London has produced a remarkable number of sprinters for Team GB’s Rio Olympics team. With the Athletics starting on the 12th August, FCapitalSport picks 5 to watch out for.
Nethaneel Joseph Mitchell-Blake:
22 year-old Louisiana State University athletics scholar Mitchell-Blake, shot to fame after becoming the second fastest Briton of all time over 200 metres after clocking a time of 19.95 seconds in May. Born in Newham, he displayed a clear aptitude for sprinting as a youngster and after relocating to Jamaica aged 13 he only got better and better. At the 2011 Jamaican Junior Championships aged just 17, he ran the 200m in a blistering 21.54 seconds and just 2 years later became the 2013 European Junior Champion. The incredible time he achieved makes him the third fastest 200m runner in the world this year so don’t be surprised to see him lining up alongside Usain Bolt later this month.
Gemili will be looking to make up for the disappointment of his semi-final exit at his home games in 2012 and will be desperate to go head to head with compatriot Mitchell-Blake in the 200m Olympic final. In an incredibly strong era for British sprinting, Gemili who is the only Briton to have run the 100 metres in less than 10 seconds and the 200 metres in less than 20, will be one of the clear favourites to win a medal.
Born in Somalia and brought up in Hounslow, as the most decorated British athletes of all time, Mo Farah is the most recognisable name in the GB squad. After his phenomenal gold winning performances at the 2012 Olympics, the British public will be baying for more excuses to smash out Farah’s signature celebration move, the “Mobot”. As the favourite for both the 5,000 and 10,000 metres Farah should become the first Briton to win three or perhaps even four consecutive gold medals across two Olympic Games.
At just 20 year old King’s College London student Dina Asher-Smith, is the fastest teenager ever as well the fastest British woman over both the 100 and 200 metres. Somehow managing to balance the commitments of simultaneously being one of the world’s top sprinters and a full time history student, Asher-Smith is one of Britain’s best hopes for an Olympic medal in what is her debut Games. Having won the European 200m title earlier this year, it appears that she is going into Rio in top form. However that race was won in the absence of World Champion Dafne Schippers, who Asher-Smith will surely come up against come the 100 and 200 metre finals later this month.
The east Londoner and Olympic Gold and Silver medallist over 400 metres competes in her fourth and last Olympics this summer. In July her place in the GB squad looked in doubt due to the form of rival Anyika Onuora, who this year beat Ohuruogo to win bronze at the European Championships and was the more impressive in two Diamond League races. Despite squeezing into the squad and her 32 years of age, which make her one of the oldest competitors at the Games, she is still confident of a podium finish. Let’s hope it happens…