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UK Athletics

The Top (Power of) Ten

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Greg Rutherford
Rutherford - could steal a medal and a British Record at the same time


Who’d have thought it would be difficult to get Team GB’s top medal hopes down to a shortlist of ten? Well that’s exactly what happened, with a lively debate and some noteable names missing that could easily argue for inclusion!


After all, you can not ignore the likes of Andrew Baddeley, Mara Yamauchi, Paula Radcliffe, Nicola Sanders, Nathan Douglas or Lisa Dobriskey – all capable of World class performances.


So here is the much debated Power of Ten medal hopes for the Olympic Games.


10. Goldie Sayers

PB: 65.05m (2007)

SB: 63.96

In the last 18 months, Sayers has moved into World class and can throw distances which would win medals at World and Olympic level. Her 2008 season suggests she will certainly make the top eight, but anything can happen in the world of throws where timing is of the essence.


9. Marilyn Okoro

PB: 1.58.45

SB: 1.58.45

A slow start to 2008 perhaps bruised the confidence of the Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier – yet her hard work over the last few months has really paid off as she gets quicker with every race. In a highly competitive event, don’t rule her out for a minor medal placing.


8. Greg Rutherford

PB: 8.26m (2006)

SB: 8.20m

It’s been good to see Greg back where he belongs, at the top of British Long Jumping and on the stage of a major championship. He has proved he is a championship performer, and a  British record -which he is capable of - could win a medal.


7. Women 4x100 relay

Many statisticians wouldn’t bet against Gold and Silver heading in the direction of the  USA and Jamaica, but absolutely anything can happen in a relay, and the British Women are the strongest they’ve been for years.


6. Martyn Rooney

PB: 44.72

SB: 44.72

As always, it is going to take a big effort for a non-USA sprinter to get a foot in the door, BUT Rooney’s star is rising and it can often pay to back the man who is rapidly improving and getting faster at the right time of the season.


Pickering and Malcolm in relay practice
Brits in practice - getting ready for their relay title defence


5. Men’s 4x100m

Opponents to the GB men’s retaining their gold are USA, Jamaica and Trinidad. Again we would argue that the relay is a curious beast and sometimes it is the most well oiled machine that gels together to take the medals and not the one made of four fast components



4. Women 4x400m

Women’s 400m form across the world has been very mixed lately, although we know that Russia and the USA possess such a depth of talent in this area - a medal is definitely possible for a team that boasts last year’s Gold and Silver medallist s from the World Championships and the fast improving Lee McConnell.


3. Kelly Sotherton

PB: 6547 (2005)

2004’s bronze medallist will not have a better opportunity to increase her Olympic medal haul with several key players opting out of the heptathlon in 2008, and Sotherton demonstrating great form at the Aviva London Grand Prix.


2. Christine Ohuruogu

PB: 49.61 (2007)

SB: 50.80

The USA’s Sanya Richards is favourite for the Gold medal based on performances this season, but who would bet against Christine Ohuruogu coming out on top again following wonderful championship performances at the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, knowing that if anyone can fight for the line and upset the form books, it will be her.


1. Phillips Idowu

PB: 17.75m(i) / 17.68m

SB: 17.75m(i) / 17.58m

The World Indoor Medallist is a clear favourite based on this season, and has demonstrated consistency throughout. With the worlds best leaps lined up on his CV for the 2008 season, lets just hope Olympic gold is all but a hop, skip and jump away for the likeable athlete.


To see the latest key marks set by athletes in the UK visit www.thepowerof10.info  and visit the “On Target” section.