The 2012 Summer Olympics have finally arrived! If you’re a Track & Field fanatic, you’ve likely spent the last week or so closely following the the Jamaican & U.S. Olympic trials and the European Championships. Whether you’re a sprinter or simply a fan, this is one of those great times to sit back and appreciate the athletic genius and power of these world class athletes. The anticipation and excitement is similar to what an football (soccer) nut experiences when awaiting the World Cup Finals.
Men’s 2012 Summer Olympic Sprints Preview (100 Meters)
Like any other Olympic sport, predictions can be tough for various reasons. As the past has taught us, unforeseen injuries can take place or underdog athletes can spring out of nowhere to make a name for themselves. However, it wouldn’t be fun if we didn’t at least try to predict the winners of the upcoming 100 Meter event. So without further ado, let’s gets started!
As we get closer to that first event, all eyes will be on Team Jamaica. Many experts believe this group has three legitimate contenders to capture gold in this event. Usain Bolt is Usain Bolt, the defending Olympic champion (PR 9.69) and almost everyone’s favorite to repeat. However, Yohan Blake (PR 9.75) and previous record holder, Asafa Powell (PR 9.72), should not be overlooked. In the last year Yohan Blake has cranked it up a notch and Asafa is as consistent as always. Both stand a great chance of upsetting the balance of things.
Team USA was once a force to be reckoned with, but with the rise of the Jamaicans in recent years, they’re going to have their hands full in 2012. Tyson Gay, Mr. 9.69, is a serious contender. He is the fastest American in history, but hasn’t consistently competed in over a year due to injuries. Will he be at 100 percent? He looked pretty good during the trials. Therefore, it’s safe to say he is a viable contender.
Justin Gaitlin (PR 9.80) has shown great progress since his ban was lifted. Many in the know believe he’s at least serious contender for one of the medals.
Ryan Bailey (PR 9.88) is still one of the top 10 Americans ever for shorter distance competitions. At the 2012 U.S. Olympic trials, he finished third in the 100 meter final with a time of 9.93.
Richard Thompson (Trinidad & Tobago) – The Olympic silver medalist from 2008 with a PR of 9.85, he hasn’t looked quite the same since the last Olympics. His fastest time this year was a 9.96. However, as a former medal winner, he shouldn’t be counted out.
Kemar Hyman (Caymans Islands) – The national record holder in the 100 and 200 meters, he holds a PR 9.95.
Christopher Lemaitre (France) – Currently the fastest Frenchman in the world, Lemaitre has yet to break 10 this season. Even if he progresses to 9.9, which is quite likely, it’ll be difficult for him to capture a medal given the high-level competition.
Keston Bledman (Trinidad & Tobago) – Unknown by many, this young sprinter has racked up a 9.86 and 9.93 this year. Bledman is considered by many as the dark horse of the competition. In other words, don’t be surprised if he rises above it all and somehow pulls out a medal.
There is no doubt that this field is greatly talented, but the weather at these Olympics will likely deter near world record times. London can be challenging when it comes to rain, but if all goes well on the evening of the 100m final, a 9.75 or better should medal.
Prediction: Usain Bolt (gold), Yohan Blake (silver) and Tyson Gay (bronze).
Women’s 2012 Summer Olympic Sprints Preview (100 Meters)
Moving on to the women’s field, there should be a lot more surprises here. This has been typical in years past and we shouldn’t expect these Olympics to be any different. Typically a 10.9 would be good enough to win, but this year it will likely take a better time to notch gold. As is customary, we begin with the powerhouse that is Jamaica!
Shelly-Ann Fraiser-Pryce – The defending Olympic champion. Frasier-Pryce has a PR of 10.70.
Veronica Campbell-Brown – PR 10.76
Kerron Stewart – PR 10.75
Those scores would qualify these women for NCAA Division III Men’s Nationals. That’s how dominant they are. For this reason, it would not shock anyone if this group swept in this event.
Carmelita Jeter – The only woman with a faster PR (10.64) than the Jamaican women. However, at age 32, can she be as effective as before?
Tianna Madison – Hit a PR (10.97) at the U.S. trials, which was good enough to notch her 2nd place.
Allyson Felix – Felix (PR 10.92) is on this list based off her 21.6 in the 200m. She’s got a lot of potential, but can she put it all together for this one event?
Kelly-Ann Baptiste (Trinidad & Tobago) – Holds a PR of 10.84. She is considered by many as the biggest threat to spoil a Jamaican sweep.
Eastern Europe – No one particular stands out here. However, expect some random Eastern European to shatter her PR to medal, leaving everyone shaking their heads in amazement. This has happened many times before.
Prediction: Shelly-Ann Fraiser-Pryce (gold), Kerron Stewart (silver) and Veronica Campbell-Brown (bronze).