10 reasons to be hopeful for 2012
Britain's golden prospects for the London Games
Saturday 23 August 2008
Jean Rene Badrick
British judo has had another inauspicious Olympics, again finishing without a medal, but there are hopes that Jean Rene Badrick, from London, will provide a better finish in 2012. The under-66kg European cadet champion is described by Neil Adams, Britain's most successful judo player, as "a great talent, with terrific technique. Nobody can touch him in his age group."
In Beijing, Brownlee led the chase-down of the two leaders from midway through the cycling phase, and pushed the pace at the front of the field in the 10km run until 3km from the finish. He faded to 12th but the world Under-23 champion from Leeds showed he has the pedigree, and perhaps more importantly the cojones, to be a medal contender when the Olympic triathlon comes to Hyde Park in 2012.
Despite the mauling he suffered, not least from his team-mate Blake Aldridge, after the catastrophic failure in the synchronised diving, Daley plainly has the talent and the time to build towards 2012. But it will only happen if the thrust of his precociously created career is sharply redirected towards the core of competitive growth. Here, absurdly, his chief role seemed to be poster boy.
The Oxford Brookes University student won a silver medal in the eight here and proved himself an able substitute in the men's four during the World Cup. Few get to the senior team at 19, as Lucy did last year. Those who have done so include Sir Matthew Pinsent, Greg Searle and Tim Foster.
20, Track cycling
Won three junior world titles in 2006 and came of age here, helping Britain to take gold in the team sprint and winning silver in the individual event, in which he was the only serious threat to team-mate Chris Hoy. Combines pure speed with a cool temperament and great racing brain.
The Wimbledon junior champion will not make her debut on the main women's tour for at least another year, but by the time 2012 comes around she should be a fully fledged senior professional. Tennis at the London Games will be played at Wimbledon, where Robson has already established her grass-court credentials.
Within minutes of winning a bronze medal here, Shaw was committing another four years of her life to the search for Olympic gold, dismissing any thought of switching to the professional windsurfing circuit. She has the talent, dedication and attitude to succeed, as well as some crucial local knowledge: her parents live almost within spitting distance of the 2012 sailing venue in Portland, Dorset.
The teenager from Beverley reached the final of her best event, the 200m backstroke, at these Games, her first major world-level event. She finished sixth, in a British record time (her second of the week). Five golds at the European Youth Olympics of 2005 spoke of promise; senior medley gold in Europe this year showed development. Look for precious metal in London, in the 200m backstroke at least.
Failed to reach the 1500m final by seven hundredths of a second here, but has already indicated her enormous potential by winning the European junior cross-country title and, this year, the world junior 1500m championship. The Colchester athlete also finished fifth in the 3,000m at the Crystal Palace meeting.
Came to Beijing on a learning curve for 2012 and ran into one of Cuba's finest, the seasoned Andris Hernandez, in his opening bout. But the British flyweight absorbed the lesson well and could be one of Britain's best in London – although by then he may have a rival for his place, in the form of his 16-year-old brother, Gamal, who is already a national junior champion at the same weight.
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