Team GB medal hopefuls in action today: July 29

 

Your one-stop guide to the Team GB medal hopes in action at the Olympics today...

 

Nicole Cooke

Age: 29

Place of Birth: Wales

Main Event: Women’s Road Race

Rival: Her team-mate Lizzie Armitstead, thanks to last year's falling out.

Medal Prospects: She has an outside shot of finishing on the podium

Nicole Cooke won Britain’s first medal in Beijing, winning the Road Race. However her career has stuttered since then and she had a very public falling out with team-mate Lizzie Armitstead last year when she didn’t follow the team strategy and arguably cost Armitstead a podium finish. However, on her day she is a formidable cyclist and at the sharp end of a race, if there is a break-away, her experience will be invaluable.

Date of event: July 29

Odds: 12/1

 

Lizzie Armitstead

Age: 23

Place of Birth: England

Main Event: Women’s Road Race

Rival: Judith Arndt, Germany

Medal Prospects: If her team do their job then she will be in the frame for the top 3.

Armitstead is Team GB’s main medal hope in this event and she will have to put past differences between herself and Nicole Cook behind her if she is to have any chance.If her team do their job and the race comes down to a sprint finish, Armitstead will have a very good chance of getting her hands on a medal.

Date of event: July 29

Odds: 11/2

 

Ben Ainslie

Age: 35

Place of Birth: England

Main Event: Men’s Finn

Rival: Zach Riley, USA

Medal Prospects: Looking to make it four Olympic gold medals.

London 2012 will be Ben Ainslie’s fifth Olympic Games and sees him in the hunt for his fifth medal to add to his three golds and one silver. Ainslie has dominated the sport in recent years and in May won seven out of nine races at the Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth. However at the pre-Games regatta in June he showed he could have an off-day when he capsized and finished second.

Dates of event: July 29 – August 5

Odds: ½

 

Iain Percy & Andrew Simpson

Age: Both 36

Main Event: Men’s Star

Rival: Robert Scheidt & Bruno Prada, Brazil

Medal Prospects: Will be aiming for a silver

The duo won gold in 2008 in Beijing but their build-up to 2012 was difficult as Iain Percy was hit with a back problem at the World Championships in 2011. However,the two have worked hard and returned to the World Cup circuit in April where they vied with their Brazilian rivals for top spot. Their final warm-up competition saw them finish third in Weymouth in June.

Dates of event: July 29 – August 5

Odds: 7/2

 

Annie Lush, Lucy MacGregor and Kate MacGregor

Age: 32, 25 and 20

Main Event: Women’s Elliot 6m Team

Rival: Team USA are their closest competitor for top spot.

Medal Prospects: Should get at least silver but will be aiming for gold

The team first came together in 2010 and have since won National, European and World Championship titles. Annie Lush has experience at Olympic level having been part of the GB set up in Athens in 2004. Lucy MacGregor, the elder of the two sisters, skippers the boat and has a long and impressive track record for a 25-year-old. Her younger sister Kate, 20, may not have as much experience but has ample skill. As a group they have already shown their ability and will be firmly in the hunt for a medal come Games time.

Dates of event: July 29 – August 11

Odds: 11/5

 

Zac Purchase & Mark Hunter

Ages: 26 and 34

Main Event: Lightweight Double Scull

Rivals: New Zealand

Medal Prospects: A disrupted 2012 so far means the pair are unlikely to do better than bronze.

Although they won in Beijing and are current world champions, the duo suffered some setbacks in their preparations for London. Illness played its part in some of their performances this year and they finished a disappointing sixth place in Munich. With their opponents pulling ahead there needs to be a real improvement but it would be a mistake to write this duo off.

Dates of event: July 29 – August 4

Odds: 7/2

 

Liam Tancock

Age: 27

Place of Birth: England

Main Event: 100m Backstroke

Rival: Frenchman Camille Lacourt is the current joint-world champion

Medal Prospects: It all depends on if he can hang on in the closing stages of the race, but he should be able to make at least bronze. Liam Tancock is only the second British male swimmer to have retained a world title, a feat he achieved last year. The problem is that this was done in the 50m backstroke, an event that is not an Olympic discipline. The shortest Olympic backstroke distance is 100m in which he finished sixth at the Beijing Games. Consequently Tancock is an outside bet for a medal; it all depends on whether he can transfer his 50m prowess into the longer version of the race.

Dates of event: July 29 – July 30

Odds: 16/1

 

Gemma Spofforth

Age: 24

Place of Birth: England

Main Event: 100m Backstroke

Rival: Australian Emily Seebohm

Medal Prospects: Has the ability to win gold.

Gemma Spofforth has struggled with serious emotional problems away from swimming since the death of her mother in 2008 and last year was set to quit the sport. However, the 100m backstroke world record holder hauled herself back to the pool and qualified for Team GB. On her day, as her world record proves, she has the ability to dominate the field and since she is leaving the sport after the Olympics she is determined to put everything into this last event.

Dates of event: July 29 – July 30

Odds: 12/1

 

Joanne Jackson

Age: 25

Place of Birth: England

Main Event: 400m Freestyle

Rival: Her training partner Rebecca Adlington

Medal Prospects: Most likely bronze but could do better.

London 2012 will be Joanne Jackson’s third Olympic Games despite her young age. She failed to qualify from her heat as a 17-year-old in Athens but then won a bronze in Beijing in 2008. Her steady improvement was marked by her setting a world record in 2009. She has a whole host of European, Commonwealth and World Championship medals to her name and is a very real contender in this discipline.

Date of event: July 29

 

Women’s Hockey

Rival: The Netherlands are favourites and are also in Team GB’s group.

Medal Prospects: The team should be in the hunt for bronze.

Team GB’s women are ranked 4th in the world coming into the Olympics. An encouraging performance saw them finish runners-up in the Women’s Championship Trophy at the start of the year but their most recent competition, the London Cup, saw them finish in fifth. However, four of the side’s key players were unavailable for the competition so the team will almost certainly perform better in the Games.

Dates of event: July 29 – August 10

Odds: 11/2

 

 

Chris Bartley, Peter Chambers, Richard Chambers and Rob Williams

Age: 28, 22, 27 and 27

Main Event: Men’s Lightweight Fours

Rivals: Australia

Medal Prospects: Will be in the fight for either a gold or silver medal.

A very encouraging last year saw the crew take silver at the Rowing World Cup in Belgrade followed by bronze in Lucerne and then a superb gold in Munich in June, overcoming great rivals Australia. This excellent run of results suggests that London could be the time for this crew to really shine.

Dates of event: July 28 – August 2

Odds: 15/8

 

Zara Phillips, Kristina Cook, William Fox-Pitt, Piggy French and Mary King

Ages: 31, 41, 43, 31 and 51

Main Event: Team Eventing

Rival: Germany won gold in Beijing

Medal Prospects: The team will be confident of improving on the bronze they won in 2008.

Team GB have a wealth of experience in their eventing team this summer. London will be Mary King’s sixth Olympics, William Fox-Pitt’s fourth and Kristina Cook’s second. Surprisingly this is Zara Phillips’ first Games as she missed the last two because her horse was injured, while it is also Piggy French’s Games debut. The combination of experience and ability mean that the team will be hopeful of improving upon the bronze that they won in Beijing in 2008.

Dates of event: July 28 – July 31

Odds: 5/2

 

Andy Murray

Age: 25

Place of Birth: Scotland

Main Event: Men’s Singles Tennis

Rival: Anyone of Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic – although a rematch with Roger Federer is the one that will be most hotly anticipated.

Medal Prospects: He came so close at Wimbledon that he will surely back himself to go that one step further on his return to the grass courts.

Andy Murray became the first British man to reach a Wimbledon final for over 70 years in July but was prevented from winning the title by a sublime Roger Federer. The London Olympics sees tennis return to the grass courts of West London and give the Scot another chance to claim glory at the home of British tennis. Murray's job became a little easier when Spain's Rafael Nadal pulled out of the Games.

Dates of event: July 28 – August 5

Odds: 17/2

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