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      04.08.2012 20:36
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      The Olympics are underway proper

      There is no doubt the home crowd is a help as well as a hindrance for British athletes in London 2012, the favorites feeling the pressure and the outsiders over-performing after pulling from that crowd, as we saw in the gymnastics and the road race, to name but two. If you are expected to do well that can double the pressure. If you're not expected to do anything and you do then twice the kudos coming your way if you do? But like cycling and rowing the British team are expected to perform in athletics, where many Olympic legends are born, Kelly Holmes smile, the arrogance of Coe v Ovett and Daley Thompson's cheek. But the gold medals are no longer guaranteed for team GB as drug tests regimes are the tightest in the world here - but not everywhere else. But Mo Farah, Jess Ennis, Dai Green and others are going for glory and have the bottle to win gold for team GB. We are going to over perform over the next week in the Olympic stadium.



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      My predictions for the big athletics events---
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      100m Winner - Johan Blake
      Brit - Semi Final
      WR - 19:58


      If all the people who detest the Olympics and the cost of London 2012 were told they would not be able to watch the 100m final by law they would be soon claiming their human rights have been taken away. EVERYONE on the planet wants to see this race as it is the Olympics and anyone still moaning about the Games should leave the country for good.
      It should be Usain Bolt for three more gold's in London but the big man doesn't quite have that aurora of recent seasons. But he runs with the confidence and arrogance of a man with a 10 inch penis and so never short of confidence. The rumored injury sent him out to see a controversial quack in Eastern Europe and the rest of the field have used that time to close the gap. But his WR is 9:58 and he can run under 9.70 to regain that gold medal, something that has only ever been done once before, that of Carl Lewis in 1984 and 88, only after Ben Johnson was stripped of gold. It would be revealed later on that Lewis failed three drug tests in the 1980s but kept secret for Cold War reasons by the Americans. Lewis would later say: 'so what, everyone else was doing it?' I really want to punch that guy's smug face every time I see it.

      Bolt is threatened most by Johan Blake, his fellow Jamaican, who has run 9.77 this season and the current world champion after Bolts DSQ false start in Korea. Blake can be up with him in the Bolt acceleration zone and that means pressure can be applied. No one has done that before. Asifa Powell is also a sub 9.80 man and yet more pressure for Bolt although Powell a famous choker over the years. He has been tested three times in five days with blood draws in London and he is not happy. The American sprinters of Tyson Gay and reformed (cough!) drug cheat Justin Gatlin, the 2004 Olympic champion, have also run around 9:80 and in the Jamaicans slip stream, Gatlin running faster than when he was caught when taking drugs - on and off the track - since Athens04. Ryan Baileys unexpected 9.88 in the heats puts him in the frame too.

      If Bolt runs at 90% he is the champion and the three stride less approach of 41 to Johan Gays 44 unbeatable on his day. But I don't see any WR times here due to a tighter finish and I really fancy Blake to dip win it with Gatlin third and Bolt second. I can all ready visualize this finish in what is going to be the greatest 100m ever. When Bolt wasn't winning by a mile he is tying up and finishing second and that could well happen here. In fact I'm going to predict the first ever tied 100m final. The 2003 WR champion, Kim Collins of St Kitts & Nevis, was DSQ by his federation (that out number their athletes here) for 'meeting up with his wife' the night before the heats.


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      200m Winner - Usain Bolt
      Brit - Semi-Final
      WR - 19:11
      ----------------


      This is Bolts event and his huge stride pattern means he would win the 400m too if he ever tried it. He will win here just shy of a world record with Blake second and the fastest white man Christophe Limeira of France third.


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      400m - Kirani James (Gren)
      Brit - Semi-Final
      WR - 43:18
      ----------------

      The Americans own this race and will win again, the sprint distances an integral part of college sport for gridiron training, why they have so many sprinters, and failed drug tests, favorite Le-Shawn Merritt one of them but limping out of the heats here. The quickest kids in the West Indies are rounded up and packed into America colleges to chase sporting glory and contracts. Grenadian Kirani James is the reigning Olympic champion and so the one to watch. The Borlee brothers of Belgium are a huge threat and great to see the man with the blades also make the semi-finals.


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      400m Hurdles Winner - Felix Sanchez
      WR - 46:78
      ----------------

      Dai as our best bet for an Olympic gold behind Ennis but he messed up the heats and he may not have had enough good races this year to win. He is a confident chap though and runs technically brilliant races. But Sally Gunnell won for the girls so why not Dai? The huge British crowd will drive him on the finishing line and straight and pass the top Americans and anyone else who has the cheek. But which medal will it be? Sanchez for me.

      110m Hurdles - David Oliver (USA)
      WR- 12:87

      Robles of Cuba v Xiang Lei of China yet again. I can't split them although if they are in shape Colin Jacksons WR could go. But there are some new American names in the frame and so maybe a surprise gold medal here? I really fancy a surprise gold by either America David Oliver or Aires Merritt as the big two take their eye off the newbies.


      ---------------------------------------------
      800m (Radisha) & 1500m (Kiprop)
      Brit - Semi-Final

      WR - 1.41.01
      WR - 3:26:00

      Once we are out of the sprints we are into black African athlete territory, most born and trained at altitude, owning these records and medals in recent decades, sure to win most through to the marathon. Ethiopia and Kenya are again hot favorites for the blue ribbon middle distance races. World Record holder David Radisha has to be favorite for both although Aman from Ethiopia and Kiprop of Kenya also look very good and could pinch it in a sprint finish.


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      Steeplechase - Kemboi
      WR - 7:53.63
      Brit - Nowhere

      It's always a Kenyan and probably Kip Kemboi.


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      5000m and 10,000m winner - Farah/Bekele
      Brit- Silver
      WR - 12.37.35
      WR - 26:17.53

      Its Mo Farah time and the London born Somali is our greatest ever 3-7 miler. He was close to gold in Beijing but the favorite for at least one here after his world championship success. I think he will win a medal but the Africans work as a team and so it will be one against ten. Lagat and Soi of Kenya could sandwich him for silver in the 5000m and Jeylan in the 10,000m a huge threat. Farah is suffering Ramadan and so no food or water in daylight hours allowed if he plays by the holy book.


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      Marathon - Patrick Makau (Ken)
      WR - 2:03.38

      Has to be East African so Kenya for me.


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      100M relay - USA V Jamaica!
      WR - 37:04

      Who ever wins here if the batton isn't dropped its a WR.


      --------------------------------
      400M relay - USA V rest
      R - 2:54.29

      Can't see anyone beating America.


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      Field Events
      ----------------

      Triple Jump - Christian Taylor (US)
      Brit - Medal
      WR - 18:29

      Is he injured or not is the question for me. Phillips Idowu hates the athletics team manager and enjoying winding him up by not doing what he is being told, avoiding training camp and feigning injury. He is a top competitor and the silver medal holder of both the Worlds and Olympics. But his ego has got the better of him and just stacked the pressure on himself pulling this stunt and so wont medal for me. But sometimes that works for the greats. Christian Taylor of the US is the man to beat.


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      Long Jump - Dwight Phillips (USA)
      Brit - Make Final
      WR - 8:95

      GB have form long jumpers in the competition in Rutherford and Tomlinson but not medalists. Has to be Phillips.


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      WOMEN --------
      ------------------------------

      100M - Jeta
      Brit- semi-final
      WR - 10.49

      It has to be Carmelita Jeta from the USA, short legs but very fast, a girl that could break 10.50. Flo Jo's World Record is not legit for me so I hope Jeta does America proud. The Jamaicans are on for the podium here, of course, but not for gold. Defending Olympic champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is the world leader this year with a time of 10.70 but loses against Jeta a lot.

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      200m -Felix (USA)
      Brit- semi final
      WR 21:34

      World champion Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica is going for an unprecedented third successive gold medal in the event but will have her work cut out, triple world champion Allyson Felix from America her biggest challenger. Fellow American Sanya Richards-Ross could feature in this USA V Jamaica tear up.


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      400m - Novlene Williams-Mills (Jamaica)
      Brit - Semi-final
      WR- 47:60

      Surprise world champion Amantle Montsho of Botswana's won the world athletics title last year and will hope to earn the African country a maiden Olympic gold. But Richards - Ross Jamaica's and Jamaica's Novlene Williams-Mills are fast this year and also in the mix. The interloper is our very own Christine Ohurugu, defending her Olympic title and a medal is possible, no better athlete for peaking for the big finals.


      100m hurdles - Sally Pearson (Aus)
      Brit - semi-final
      WR - 12:21

      Pearson has been unbeaten for ages, until this year, a bad sign. But I fancy she will get it right on the night and get gold. If Ennis had doubled up she may have medaled on her form, equaling the time in her heptathlon that the 2008 Olympics was won on.


      ----------------------------------------------------------------
      400m hurdles - Bronze for Perri Shakes-Drayton (GB)

      WR - 54.34

      USA V Jamaica again but watch out for team GBS Perri Shakes-Drayton in the bronze battle. It's hard not to like the local girl and she may be the only omen to medal for us. Melaine Walker of Jamaica should win as challenger Demus of America is knocking on.


      ----------------------
      800m & 1500m

      WR - 1:53.28
      WR - 3:56.46

      Caster Semyana is back for South Africa, the women with the men's bits, banned from the worlds until she passed a sex test. It's believed the South Africans were running some sort of illicit doping program that went wrong and this was the result. If she is a he then she will win the 800m gold. The Africans don't dominate middle distance as much as the men do and the Russians also having some ex dopers back on the team. Pamela Jelimo, 23, became the first Kenyan female to land an Olympic gold when she won in Beijing and there is also a young lady called Fantu Magiso who could shock here.

      The 1500m favorite failed a drugs test leaving the form Abeba Aregawi the favorite. But don't discount the Russians in this one, their event over the years.


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      Steeplechase - Chemos (Kenya)
      5000m winner - Dibaba
      10,000m winner - Dibaba

      WR - 8.58.81
      WR - 14.11.15
      WR - 29.31.78

      Kenya had never won the women's Olympics 10,000m and still haven't, Dibaba from Ethopia winning the gold last night. Two Brits in the final pleased the home crowd. I expect Dibaba to double gold in the 5000m but Kenya's policewoman Vivian Cheruiyot out for revenge over last night. Kenya always wins the steeplechase but World champion Zulia Zaripova from Russia is in form and could break that dominance. But the Kenyans work as a team and I expect them to see her off this time.

      --------------------------
      100m & 400m relay
      WR - 41:37
      WR -3:15.17

      Jamaica v USA all the way and a gold each.


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      Triple Jump -Yamile Aldama GB (Silver)

      Plastic Brit Yamile Aldama from the Caribbean is very good and very old, 40 with two kids, no less, but likely to medal. I hate it when we poach talent from other countries and home grown athletes miss out. The Olympics is not all about winning medals for me and I won't celebrate this one.

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      Javelin - A Scandinavian
      WR - 72.28

      Goldie Sayers has an injury but still capable of a medal winning throw.


      ----------------------------------------
      Pole Vault - Silkie Spiegelburg
      WR - 5:06

      Our Holly Bleasdale is a tough cookie and every chance of being in the meddle shake up, qualifying fourth. Defending champion Isinbeyova is out off form and so the gold up for grabs and in such a young event to the games we don't really know how far the WR record can go up. Why can't Holly medal here? Silkie Spiegelburg of Germany is the favorite for me.


      -----------------------------------------
      Heptathlon - Jess Ennis (GOLD)
      WR - 7291 Points

      She's my girl and a great competitor and always understands that one bad event only loses the world record and not the gold. She has fixed her javelin and nailed an early decent long jump this morning. She led overnight with two PB's (one a national record) and on the way here. In fact her 100m hurdles time would have won the individual gold medal in Beijing! A good 800m tonight and it's in the bag.


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      Marathon - Mary Kietany (Ken)
      WR - 2:15.25

      For some reason East Africa have only one the woman's marathon once although the Kenyan girls are in great form and so maybe the year. Edna Kiplagat and Priscah Jeptoo are their top racers and gold from those two maybe? But Mary Kietany for me...


      HAPPY ATHELTICS!!!

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        22.03.2001 03:04
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        Women in the Olympics have had a very steep struggle to get recognised and to try and bring them equal rights within the role of sport. The Olympics have been a very good example of how women have fought and are still fighting to become recognised and to have equal right as men. When the modern Olympic games began in 1896 women had no part in the competition like the ancient Olympics. But they were allowed to spec Tate. This is sponsorships because in those days women were thought to be very courteous. Like it was very unfeminine to get sweaty and be aggressive. The founder of the modern Olympics, Baron Pierre said “Olympics were no place for women” In those early days women had to work hard to gain a presence in the Olympic arena and force open the door to enter a sport. This happened to every sport one after another, and still going on over a hundred years later. For example swimming for women was included in the games in 1912 and a limited program of track and field was added in 1928. Women races longer than 200m were banned until 1960 when the 800m was reintroduced. The women marathon wasn’t added until as late as 1984. In 1992 the 10 000m walk was introduced and recently water polo was introduced in the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Women wrestlers are aiming for the 2004 Olympics, in a civilised society were people are suppose to have equal right; women are still fighting to open up doors. The SFU’s wrestling team, are setting their sight on the 2004 Olympics. Hopefully the door will open.

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        23.09.2000 05:18
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        With the withdrawal of Perec of France, probably her biggest danger,I just cannot see anyone beating Cathy Freeman. Her form this year has been excellent, and she will have the whole of Australia willing her to win gold. Although there are still some quality athletes in the 400m she will have to beat; she has put together a fine sequence of victories this season and has already beaten most of the opposition she will face in the final. Having watched her win her first round heat today without any problems, I think a quick trip to the local bookies is in order. The odds on a Freeman victory will be pretty short, but with a home support that will lift her to even greater heights(even though she doesn't really need it)she is about the nearest thing to a dead cert you can get.

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        17.09.2000 00:08
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        Australia's Ian Thorpe has already won an individual gold medal and followed it up with a relay gold, but it is certain that this teenager with the size 17 feet is not done yet. He is the most natural swimmer to come along for quite some time and he does not just beat the rest of the field, he destroys them. If you can find a bookie daft enough to give you any odds on this fellow, take them and laugh your way to the bank.

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        27.08.2000 19:23
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        Greene, Johnson and Jones. To see beyond Michael Johnson for the 400 metres can only mean one thing....the man's got an injury! It would be a brave person to bet against him though. Maurice Greene is seemingly getting better throughout the year alhough Olympic history dictates that the fastest men on earth have not necessarily ran away with Olympic gold (ask Frankie Fredericks!). When he's in the mood, there doesn't seem to be anyone who can get close to him. And that's why he can win. *UPDATE* Ignore Gateshead's result....Chambers' win means nothing. The conditions will be far different in Sydney as well as the mental conditioning of Greene. *UPDATE* Ladbrokes is first out of the starting blocks and have offered Greene at odds of 1/5 which means you'd have to have a lot of confidence to back him....better would be to back Ato Boldon (1996 bronze medal winner) each-way at odds of 6/1. *UPDATE* Blue SQ are offering the three I've mentioned plus Hicham El Guerrouj to win 1500 meters at 'evens'. Seems good, although Greene and Hicham are the weakest links here. Caution is advised if you want to go ahead with this. 13/9 *UPDATE* Blue SQ are now offering 4/11 for Greene to win....although Boldon's on offer for a measly 5/1. Still wait for a shock announcewent, before hand, just in case. Marion Jones looks almost 'damage-proof' considering the possible opposition (Merlene Ottey?) in the women's 100 metres. And I'd back all them to win (although I certainly wouldn't put my 'house' on it). I remember back in 1996, I placed a treble of Jonathon Edwards (1/5), Frankie Fredericks (4/5) and Roger Black (50/1) all 'each-way' to win (reduced a fifth of the odds). And you know what? They all came in second (in their events)! I look forward to setting some odds on flutter.com come September (although
        again, I stress, I wouldn't bet my 'house' on them).

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        22.08.2000 06:27

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        This is finally it for Jonathan Edwards, after countless silver medals in various competitions he has started to make good preparation for the Sydney Olympics. He has just made the longest jump this year and he has done in many years but this is great timing as he is only weeks away from making his first jump in Sydney 2000. Excluding injury I believe that Jonathan Edwards will finally break the world record and jump hiself with a hop skip and a jump into the pit of gold.

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