Super Olympic showdowns
We’re as excited as kids on Christmas Eve waiting for the Olympic Flame to be lit (hopefully by all-time hero, and first sub-four minute mile man, Roger Bannister and not David Beckham, just saying…).
Time cannot move quickly enough and here’s why, as we give you the top five showdowns that will have us on the edge of our seats…
BOLT v BLAKE
If there’s one event everyone wants to see it’s the 100m and this year’s race promises to be a real humdinger. Defending champion Bolt has some unfinished business - having false-started at last year’s World Championships, gifting the gold to Blake. He was also beaten by his team-mate at the 100m and 200m in the Jamaican trials. Can he get his own back and set another world record in the process? Or will Blake boss the ‘golden one’ once again? We cannot wait to find out.
ARCHERS v THEMSELVES
We’re huge cricket fans and cannot think why, when golf is to be included in the Games, cricket isn’t (the fact only a few countries play it, it takes too long etc, etc, apart.) However, our appetite will sort of be sated by the archery competition. No, we haven’t gone mad - the bow-and-arrow boys will be gunning (not literally, obviously, that would be cheating) for gold at Lord’s. Yes, the home of cricket, a grand old stadium will put the Olympic Stadium to shame as it glistens in the London sunshine (we’ve heard the sun will make an appearance).
PHELPS v LOCHTE
For more than 1,400 days no one, bar a few diehards, really cares about swimming. Then once every four years the princes and princesses of the pool capture the world’s attention. This deadly duo are good friends as well as arch rivals. With a stunning eight golds, Phelps was the star of Beijing. But fellow American Lochte is getting better with every race and is a serious threat to the man who eats way too much for our skinny liking. Water way to start the Games!
FANS V LONDON TRANSPORT
Brits tend to be a pessimistic bunch and, despite Lord Coe and bonkers Mayor Boris Johnson’s insistence that all will be well, they’re convinced the transport network will collapse under the Olympic strain. Just back from our own highly scientific investigation we, too, are not so sure. Will brittle buses and troubling tubes cause chaos during the Games? Can London cope? We hope so but, then again, on Tuesday trains weren’t able to stop at the Olympic Park because the sun was out and it was too hot - we’re not kidding you...
USA v EVERYONE ELSE
For two weeks we’ll forget our belief that a load of multi-billionaires shooting hoops doesn’t exactly match up to the Olympic ideal because the basketball competition promises to be brilliant. Kobe Bryant is convinced the current crop of Americans could beat the famous 1992 Dream Team of Michael Jordan and Co (see p.43). We’ll never find out whether that’s the case but as Argentina’s 2004 win shows, a gold for USA this time around isn’t a foregone conclusion.