As the main event draws ever closer and the athletes continue to arrive in Rio ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony, we thought we’d take a quick look at five young British stars to look out for once the Games commence.
Yes, we’ve all head of Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford, but who is the next generation following on from London 2012 who can do us proud and bring home a medal, and hopefully a gold on at that!
Adam Peaty- Swimming
A great medal prospect in the pool, 20-year-old Adam Peaty competes in the 50m and 100m breaststroke and holds the world records for both events.
Three years ago Peaty wasn’t event competing on the senior swimming circuit but has since gone on to win two Commonwealth gold’s and four European titles all whilst a teenager, and with a World 100m gold also in his trophy cabinet, he is one of the best chances of gold in the pool for Team GB at Rio.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson- Heptathlon
Whilst Jessica Ennis-Hill might have been the name synonymous with this event in recent years, there is a new British name joining the party. Johnson-Thompson finished 15th in London, which was her first major event of her career, and has since gone on to make a real name for herself in the event.
It’s expected to be a closely fought battle between the two British athletes, but don’t be surprised if the young 22-year-old pretender comes out on top and wins Olympic gold.
Giles Scott- Sailing
Being the shadows of Sir Ben Ainslie for most of his career, Giles Scott now has the opportunity to take centre stage and since Ainslie retired has utterly dominated the Finn class.
He was incredibly unfortunate to miss out on London 2012 after being World and European champion in 2011 and beating Ainslie at the Sail for Gold Regatta in 2012, yet now his time has come and he travels at Rio as an almost certainty to take home the gold.
Jack Laugher- Diving
20-year-old diver, Jack Laugher, was selected for London 2012 and although he failed to make it through the semi-finalists, has used the experience to great effect. After winning Commonwealth gold, Laugher also won two bronze medals at the World Championships so has a number of solid performances to fall back on heading into the Olympics.
Whilst Tom Daley might be the star British name in the sport of diving, at 20 years old Jack Laugher has a great future ahead of him in the sport and could well come away with a medal from Rio.
Bianca Walkden- Taekwondo
After Jade Jones won Britain’s first ever medal in the sport in London, she is again expected to star in Rio, however another British name is taking Taekwondo by storm. 24-year-old Bianca Walkden is the current world champion in the women’s +73kg division so heads to Games with fantastic medal prospects.
With a long unbeaten strike to go with it, there’s every chance that Team GB could well be adding to their medals in the Taekwondo event this year.
With great performances in their fields previously comes the added pressure to perform on the world’s biggest stage, however we are confident that our young British hopefuls, including the five we’ve listed above, will do us proud and bring home the gold for Team GB.