Britain's potential medalists for 2012

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Nicole Cooke, 21, has four gold medals from World Championships already and is certain to be a contender at London 2012, when she will be at her peak. The winner of the toughest women's event last year - the Giro d'Italia - Cooke is famous in the peloton for her no-nonsense riding and her ambitions, which include being "the best woman cyclist ever", something she is well en route to becoming. London 2012 is definitely part of her priority list.

Alasdair Fotheringham

David Davies: Swimming

The Welshman made his Games debut in Athens last year, aged 19. He broke the British record to reach the final of the 1,500m freestyle and then smashed it in the race of his life to take a gutsy bronze behind Australia's Grant Hackett, the defending champion and world No 1. Davies, who swims for Britain in this month's world championships in Montreal, is on course to do better than this in 2008, and by 2012, at the age of 27, should be close to his prime.

Nick Harris

Alex Gregory: Rowing

The 21-year-old sprang into the national team this year from GB rowing's World-Class Start programme, designed to spot 2012's Redgraves and Pinsents. He double sculls with Oxford's Colin Smith in the final round of the World Cup in Lucerne which starts tomorrow.

Gregory began rowing as a sixth-former at Evesham, and was taught to scull by his history teacher Mark Earnshaw. Last year he was in the GB under-23 quadruple scull team coached by Earnshaw.

Christopher Dodd

Ryan Pickard: Boxing

Three months ago Ryan Pickard was selected as a 2012 hopeful by the Amateur Boxing Association and awarded an annual allowance of £10,000 as part of Sport England's funding for elite athletes. Pickard, 19, fights for Repton Club in Bethnal Green, east London, which is less than two miles from the proposed site of the 2012 boxing venue, and has won several junior titles. More British Olympic boxers have come from Repton than any other club.

Steve Bunce

Nick Thompson: Sailing

Nick Thompson has been sailing since he was five years old. His hero is the triple Olympic medallist Ben Ainslie and his aim is to follow in Ainslie's footsteps by winning Olympic gold in the single-handed Laser dinghy class. Thompson, 19, from Lymington, Hampshire, won gold at the world youth championships in Poland last year. "Nick has stood out as a special talent for some years," Stephen Park, the UK's Olympic sailing manager, said.

Stuart Alexander

Ellen Whitaker: Equestrianism

Ellen Whitaker will be 26 in 2012 and could already be a superstar of showjumping. The niece of John and Michael Whitaker, who have ridden in four Olympic Games, she has joined her uncles in the British squad for the European Show Jumping Championships in Italy. Ellen made a big impression in last year's British Jumping Derby and at the Super League Nations Cup inFrance in May. She looks set to be a regular member of the senior team.

Genevieve Murphy

Comments