesworth, have won almost every world title possible, apart from the illusive Olympic gold. Led by five-time world player of the year Jamie Dwyer, the boys are set to break the drought.
The Kookaburra’s big threats to the title will be the Dutch, and the ever impressive Germans.
The Hockeyroos are also a good chance to medal but recent losses have raised doubts over the potential for that medal to be gold.
Australia’s women’s water polo team, the Stingers, have snuck under the radar of supporters across the country. There will be eight teams participating in the women’s event and, with defending champions the Netherlands out and world champions Greece not competing, the gold is ours for the taking. While it will come as a surprise to many if we win this event, not medalling will be a failure for the women. Pictured is centre forward Gemma Beadsworth.